CCNY and CUNY student-led startup ventures awarded $120k in prizes from the Zahn Innovation Center and Standard Chartered Women in Tech Incubator and Competition Program
The Zahn Innovation Center at The City College of New York (CCNY) awarded 8 student-led startup ventures finalist and grand prizes during its 2023 Demo Week activities May 2 - May 4, 2023.
The Zahn Innovation Center’s 2023 Demo Week provided 12 qualified ventures the opportunity to pitch to panels of expert judges, present their minimum viable prototypes to the campus community, and compete for prizes to continue the development of their startups. Demo Week was the culmination of a semester-long extra-curricular incubator program, serving more than 55 CCNY and CUNY undergraduate and graduate students as well as community colleagues. Nine guest facilitators hosted online and in-person workshops covering a wide variety of topics in product and entrepreneurship development, and more than 35 additional mentors provided advice and insights on various aspects of the venture creation process.
After a series of in-person events during Demo Week, a panel of judges awarded four $25,000 grand prizes.
In the Software Track sponsored by CCNY alumnus Irwin Zahn, judges selected ERO, who are developing an app that allows resident electric consumers to earn money by participating in energy-savings events.
In the Kaylie Hardware track sponsored by CCNY alumnus Harvey Kaylie, judges selected WindReader, who are building autonomous drones to make affordable and reliable atmospheric measurements.
In the Social Impact track sponsored by CCNY alumnus Irwin Zahn, judges selected Productify, an app to help individuals with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder be more productive.
In the Standard Chartered Women+Tech track, part of a long-standing partnership with Standard Chartered to support greater gender diversity in the technology sector, judges selected Organovis, whose team’s innovative approach to drug testing aims to revolutionize the future of drug testing by making it more accurate, ethical, and affordable.
Other finalists winning $5,000 include SpotLight who seek to provide care management services to low-vision communities, ReH who are developing a new device to aid recovery of patients who have undergone total-knee replacement surgeries, Carefam who are creating an online community and training programs to help first-time millennial caregivers, and The Study Space who are developing an AI-powered platform to connect tutors with students.
Finally, Audience Choice awards were determined by tallying votes from more than 130 campus community members who previewed the teams products and services at an expo event held on campus in challenging weather conditions. Three Audience Choice awards, powered by Blackstone LaunchPad, worth $1,000 each went to WindReader, Productify, and ERO. An additional Audience Choice award powered by the Standard Chartered went to CyberTEch, an online platform providing access to careers in cybersecurity.
Demo Day judges included: Peter Zahn, a foundation leader and policy enthusiast, Tanaka Mawindi, an Investment Associate at Techstars, Emily Susskind, an angel investor, Faisal Farooq, a CCNY alumnus and Senior Startup Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services, Art Brody, a CCNY alumnus and networking and telecommunications consultant, Matthew Washington, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Phipps Houses, Daria Seigel, Vice President, Initiatives at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Dayanna Torres a consultant with experience in economic development, talent pipeline solutions, and entrepreneurship.
Final Pitch judges included: Caitlin Behrens, Chief Operating Officer, Americas at Standard Chartered; Kim Wales, Chief Executive Officer, CrowdBureau Corp.; and Diana Guzman, Director, Treasury at Booking Holdings.