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VentureWorks Spring 2016 Kickoff

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by Alexandra Sukin

Harvard Ventures’ undergraduate accelerator VentureWorks celebrated its second cohort of startups with a sushi dinner kickoff. The eight startups selected were founded by students at Harvard College, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School and represented focuses on health foods, exercise, living costs in urban area, and more.

Startup “Welcome Home,” from law school student Daniel Wu, for example, seeks to convert and rent quality rooms at 30% discount by creating secure and soundproof bedrooms out of existing bedrooms/living rooms with a code-compliant partition system that integrates ample storage while not damaging the room. Business school student Jean Luo’s startup “Outdoor Pass” seeks to help customers discover and do outdoor activities with friends such as 5Ks and fun runs, biking, skiing, kayaking, and more. The service is defined by curated personalized recommendations, community and social referral ‘buddy pass’ features, and a delightful tech-enabled product.

At the kickoff, startups interacted and spoke about their goals for the year. As they prepare for the Intercollegiate Pitch Off, a pitch day for startups from Columbia, Brown, Northeastern, MIT, UPENN and Princeton, they will be working with VentureWorks to hone ideas, generate and refine pitch decks, and meet with mentors. Pejman Nozad from Pejman Mar, Yida Gao from New Enterprise Associates, and other VCs and startup founders will speak with the startups about the steps to success.

Co-Directors Alexandra Sukin ’19 and Benny Pleat ’17 are excited to see the startups progress during the spring. The amazing diversity of focus and background of founders is unparalleled for Harvard undergraduate accelerators, and everyone at Harvard Ventures is looking forward to an incredible showing at IPO and Harvard’s own demo day.