From breaking ground on our new home on Thayer Street, to the launch of new programs, 2018 was a big year for the Nelson Center and entrepreneurship at Brown. We took some time to reflect on the top ten highlights of 2018. Enjoy!
Happy New Year!
-Nelson Center Team
Top 10 Highlights
1. Due to a generous donation from the co-founders of Casper, Luke Sherwin ‘12 and Neil Parikh ‘11, we started the Brown Venture Prize. Three ventures took home $50k in total prizes: Trang Duong ‘18 from Penta; Jack Roswell ‘18, Julian Vallyeason ‘18, and Alex Zhuk ‘18 from Cloud Agronomics; and Michelle Petersen ‘18 from Textup.In case you missed it, watch the evening of pitches.
2. We broke ground on our new center building. Watch the live progress!
3. In conjunction with the Slater Fund, we awarded $50k to our first ever Brown Venture Founder to Michelle Petersen ‘18, co-founder of Textup.
4. Hosted our inaugural Entrepreneur in Residence, Jessica Kim ‘00, co-founder of Ianacare. She also was the keynote at this year’s Startup@Brown Conference, hosted by our student club, EP.
5. Founder Fridays made a splash this year! Among others, we hosted Michael Slaby ‘01; Chuck Davis ‘83; and co-founders of Dogfish Head, Mariah Calagione ’93 and Sam Calagione. We even partnered with the Watson Institute for a podcast with Slaby.
6. Assistant Professor Jennifer Nazzareno joins the Nelson Center team and the School of Public Health for a dual appointment, offering new classes for students. She also leads the Nelson Center’s Entrepreneurship Research Seminars.
7. Launched the first ever International Synapse in Barcelona over spring break. Students had so much fun, we’re going to Barcelona again in 2019 and added a new trip to London. We also have other international programs, where students can get internships in Israel, Sweden, and Germany.
8. Brown University student ventures continue to thrive in 2018. Join us in cheering on Textup (RI Biz Plan Competition Winner); Cloud Agronomics(Collegiate Inventors Competition and Impact Challenge); ReliaBra (Get Started RI Pitch Competition); Formally (EMRG) and goTeff (Hult Prize). Also, be on the lookout for the winners of the RI Elevator pitch competition.
9. Welcomed 14 ventures into the 2018 Breakthrough Lab Accelerator. These ventures tackled everything from low-cost prosthetics, to immigration form accessibility, to supermarket inventory optimization. Watch the pitches here.
10. Students enrolled in new entrepreneurship courses! Howard Anderson’s course ENGN 1931Q: Entrepreneurial Management in Adversity and Dr. Banu Ozkazanc-Pan’s course, ENGN 1931N: Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for Economic Inclusion. ENGN 1931N was such a success that the Venture Capital Inclusion Lab spun out of the course. Dr. Ozkazanc-Pan received funding from the Kauffman Foundation and the lab will continue into spring 2019.