Congratulations to the Winners of the 2023 Columbia Venture Competition!

Congratulations to the following teams!

StartupColumbia Challenge

$15,000 First Prize


Manny Tamargo ’16, ’18, ’19, and ’22SEAS; Bianca Drevensek

Edge has engineered cell factories, compatible with existing bioprocesses, to ensure a constant supply of growth factors to cells grown for consumer goods like cultivated meat, cultivated dairy, cultivated leather, and cosmetics.

$10,000 Second Prize


Etizaz Shah ’21SIPA

OphyCare is a digital health infrastructure company that provides cloud-based health record management and telehealth infrastructure to healthcare organizations serving underserved populations.

$5,000 Third Prize

SOTRO Innovations

Alicia Davis ’22CBS; Stephanie Louis

SOTRO is professionalizing a cottage industry of hair stylests. The unique hair steamer makes it possible to comprehensively tackle hair care needs outside of a traditional salon space. The storage- and travel-friendly collapsible micro-mist hair steamer, helps anyone with textured and curly hair can experience the benefits of professional-grade solutions.

The Brown Institute Innovation Challenge in Journalism, Media, and Technology

$15,000 First Prize


Luis Gustavo ’22SIPA, Felipe Bailez

In less a year, Palver has become one of the world’s only solutions that can monitor public sentiment in the encrypted social media platforms WhatsApp and Telegram.

$10,000 Second Prize


Samantha Greenspan ’22Barnard, Jake Greenspan

Skolay lets you speak to the authors who speak to your heart. Skolay creates a centralized marketplace to encourage and facilitate these conversations, for the benefit of readers seeking deeper engagement with writers they love, and writers craving closer connection with their dedicated readers as well as supplemental income.


$5,000 Third Prize

Vngle News Agency

Blake Stoner ’18SPS, Alex Rhodd

Think of Vngle as the grassroots Associated Press for local news. Targeting editors seeking local news to publish, Vngle is a nonpartisan content newswire deploying reporter training, a local news content databae, and patented mobile forensics to catalog insights across underserved areas.

Undergraduate Challenge sponsored by Columbia College

$15,000 First Prize


Quan Tan ’25GS; Tyler Kim ’26SEAS

Scraft is an online writing practice tool with an AI-tutor that helps develop logical and eloquent writing skills. Scraft understands the writing context as user writes and recommends topics, asks questions, and provides reference curations to each user.

$10,000 Second Prize

Paper Planes, Inc

Ivan Chau ’23SEAS, Akshay Choudhry ’23SEAS, Kyle Li ’23SEAS, Mateo Maturana ’23CC, and Maya Villasenor ’23SEAS

Paper Planes uses a mesh network of low-cost, readily-available audio devices — like smartphones — to selectively listen for hostile Unmanned Aircraft Syestems (UAS) or drones in conflict areas.

$5,000 Third Prize


Nicolas Ouporov ’24CC

Respell allows customers to create their own AI-powered applications by chaining together simple building blocks of AI models or other applications, testing and iterating until they’re satisfied, then publishing it to be integrated into their website or app.

SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant

$20,000 First Prize


Gudfinnur Sveinsson ’23SIPA; Theophile Poughet-Abadie ’23SIPA; Dylan Malloy ’24SIPA

Brineworks’ technology removes CO2 from the atmosphere in a highly measurable and permanent manner through advanced processing of desalination waste.

$10,000 Second Prize, Tied


Nate Levin ’23SIPA

Campaign Brain is an artificially intelligent campaign management software, to be sold as a service (SaaS).


Luma Teixeira Dias ’24SIPA; Rafaella Lopes ’24SIPA ; Izabel Ferreira ’24SIPA; Luma Dias ’24SIPA; João Adrien; Felipe Aleixo dos Santos Couto

The AmazonSeed initiative came together for one purpose: strengthening the ecosystem of socio-economic opportunities in the Amazon.


Sarah Werner ’24SIPA; Galy Kouyoumjian ’23SIPA; Madeline Ninno ’23SIPA; Alexa Aalami ’24Barnard

Despite the digital transformation in healthcare, patients continue to face challenges in retrieving medical health records from providers, limiting patients’ ability and agency to manage their individual health data.


Daniela Tagle ’23SIPA; Tanya Agarwal ’23SIPA; Jorge Beltran ’24SIPA

Basuriza aims to connect all actors in Peru’s recycling value chain through an easily-accessible, user-friendly digital recyclable waste marketplace.

Millard Chan ’99 Technology Challenge

$25,000 First Prize


Yipeng Huang ’11, ’13, ’15, ’18, SEAS

A hybrid quantum+classical computing software platform.

$15,000 Second Prize


Axl Chen ’23SEAS

Enables VR Body Motion Capturing with shoes.

$10,000 Third Prize


Neetika Ashwani ’22MPH

Improves adherence of skin-to-skin contact in prematurity.

Columbia – CareOne Healthcare Innovation Challenge

$25,000 First Prize


Asher Varon ’18GS

To address problems of accidental opioid overdose and inefficient emergency treatment, QuikReversal proposes a self-applied, disposable, intranasal naloxone wearable that automatically detects opioid overdose and delivers the anitdote.

$15,000 Second Prize


Etizaz Shah SIPA

OphyCare is a digital health infrastructure company that provides cloud-based health record management and telehealth infrastructure to healthcare organizations serving underserved populations.

$10,000 Third Prize


Jordan DeTar ’23BUS

Tango is a fun and proactive couples care app that provides self-guided programs on practical relationship topics via on-demand audio content.

Related Posts