An enterprising pool of students and alumni are currently delivering pitches with high hopes their startup will be named a winner in the Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition come Tuesday. Twelve startups made it to the final round of judging, and are now striving to prove why they have the next “big idea.”
Winners of this year’s challenge will be announced at a 10-Year Anniversary Celebration, hosted by the Gordon Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. Over the last decade, the competition has helped spur an entrepreneurial energy nearby schools can no longer ignore, producing companies that have goals of democratizing education or bringing adequate sanitation to the slums of Kenya.
In 2013, the contest saw a record-breaking number of applicants, growing from 18 to 109. Through the Tufts $100K, student- and alumni-founded startups have been given the chance to compete for cash, mentorship and other in-kind services in one of two tracks: classic and social entrepreneurship.
James Barlow, Tufts director of entrepreneurial leadership, would likely be the first to say the competition is only a component, albeit a strong one, of the school’s growing entrepreneurship program. In a recent interview, Barlow stated:
The bottom line is, we’re not going to create an MBA program that rivals HBS, MIT or Babson, but that’s not what we’re interested in. We’re interested in creating a productive ecosystem that plays to the strengths Tufts has.
That strength is diversity — a diversity fostered by the university’s various schools, including the Fletcher, Engineering, Friedman and Sackler. It’s a diversity the previous Tufts $100K winners have all exemplified.
To meet the new startups that will be joining in the legacy of the previous winners, head to the 10-Year Anniversary Celebration of the Tufts $100K, slated to take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8. You won’t want to miss seeing who will become a part of this list …