19 Apr 2018
Harvard Business School Names Winners of 21st New Venture Competition at Finale
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BOSTON—Yesterday evening in Harvard Business School’s Shad Hall, 12 student and alumni finalist teams made their pitches for $315,000 in cash prizes, plus in-kind prizes, at the Finale of the 21st annual HBS New Venture Competition (NVC). The top prize in the student business, student social enterprise, and alumni tracks was $75,000 each. The finalists advanced through several rounds of judging. More than 300 judges, many of them HBS graduates, from such fields as venture capital, private equity, law, accounting, philanthropy, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship vigorously reviewed the new ventures.

Hosted each year by the School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and its Social Enterprise Initiative, in partnership with HBS Alumni Clubs & Associations, the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition is open to all students and alumni interested in launching new business and social impact ventures. This year, 360 teams entered the competition--127 in the Student Business Track, 69 in the Student Social Enterprise Track, and 164 Alumni track teams in 11 global regional competitions.

“The New Venture Competition is critical to entrepreneurship at HBS. Competition winners say it was the launching point of their businesses. The NVC Finale is the capstone event for HBS entrepreneurs,” said Jodi Gernon (MBA 1991), Director of the Arthur Rock Center. “Since its inception in 1997, 5,294 people have participated, and $2,340,000 in cash prizes has helped launch these student and alumni new ventures. We are grateful for the support of faculty, judges, regional alumni club leads, and sponsors who make the New Venture Competition a meaningful journey for HBS founders.”

“It is the culmination of a year-long journey that began last October for graduate students across the entire University and our global alumni,” added Matt Segneri (MBA 2010), Director of the School’s Social Enterprise Initiative. “The NVC’s Social Enterprise Track has catalyzed the creation of cutting-edge social enterprises.”

Director of Alumni Clubs & Associations Mary-Helen Black noted, “Alumni find participating in the NVC pivotal, invaluable, and enlightening. It raises their profiles. In addition to the grand prizes from HBS, some of these startups receive funding from the chapters and from other investors after pitching in the regional local alumni competitions.”

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In addition to the $315,000 in cash prizes, sponsors have donated in kind tools and services that will help the startups launch and grow. In-kind sponsors are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Baker Library/Bloomberg Center, The Bridgespan Group, Echoing Green, Foley Hoag LLP, Harvard i-labs, HubSpot, MassChallenge, Shoobx, and Sweeney Law Group LLC.

This year's winners are:

Student Business Track

The Dubilier $75,000 Grand Prize: Hour 72+ (descriptions below)
The Dubilier prize was established by New York and London-based private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 1998 in honor of their founder, Martin Dubilier (MBA 1952), to support entrepreneurship.

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Satchu-Burgstone $25,000 Runner-Up Prize: Alpha Vantage
The Satchu-Burgstone Prize honors Jon Burgstone (MBA 1999), Asif Satchu (MBA 1999), and Reza Satchu (MBA 1996), all recipients of the runner-up prize in the 1999 Competition with their plan for SupplierMarket.com.

$5,000 Crowd Favorite Prize: Hour 72+

Student Social Enterprise Track

Peter M. Sacerdote $75,000 Grand Prize: Umbulizer
The Sacerdote Prizes were initially established in 2003 by Peter M. Sacerdote (MBA 1964) to encourage more HBS graduates to become involved in social enterprises and to support their efforts.

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Peter M. Sacerdote $25,000 Runner-Up Prize: Neptune

$5,000 Crowd Favorite Prize: Umbulizer

Alumni Track

$75,000 Grand Prize: DynamiCare Health

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$25,000 Runner-Up: Magma Trading

$5,000 Crowd Favorite Prize: WeMaintain

The finalist teams presenting at the Finale were:

Student Business Track

Aday: Aday is a SAAS product integrating hiring, scheduling, and training and designed for employers of hourly workers who require a total workforce management solution for a changing workforce.
Team: Rahkeem Morris (MBA 2018), Rob Snyder (MBA 2018), Giovanni Conserva, Madeline Chapin

Alpha Vantage: Cloud-based platform democratizing access to financial market data for software developers and investors.
Team: Olivier Porte (MBA 2018), Steve Z. (MBA 2018)

