Georgetown Entrepreneurs Win $150,000 in Prizes at Annual “Bark Tank” Event
“We bet on the jockey, not the horse.”
This theme pervades the startup world—investing in the person behind the mission for the common good, according to Ted Leonsis (C’77, P’14,’15), founder, chairman, principal, and chief executive officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and a team of expert entrepreneurs at Georgetown Entrepreneurship’s Bark Tank Pitch Competition held Tuesday, Nov. 4, at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Inspired by the business pitches, Leonsis announced that the total amount of the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize would increase this year to $150,000 so that the students and alumni had more funds to grow their ventures.
“I’m really proud of what Georgetown is creating for entrepreneurs. Don’t give up. We differentiate ourselves because we’re on a mission and no great entrepreneur is just about the dollars,” said Leonsis. “Everyone of our institutions needs a jolt of change, a pivot to be more nimble, and an entrepreneurial mindset. I believe Georgetown McDonough will be a leader in sending those of you with that mindset out into the world.”
Joylet and STAFM Technologies each won the grand prize of $30,000 at the competition. Joylet is a baby gear rental company that gives families access to the best baby gear at a fraction of the retail price, offers flexible rental terms, and eliminates the hassle of long-term storage or disposal. It is led by Alli Cavasino (MBA’22) and Natalie Poston (MBA’21). STAFM Technologies is developing a novel electric motor to revolutionize the automotive, aviation, and industrial verticals. It is led by Rory Brogan (MBA’22).
Chow Corp. and Compost’d each won $25,000 at the competition. Led by Gracey Owen (B’22), Compost’d offers an in-home compost receptacle that connects its customers with proper disposal opportunities to make composting accessible, equitable, and easy for everyone. Owen also won the People’s Choice Award at the competition. Chow Corp, led by Jordan Foley (L’21), Charles Magovern, and Abi Quackenboss-Karpf (SCS’21), is a nonprofit designed to provide services for military veterans through cooking therapy, cookware donations, culinary education, and business advice for anyone from home chefs to aspiring food truck or restaurant owners.
Map-Collective Inc. and DIAGON each won $15,000 at the competition. Map-Collective Inc. is a carbon tracking and supply chain transparency platform led by Tara Gupta (MBA’23). DAIGON helps League of Legends players track its member’s in-game positivity to foster healthier competitiveness throughout weekly training games. It is led by Elliot Mack (SFS’22).
Bibti and Bellavent each won $5,000 at the competition. Bibti is a mobile-based application which enables women to coordinate and connect with other nearby women as travel buddies to minimize the risk of sexual harassment. It is led by Emily Owen (G’21), Max Zhang (SFS’23), and Shirley Hu (B’23). Bellavent, led by Bek Akhmedov (MBA’23), Kenny Gabel (MBA’23), and Chike Nwankwo (MBA’23), is a platform where couples post their wedding needs and qualified vendors submit proposals.
The Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize is supported by longtime entrepreneur Ted Leonsis; his wife, Lynn; his son, Zach (MBA’15); and his daughter, Elle (C’14).
Aligning with the Jesuit values of Georgetown University, the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize honors and supports Georgetown students who have launched or are preparing to launch new business ventures that will address problems in the world around them. Ultimately, the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize builds awareness around the innovation and accomplishments of Georgetown’s entrepreneurs and strengthens the university’s reputation as a place where ambitious students can turn their passions into entrepreneurial ventures. For more information about the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize, visit this website or watch the video.