Entrepreneurs Win $35,000, Awards at the 2022 Georgetown Entrepreneurship Challenge Finals
Georgetown students competed in the annual Georgetown Entrepreneurship Challenge (GEC) Finals on April 8, winning thousands of dollars in prizes. Georgetown Entrepreneurship also handed out annual awards to students and faculty during the event.
The GEC is Georgetown’s largest pitch competition series, which includes undergraduate and graduate students from across campus. During the competition, students have five minutes to pitch their entrepreneurial ventures and business ideas to an expert panel of entrepreneurs and business leaders followed by three minutes of Q&À with the judges.
Judges scored teams based on the feasibility of their business idea, the team’s abilities, the company’s incorporation of Georgetown’s Jesuit values, and the overall persuasion of the business pitch. The GEC Finals judging panel included Keith Camhi, managing director of Techstars, Michelle Freeman (P’13), chairman and president of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Paul Healy (C’15), principal of Commonwealth Ventures, Payton Iheme, head of America’s public policy at Bumble, Karima Ladhani, founder and CEO of Barakat Bundle, Michael O’Neil (JD/MBA’02), founder and CEO of GetWell Network, and Joe Pelton, founder of ACES Worldwide.
The cash prizes available at this year’s final round totaled over $35,000. CoSignMe and Mercor won the first place graduate and undergraduate grand prizes, amounting to $10,000 in funds for each company to support their business ideas.
“The GEC continues to showcase the depth of entrepreneurial talent that we have across Georgetown,” said Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative. “Not only are they creating innovative ventures in their respective spaces, but they also use entrepreneurship as a platform to solve important issues in society.”
The full list of competition winners are:
$10,000 Graduate Grand Prize: CoSignMe by Nii Adamah Annan (MBA’23)
$10,000 Undergraduate Grand Prize: Mercor by Brendan Foody (B’25)
$2,500 Graduate Second Place: CrowdRound by Mackenzie Loy (MBA’22)
$2,500 Undergraduate Second Place: Chestr by Besart Copa (SFS’22)
$2,000 People’s Choice Award: CrowdRound by Mackenzie Loy (MBA’22)
$1,000 Pelton Environmental Prize: Serenity by Kevin Boodram (C’22)
$1,000 Undergraduate & Graduate Finalists:
- Serenity by Kevin Boodram (C’22)
- Well Eating by Rhodia Eid (SFS’22)
- Dreame by Victor Asemota (C’23)
- Check-It by Alek Gozman (SFS’22)
- Rave Me Away by Charles Beauchamp Hinnant (SCS’23)
- Telebox Health by Milos Tomovic (MED’23)
- Skin ID by Christopher Grivas (MED’23)
- LUCIO by Victoria Gomes-Boronat (MA’22)
“A cornerstone of Georgetown Entrepreneurship is the ongoing support and guidance that our students receive from the broader community. This event would not be possible without the active partnership of our Entrepreneurship Advisory Group,” said Ben Zimmerman, managing director of Georgetown Entrepreneurship. “Thank you for your leadership, vision, and support of our program. We also would like to thank the Wang Family, Joseph Pelton, Cindy Groves, Robert Seidler, Mark Silverman, and the Templeton Foundation.”
In addition to cash prizes for entrepreneurs competing in the challenge, Georgetown Entrepreneurship presented the annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards to students, faculty, and staff who have shown a selfless commitment to improving the state of entrepreneurial education at Georgetown University over the past year.
Laura Clark, entrepreneurship specialist at The Good Food Institute and Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown Entrepreneurship, received the Patricia Henriques Outstanding Mentor Award for embodying the values of a great mentor: tenacity, impeccable listening, and an unwavering commitment to sharing knowledge and confidence with others.
The Undergraduate Student Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Gracey Owen (B’22) for her academic and entrepreneurial achievements. Owen won several pitch competitions for her startup, Compost’d, including the 2022 Big East Startup Challenge.
Alli Cavisano (MBA’22) received the Graduate Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for her startup, Joylet. Cavisano and her co-founder, Natalie Poston (MBA’21), have won many notable Georgetown pitch competitions, including their recent win at John Carroll Weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.
Khuram Zaman and Mike Malloy (G’12) received the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Faculty awards and Kate Gilles (B’23), Megan Nguyen (SFS’22), Eric Young, and David Lange (MBA’23) received the Oustanding Entrepreneurial Leadership Awards.