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MIT Elevator Pitch Contest Takes Startup Salesmanship to New Level

Opinion

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the diverse ideas that the participants came up with—and I wasn’t the only one.

Judge Maria Cirino, founder and managing director of .406 Ventures noted, “The caliber of the pitches was excellent. The pitches were well-crafted and well-delivered… fully thought-out. Some of these ideas definitely have a chance of getting funded.”

Judge Tim Rowe, founder and CEO of Cambridge Innovation Center and Venture Partner at New Atlantic Ventures, took it one step further: “We were blown away by the quality of the pitches across the board. This is an extremely creative group and they each made a very compelling case.” When asked if he thought the winner has a chance of getting funded, his answer was, “I was just speaking to him about exactly that.”

Here were the people who walked away with a little extra cash in their pockets last night:

Grand Prize Winner ($5,000):
Rouzbeh Shahsavari, Energy Track
School: MIT PhD
Company name: n/a
Idea: Nanoengineered concrete
Self description: We have been able to develop a concrete nanostructure that not only cuts carbon dioxide by half but also it is twice as strong as conventional concrete.

Runner up ($2,000 + $1,000 audience choice award):
Laura Paulsen, Products & Services Track
School: Johns Hopkins University
Company name: Hydrangle Systems
Idea: Prostate cancer treatment device (The Apex)
Self description: The Apex is a novel biomedical device that maintains patient potency while undergoing prostate cancer cryoablation treatment.

Runner up ($2,000):
Dean Berlin, Life Sciences Track
School: MIT Sloan
Company name: Calinix
Idea: Drug screening solution
Self description: Calinix provides novel drug screening solutions. The screening assay stage of pharma development could be shortened using Calinix’s lower-cost, high-throughput systems.

Overall, it was a really exciting event to be a part of, and I can’t wait to see all the great ideas that will be put forth in the upcoming Executive Summary Contest and Business Plan Contest.

Here are some more photos. Click on any image to make it bigger and to see full captions.

ElevatorPitchContestcrew ElevatorPitchContestjudges ElevatorPitchContestrunnerup

ElevatorPitchContestGrandPrize

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