SOURCE: MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge

MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge

December 02, 2013 10:00 ET

ecoVent Takes First Prize at Crimson on Cardinal Startup Throwdown

Earns Most Votes From Standing-Room-Only Crowd for MIT and Harvard Student-Run Businesses

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - Dec 2, 2013) - Aspiring entrepreneurs from MIT using wireless technology to change how we heat and cool our homes earned the nod as most promising startup to present during the first-ever Crimson on Cardinal Startup Throwdown. Curated by MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Innovation Series, the event was hosted at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) on November 21.

Fueled by friendly competition, the pitch-off featured a trio of Harvard Crimson and MIT Cardinal teams, all focused on making people feel happier, healthier, wealthier or wiser. Represented by its chief executive officer, Dipul Patel, ecoVent took first place by holding off strong challenges from runner-up MIT's Mélange and its custom cosmetics machine for salons as well as Harvard's Six Foods, which earned third place for its insect-based foods. Rounding out the field of competing startups were Kartis, Revivo Energy Chews and SQ Technologies.  

Helping to raise visibility for the tremendous creativity and innovation that defines student entrepreneurs from both schools and the region as a whole, the event provided teams with an opportunity to make 5 minute pitches to more than 125 potential investors, mentors, employees, partners and reporters, among other important contacts. Upon completion of the presentations, the audience then cast its votes.

Sponsoring law firm Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton generously awarded ecoVent with $10,000 in legal services, and another $7,500 to Mélange as runner-up. Six Foods earned a coveted lunch with Scott Kirsner, one of the region's most influential media personalities covering innovation and entrepreneurism.

Prior to the pitches, Kirsner moderated a fireside chat with a pair of entrepreneurs, who shared real-world stories and provided advice based on their own experiences. Panelists included: Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, founder and former chairman and CEO of next-generation lithium-ion battery company Boston-Power; and Paris Wallace, president and CEO with consumer health company Ovuline. 

More than 25 student-run startups submitted applications to participate, some with team members from both MIT and Harvard. Linda Plano, founder of Plano & Simple, graciously donated her services to help the six finalist teams prepare for their pitches. A member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Board of Directors, Plano has helped more than 600 entrepreneurs fine-tune pitches that enabled them to raise more than $250 million in funding.

About The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge

The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge is the founding chapter and 1 of 27 worldwide chapters comprising the MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. Offering more than 40 programs and events annually that inspire innovation, MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge initiatives facilitate critical one-on-one mentoring while providing team services that increase the skills and expertise necessary for entrepreneurs to succeed.

About the Harvard Innovation Lab

Launched in November 2011, the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) serves as a resource for students from across Harvard interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. The programming offered by the i-lab is designed to help students grow their ventures at any stage of development and covers a wide range of disciplines.

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