2019 Brown Venture Prize Finalists, Judges, and Event Press!

Welcome to the second annual Brown Venture Prize, a friendly competition showcasing Brown’s most advanced ventures. The 2019 top 8 finalists were carefully selected by an esteemed group of experienced Brown Alumni entrepreneurs. Learn more about the top finalists, and the judges who selected them, below.

EVENT PRESS

Announcing the Brown Venture Prize Winners!

Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship

Brown Venture Prize finalists vie for $50K for big ideas Brown Venture Prize finalists vie for $50K.

Brown Venture Prize finalists vie for $50K for big ideas

O’rya Hyde-Keller, Brown University

All eyes are on the prize — and the entrepreneurial process — in this annual Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship competition among Brown’s most promising student ventures.

Formally Wins Big at Brown University's Venture Prize Competition

American Inno 

Formally, a company that empowers applicants and attorneys by making immigration and legal forms easier to understand, took home the grand prize of $25,000

Brown Venture Prize awards $50K to top three pitches

Providence Business News 

The competition featured eight finalists pitching their concepts and businesses to a panel of seven judges.

FORMALLY – 1st Place Winner ($25,000)

Formally empowers applicants and attorneys by making immigration and legal forms easy.
Benjamin Murphy '19

Benjamin Murphy '19

Computer Science

benjamin_murphy@brown.edu
Diane Mutako '20

Diane Mutako '20

Computer Science

diane_mutako@brown.edu
Noah Picard '18, '19

Noah Picard '18, '19

Sc.B. Computer Science/Mathematics, Sc.M. Computer Science

noah_picard@brown.edu
Amelie-Sophie Vavrovsky ‘18

Amelie-Sophie Vavrovsky ‘18

International Relations

amelie.vav@gmail.com

goTeff – 2nd Place Winner ($15,000)

goTeff is a mission-driven nutrition brand using Teff grain—a superfood from Ethiopia, with a vision to provide superior nutrition to US consumers while empowering Ethiopian small-holder farmers.
Saron Simon Mechale '19

Saron Simon Mechale '19

Social Analysis and Research

saron_mechale@brown.edu
Abenezer Simon Mechale '21

Abenezer Simon Mechale '21

UPenn - Development Economics

EMBONET – 3rd Place Winner ($10,000)

EmboNet focuses on developing a double-layered, pocketed mesh designed to securely capture and remove embolic debris from blood, reducing stroke risk and cerebral injury associated with cardiac bypass surgeries.
Berke Buyukkucak Sc.B. '18, M.Sc., '19

Berke Buyukkucak Sc.B. '18, M.Sc., '19

Biomedical Engineering

berke_buyukkucak@brown.edu
Ileana Pirozzi ‘18

Ileana Pirozzi ‘18

Biomedical Engineering, Brown/Ph.D Stanford University

ipirozzi@stanford.edu
Emily Holtzman ‘18

Emily Holtzman ‘18

RISD - Textiles

eholtzma@alumni.risd.edu
Celina Hsieh ‘18, M.D. ‘22

Celina Hsieh ‘18, M.D. ‘22

Biomedical Engineering; Alpert Medical School

celina_hsieh@brown.edu
Gian Christian Ignacio '18, M.D. ‘22

Gian Christian Ignacio '18, M.D. ‘22

Biomedical Engineering; Alpert Medical School

gian_christian_ignacio@brown.edu

CRESS HEALTH

Everyone deserves support in the path to recovery. Cress Heath leverages mobile technology to fight addiction.
Justin M. Kim '21

Justin M. Kim '21

Computer Science and Biology

justin_kim1@brown.edu
Sonny Mo '21

Sonny Mo '21

Computer Science and Philosophy

sonny_mo@brown.edu
Michael W. Lai '21

Michael W. Lai '21

Hofstra University BS/MD - Biochemistry

H2Ok INNOVATIONS

H2Ok Innovations uses AI and data analytics to empower communities with cost-saving information that drive decisions ensuring sustainable access to clean drinking water.
Annie Lu '22

Annie Lu '22

Harvard - Economics

David Lu '20

David Lu '20

Chemistry and Computer Science

david_lu@brown.edu

INTUS CARE

Providing on-demand in-home care, care coordination, and enrichment for the elderly and disabled. 
John (Robbie) Felton '21

John (Robbie) Felton '21

Public Health

john_felton@brown.edu
Evan Jackson '21

Evan Jackson '21

Economics

evan_jackson@brown.edu
Samuel Prado '21

Samuel Prado '21

Public Health / Economics

samuel_prado@brown.edu
Teo Tsivranidis '20

Teo Tsivranidis '20

Computer Science

samuel_prado@brown.edu

SelectEd

AI-powered digital platform connecting international students with US educational consultants, streamlining personalized college application assistance.
Santiago Ibañez '13

Santiago Ibañez '13

MIT - Management of Technology, M.B.A./M.Sc.

sibanez@sloan.mit.edu
Amy Wang '19

Amy Wang '19

Political Science

jo-shin_wang@brown.edu
Jessica Wang '22

Jessica Wang '22

Education and Economics

jessica_wang3@brown.edu

ZAP CHARGING

Zap Charging provides on-demand charging for electric vehicles, anytime and anywhere.
Joseph Asbel '19

Joseph Asbel '19

BEO: Entrepreneurship and Technology Management

joseph_asbel@brown.edu
William Homza '19

William Homza '19

BEO: Entrepreneurship and Technology Management

william_homza@brown.edu
Callie Smith '19

Callie Smith '19

BEO: Entrepreneurship and Technology Management

callie_smith@brown.edu

2019 JUDGES

A huge thank-you to our judges for their time, energy, and support of the 2019 Brown Venture Prize!
Ben Chesler '15

Ben Chesler '15

Co-founder of Imperfect

Rufus Griscom ‘91

Rufus Griscom ‘91

Co-Founder of The Next Big Idea Club

Liz Hamburg ‘86

Liz Hamburg ‘86

Co-Founder of Upstart Ventures, Candoo Tech

Rajiv Kumar ‘05

Rajiv Kumar ‘05

Co-founder of ShapeUp

Heidi Messer '92

Heidi Messer '92

Co-Founder of Collective-I

Luke Sherwin '12

Luke Sherwin '12

Co-Founder of Casper

Laura Thompson ‘09

Laura Thompson ‘09

Founder, VC

Adam Vitarello ‘05

Adam Vitarello ‘05

Co-founder of Optoro

Jayna Zweiman ’01

Jayna Zweiman ’01

Co-creator and co-founder of Pussyhat Project, Welcome Blanket