Wednesday, May 06, 2015 at 2pm

US$200K for NYU Stern’s Startup Competition Winners: MBA News

NYU Stern startup competition

Two NYU Stern MBA alumni featured among the winners of the school’s annual startup competition, the ‘Entrepreneurs Challenge’.

Part of NYU Stern’s MBA class of 2012, Laurie Thackeray and Christina Anzalone, made up part of the RecoverLINK team that picked up US$75,000 as winners in the competition's ‘new ventures’ category – one of three categories alongside technology and social enterprise.

Patient care experience central to MBA alumni’s venture  

RecoverLINK uses mobile technology to track the progress of heart failure patients, after they have been discharged from hospital. A principal aim of the service is to reduce patients’ need to return to hospital, said to be preventable in two out of three cases.

Winning teams in the two other categories, awarded US$75k (technology) and US$50k (social enterprise), were made up of students, alumni and faculty from elsewhere across NYU, including a student from Stern’s undergraduate school – a member of the tattoo removal venture Ephemeral which claimed first prize in the technology category.

Startup competition recognizes two social ventures

The social enterprise category was shared between two ventures with vastly different missions. SayCel seeks to provide low-cost cellular services to remote and under-resourced parts of the world, starting from Little Corn Island – the smaller of Nicaragua’s two Islas del Maíz, estimated to have a population of just 500. VVF Cup, meanwhile, is working to address the vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) – an injury sustained during childbirth that, among populations who lack access to surgery, can be highly stigmatizing and isolating for the individual concerned, as well as life-threatening.

“This year, we saw new ventures addressing a number of business, global and societal issues,” said Jill Kickul, director of a social entrepreneurship program on offer at NYU Stern’s Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, which hosts the Entrepreneurs Challenge.  

This year, the startup competition attracted 249 team entries representing a total of 16 NYU schools. For the final, 14 teams featuring representatives of seven schools were chosen to deliver a three-minute pitch followed by the screening of a short explanatory video and a Q&A session with the event’s judges:

“In the end, each team emerged with a new business concept that imagines a powerful market disruption and a plan to transform it into reality,” reflected Luke Williams, executive director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Main tag

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).