Hour 72+: Insect-repelling tech that lasts three days (not hours) and will protect billions from insect-borne disease.
Team: Andrew Rothaus (MBA 2018), Abraar Karan (MPH 2017)

Nalagenetics: Nalagenetics aims to change trial and error prescribing, starting with Asia.
Team: Levana Sani (MBA 2018), Alexandre Lezhava, Astrid Irwanto, Jianjun Liu

Student Social Enterprise Track

Dignify: Dignify matches refugees and locals in the developing world to globally outsourced digital work.
Team: Laura Oller (Harvard Kennedy School 2019, MBA 2019), Marta Milkowska (HKS 2019), Ziad Reslan (HKS 2019).

Neptune: Our sewers have a grease problem. Neptune is building a better grease trap to keep our pipes clean.
Team: Noah Stern (HKS 2018, MBA 2018), Flint Holbrook (MBA 2018), Nic Cain

SHLD (Self-Healing and Loving Dialogue): SHLD promotes everyday coping skills and mental health resources seamlessly through social media.
Team: Andy Riemer (Harvard Graduate School of Education 2018), Wil Cardwell (HGSE 2018), Jhenna Voorhis (HGSE 2018), Jenny Riemer

Umbulizer: Umbulizer is developing a low-cost, portable ventilator for patients in resource-constrained markets.
Team: Hamza Khan (MBA 2019), Shaheer Piracha, Sanchay Gupta (Harvard Medical School 2021)

Alumni Track

DynamiCare Health: Digital platform for monitoring and rewarding recovery from addiction.
Alumnus: Eric Gastfriend (MBA 2015), CEO, Region: New England

Magma Trading: A new kind of stock market for large trades.
Alumnus: George Hessler (MBA 1985), CEO, Region: Northeastern U.S./New York

Medumo: Engage every patient effortlessly.
Alumnus: Aiden Feng (MBA 2016), Head of Strategy, Region: New England

WeMaintain: We rise by lifting others.
Alumnus: Benoit Dupont (Program for Leadership Development Alumni 2016), Founder & CEO, Region: Europe

Contacts

Jim Aisner
jaisner+hbs.edu
617-495-6157

Cullen Schmitt
cschmitt+hbs.edu
617-495-6155

ABOUT ROCK CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by the generosity and vision of pioneering venture capitalist Arthur Rock (MBA 1951), who helped launch, among many other enterprises, Apple and Intel Corporation. The Rock Center offers a broad array of programs to encourage and support the pursuit of entrepreneurship by Harvard Business School students and alumni, including an annual New Venture Competition, the Rock Accelerator program to facilitate and financially support the execution of new ideas, The Rock Summer Fellowship program to support founders pursuing business ideas and internships with new ventures, a loan reduction program to help ease the burden of recent graduates starting their own enterprises, and access to an array of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who offer advice and counsel throughout the school year.

The Rock Center is closely affiliated with the School’s Entrepreneurial Management Unit, which includes some 33 HBS faculty members dedicated to research, teaching, and course development in the field of entrepreneurial management. Harvard Business School’s first-year curriculum requires a full-semester course in Entrepreneurial Management. The second-year curriculum provides students with a wide selection of electives. The lessons learned serve students well after they have earned their degrees. Ten to fifteen years after graduation, fifty percent of Harvard Business School alumni describe themselves as entrepreneurs. For more information, visit hbs.edu/entrepreneurship or @HBSROCK.

ABOUT THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE

The HBS Social Enterprise Initiative applies innovative business practices and managerial disciplines to drive sustained, high-impact social change. It is grounded in the mission of Harvard Business School and aims to educate, support, and inspire leaders across all sectors to tackle society's toughest challenges and make a difference in the world. Learn more at www.hbs.edu/socialenterprise or @HBSSEI.

ABOUT ALUMNI CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS

Harvard Business School’s Alumni Relations department supports the worldwide community of nearly 85,000 graduates of the School’s MBA and Executive Education programs through alumni clubs and associations, reunions and other special events, networking and volunteering opportunities, as well as a wide range of professional development and educational programs. Learn more at www.hbs.edu/alumni or @HBSAlumni.

ABOUT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 70 open enrollment Executive Education programs and 55 custom programs, and HBX, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who make a difference in the world, shaping the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.