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Student startups battle at VentureCat

Teams make their pitch May 23 at the Kellogg Global Hub

VentureCat, Northwestern’s student startup competition, brings together 29 teams this year to battle for $100,000 in non-dilutive prize money.

The annual event showcases Northwestern’s most promising student-founded startups. Previous VentureCat competitors have gone on to have their startups funded and even acquired.

RSVP now to save your seat for the finals

On May 23 at the Kellogg Global Hub, semifinalist teams will compete in six industry tracks and pitch to a panel of judges representing firms like 1871 and Drive Capital. The first-place team in each track will take the finals stage later that day.

"Winning VentureCat was a great boost, and it provided us the resources to take IFM to the next level." - Marc Gyongyosi, McCormick '17, VentureCat 2017 grand prize winner

The following 29 Northwestern teams will compete in six industry tracks, a format that helps distinguish VentureCat from other entrepreneurship challenges around the world.

Business products + Services

  • CoCo Health: On-site mental wellness support in the workplace.
  • Facilikey: Helping property managers connect them with maintenance vendors.
  • Hilltop Health: Business solutions for vets to create world class pet care.
  • Queralyze: Teaching enhancement tool for critical thinking and writing.
  • RideLink: Predictive machine learning for amusement park operators.

Consumer products + Services

  • Cariset: The key to feeling like you’re on top of the world starts with your bag.
  • Commit: Creating demand for events and trips to make sure they’re full.
  • LOUD Enterprises: Using artwork and apparel to inspire, challenge and enable.
  • SkimmyLabs: Wearable that alerts credit card holders to skimmers.
  • Unruled.: Environmentally responsible design for visual thinkers.

Energy + Sustainability

  • Instago: Carpool app that matches people going the same way at similar times.
  • NUMiX Materials: Removing heavy metals from aqueous streams.
  • PedalCell: Creating novel bike-powered phone chargers.
  • Walla: Helping utilities meet state-mandated energy savings targets.

VentureCat winnersVentureCat teams vie for $100,000 in non-dilutive prize money.

Food + Beverage

  • 2nd Kitchen: Enabling bars without kitchens to serve food.
  • BrewBike: Fueling college students with cold brew coffee.
  • HotPlate: Helping diners discover the best dishes at restaurants.
  • Jora Beverage Co.: Mindful mixers, conscious crafters and innovative partiers.
  • reBLEND: Sourcing misshapen produce for delicious smoothies.

Life sciences + Medical innovations

  • BackWave Technologies: A noninvasive device that measures cardiac output.
  • BioTrellis: Nanomaterial that improves healing after surgery.
  • Jabiru Medical: Biometric feedback for new moms to avoid surgery.
  • Jetter: Child-friendly device that improves the pediatric injection experience.
  • Rheos: Wearable biosensor capable of diagnosing ventricular shunt malfunction.

Social impact + Nonprofit

  • BOSSY: Motivating consumers to buy from women-owned business.
  • Brave Initiatives: Empowering high school girls to be change leaders.
  • LineShift: Enabling the manufacturing workforce to sharpen their skills.
  • Poppy: Helping communities provide help for the grievers in their lives.
  • Sidekick Education: Solving problems using core class content.

VentureCat judgesVentureCat teams pitch to a panel of distinguished judges.

About VentureCat

VentureCat is a collaborative event organized by The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Kellogg School of Management, the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center and The Garage. 

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