By Tiffany Pang
Picture courtesy of Yale Entrepreneurial Society.
At the end of April, the Yale Entrepreneurial Society hosted its annual Yale Venture Challenge Innovation Summit at The Bourse, celebrating innovation by bringing together Yale student entrepreneurs, alumni, and industry professionals.
Five Yale student ventures were selected among a competitive application pool as finalists to pitch to a panel of judges, including entrepreneurs, investors, and members in the investment community. The five ventures chosen to pitch were:
- Blacktop Bloom (VCP ’12-13) – Rewon Child (YC ’13)
- Dextro (YEI ’13/VCP ’12-13) – David Luan (YC ’13)
- Electric Currency (VCP ’12-13) – Jeff Woodward (SOM ’14)
- Panorama Education (YEI ’12) – Aaron Feuer (YC ’13)
- SolGen – Mitchell Bauer (FES ’13)
At the end of the evening, the panel of judges awarded the first place prize of $12,000 to Panorama Education, a 2012 YEI Fellowship team that helps K-12 schools and districts to easily collect student feedback and offer teachers clear reports with actionable insights.
“I was just really excited. Panorama has had a really busy couple of weeks,” said Panorama Education cofounder Xan Tanner (YC ’13).
The skyrocketing venture has indeed had a busy few weeks indeed. Along with their Yale Venture Challenge win, Panorama Education was also recently accepted to the YCombinator’s Summer ’13 class. With their winnings from the competition, Tanner hopes to “add team members on the tech side. The YVC money will be used, along with our profits from this past year, to help build out our team.”
“I was definitely happy. Because Dextro has been bootstrapped so far, we have basically never pitched it in an investment/competition setting,” said Dextro founder David Luan (YC ’13), who was impressed by the line-up of pitches and entrepreneurs at the Summit. “Yale entrepreneurship has really taken off in the past two years, as compared to when I was an underclassman. Interest here is at great levels.”
Electric Currency, a Texas-based retail energy reseller in YEI’s 2012-2013 Venture Creation Program, placed third and won the $1,000 prize. And along with the other winners, Electric Currency cofounder Jeff Woodward (FES ’14) echoed the positivity about Yale’s entrepreneurship spirit.
“I think that a lot of Yale’s entrepreneurial community is driven by a desire to good for the world. Four of the five finalists for YVC were social ventures,” said Woodward. “It’s a wonderful group of people to be part of.”
“I think that the entrepreneurial spirit at Yale has never been better,” said Tanner, who was impressed by the teams and competition at the Yale Venture Challenge. “It’s just an exciting time for entrepreneurship at Yale.”Read More