It’s startup season (is it ever not?), and any entrepreneur worth their salt is looking to secure funding. It just so happens that we at the Startup Lab provide a home to some of the hardest workers and biggest winners, some of whom recently secured funding though April’s Columbia Venture Competition. Congrats to you all!
In this dispatch, we’re taking a quick look at some of the CVC victors and the stories behind their success: who they are, what they’re doing, and why you should definitely remember their names.
First place winner of the CVC #Startup Columbia Challenge
Former classmates Matt Bachmann ’15BUS and Ben Gordon ’15BUS are bringing the deliciousness of cafe-style cold brew coffee directly to your home or office. By combining innovative packaging and quality beans, Wandering Bear is capitalizing on the trend of upscale coffee products and taking it one step further, to its logical destination.
They understand that coffee products are increasingly artificial-tasting, high-calorie, and overly sweet – now, you can have quality, ridiculously refreshing cold brew anytime you want without stepping one foot out the door.
Third-place winners of the CVC #Startup Columbia Challenge
These days, there are so many ways to professionally network that social media can end up being more confusing than helpful. Between our contacts on email, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, how can we decide which people are truly a part of our “network”?
To answer this question, Dan Heyman ’09CC and Mike Wojcieszek ’14SEAS are introducing Pyrus, an A.I.-enhanced mobile tool that takes a people-centric approach to networking. It allows you to track all of your communications with one person in a single place, providing valuable insight into your relationships while keeping them all organized and prioritized. Pyrus even suggests timely follow-ups. Now, anyone can be a power networker.
First-place winners of the CVC Tech Challenge sponsored by Columbia Engineering
If you didn’t know this already, the next huge thing on the tech scene is the flexible electronic display. Companies have already begun manufacturing so-called OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Devices), but ironically, their flexibility and elasticity are often limited by their materials.
Seeing an opportunity to improve upon this concept, Adam Hurst ’15SEAS (PhD expected) and Nick Petrone ’14SEAS started NEOVEL Technologies to build superior OLED displays with highly elastic nanomaterials that are suitable to expanding wearable and conformal markets. And yes, this is just as cool as it sounds.
Okay, that’s all for this month. Thanks for tuning in, and, as always, be sure to check back with The Startup Lab for updates on the leading edge of Columbia’s entrepreneurial scene.