Winners Announced in NYU Stern’s Entrepreneurs Challenge
At the conclusion of an eight-month competition, NYU’s most promising innovators received startup funding and pro-bono services valued at more than $250,000 at NYU Stern’s annual Entrepreneurs Challenge, organized by the School’s Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship. The two winning teams were chosen after pitching their ideas and enduring Q&A by judges from venture capital, technology and social enterprise sectors.
May 14 marked the culmination of one of the largest and most rigorous intra-collegiate venture competitions. More than 260 students, faculty and alumni from 19 schools across NYU’s global network participated this year in one of two competition tracks: New Venture and Social Venture. The awards presented in each category were:
Winner of the New Venture Competition: for startups in a variety of sectors
The $100,000 Rennert Prize, made possible by a gift from Stern Board of Overseers member Ira Leon Rennert (MBA ’56), was awarded to Stonk League.
Founded by NYU Stern student Jordan Karstadt (BS ’22) and Chetan Manikantan, StonkLeague is a platform for “finfluencers” to build their reputation and establish their legitimacy by participating in competitive daily fantasy crypto games.
Winner of the Social Venture Competition: for social impact ventures
The $50,000 Social Venture Prize was awarded to ONE432.
Founded by NYU Stern alumnus Umar Belal (MBA ’20) and Ammar Belal, ONE432 is a clothing and footwear brand that helps socially conscious young professionals as well as discerning shoppers align their purchases with their personal values.
“Living through a pandemic has presented unique challenges but also opportunities to each of these teams. We are proud to support these teams as they experience a once-in-a-lifetime entrepreneurial environment.” said Professor Deepak Hegde, academic director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship.
“The Entrepreneurs Challenge has a 20-plus year tradition of providing a springboard for promising NYU ventures,” noted Professor Cynthia Franklin, director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship. “While the competition is grueling, we know the real hard work for these teams will be negotiating the tricky startup terrain ahead. This is why the support we provide continues well after the awards are announced.”
"These finalists are addressing market needs in a variety of industries, including sustainability, food and beverage, fintech, augmented reality and healthcare,” noted Phoebe Punzalan, associate director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship. "The teams have worked tirelessly over the past eight months to develop the leadership skills they need to be successful in an ever-changing business environment.”
The finalist teams showcased their ventures through brief pitches and explainer videos before a virtual audience of NYU students, faculty and alumni, as well as members of the broader NYC startup community, who voted for their favorite teams. This year, Cartographr Technologies and Rooted Fare received the Audience Choice Awards.
This Year’s Judges
New Venture Competition:
William R. Berkley, Janelle Benjamin and Alicia Syrett
Social Venture Competition:
Marissa Feinberg, Alberto Gomez-Obregon and Greg Van Kirk
Visit the NYU Stern Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship website