Student

Startup Sprint Teams: Where Are They Now?

The next Startup Sprint is coming up in January ‘19. This two week long startup accelerator program offers NYU startups funding, mentorship and training, but the experience from past participants goes way beyond these benefits:

“We only had a handful of customers when we joined J-Sprint and, to be honest, not much of a game plan about how to build the business beyond our prototype. J-Sprint helped us build a foundation for our business, one that was key to winning major startup competitions (over $110K non-dilutive to date) and growing our customer base organically. We rely on something we learned during the J-Sprint each and every week; it was an invaluable part of our growth. Wish we could do it again (minus the lack of sleep)!” Britt Martin (GSAS’ 18), Co-Founder of Food Period

These startup teams were in your shoes one year ago. Since participating in the 2018 January and Summer Sprints, teams have won the 300K Entrepreneurs Challenge, InnoVention Challenge, and TigerLaunch entrepreneurship competition, while 12 teams participated in either the NYU Summer Launchpad and/or Stern Venture Fellows summer 2018 program. Collectively teams have gone on to raise over $1 Million in competition funding, grants and private capital, AND the teams are earning over $800,000 in annual revenue!

Read more about the experiences of past Startup Sprint teams below!

BallotBox: Sebastian Jimenez (Stern & CAS '18), Vanessa Chesnut (GLS '18), Tomasz Bachosz (Abu Dhabi '19)

Who they are: BallotBox is creating an all-in-one community management software for grassroots organizers and political campaigns. Their first product is an application that helps teams who do canvassing convert signups into activated customers.

Their sprint experience: The Summer Sprint was instrumental in getting us into the habit of talking to customers before we designed anything. This is a practice that we continue to do today, and it is virtually the most important part of our business. We would not have built our software and have a growing business if we did not get good at doing that.

Where are they now: We are making over $2,000 monthly recurring revenue, have 5 paying clients who are big non-profits and businesses and 4 others in their free trials.Some of our clients include rising Silicon Valley giants like Getaround and big non-profits like Dominicanos USA. We are taking the feedback from these initial customers to continue developing the product, and translating them into larger annual contracts. 

Participated in: Startup Bootcamp, Summer Startup Sprint ‘18, Summer Launchpad ‘18

 

Emcee Invest: Arash Asady (Stern ‘18), Ryan Gary (Courant ‘18), Colin Kuntz, Matt Cheek

Who they are: An app that connects experienced investors with inexperienced millennial investors seeking guidance.

Their sprint experience: J-Sprint pushed us to practice customer discovery at a high tempo with daily result oriented deliverables that laid the foundation for our go to market strategies.

Where are they now: Emcee is releasing their public beta to thousands of waitlisters on October 30th when they announce their partnership with portfolioswithpurpose.org at their launch party.

Participated in: J-Term Startup Sprint ‘18, Stern Venture Fellows ‘18

 

Food Period: Britt Martin (GSAS ‘18), Jenn Kim

Who they are: All-natural food products packed with endocrine supportive nutrients that can naturally improve menstrual symptoms.

Their sprint experience: We only had a handful of customers when we joined J-Sprint and, to be honest, not much of a game plan about how to build the business beyond our prototype. J-Sprint helped us build a foundation for our business, one that was key to winning major startup competitions (over $110K non-dilutive to date) and growing our customer base organically. We rely on something we learned or someone we met during the J-Sprinteach and every week; it was an invaluable part of our growth. Wish we could do it again (minus the lack of sleep)!

Where are they now: With over 125 recurring monthly customers, we’ve moved into our own office space, hired a team and are gearing up for our next phase of growth!

Participated in: J-Term Startup Sprint ‘18, Prototyping Fund Phase II, ‘18, Ignite Fellowship ‘17-’18, 300K Entrepreneurs Challenge Winner ‘18, Summer Launchpad ‘18

 

Govern for America: Kyleigh Russ (Wagner '19), Octavia Abell

Who they are: Govern for America is closing the talent gap in state government by building a pipeline of young leaders to fill key roles through a two year fellowship.

Their sprint experience: The summer sprint helped them to conduct the necessary customer discovery to hone their recruiting message and reach their target customer population.

Where are they now: Govern for America is currently recruiting the 2019 class for our inaugural fellowship, has received 500 pre-applications since our application launch in August, and has over 100 recruiting partners across the country. In the past two weeks, GfA launched a crowdfunding campaign and has more than doubled our fundraising pledges.

Participated in: Startup Bootcamp, Summer Startup Sprint ‘18, Summer Launchpad ‘18

 

MotiVote: Jessica Riegel (Wagner '18), Emily Graham (Wagner '18), Rachel Konowitz (Wagner '18)

Who they are: Motivote is the peer-to-peer social accountability platform that uses behavioral economics to bridge the gap between intending to vote and actually doing it.

Their sprint experience: Prior to J-Sprint, our thinking and strategy was framed around solving a pressing social issue: Low youth voter turnout. The J-Sprint experience flipped that completely. We realized that if we weren’t alleviating individual pains, we weren’t offering any value to our customers. The focus on customer discovery helped us rework our value proposition and take a bottom-up approach to solving youth voter turnout, rather than a top-down approach.

Where are they now: With a presence in over 20 states and multiple playing customers, MotiVote will onboard 10,000 users for the 2018 midterm elections.

Participated in: J-Term Startup Sprint ‘18, Ignite Fellowship ’18, Summer Launchpad ‘18

 

Pepper: Lia Winograd (Stern ‘19), Jaclyn Fu

Who they are: Pepper is a company that creates the best fitting bras for small-chested women, that finally eliminates awkward cup gabs and negative body standards by designing for small-busted (A-cup) women rather than the industry’s average size (C-cup). As a company, Pepper is championing the body positivity movement for small-chested women.

Their sprint experience: The summer sprint helped us to craft a repeatable process to integrate customer feedback into our product development plan.

Where are they now: After launching a successful Kickstarter in 2017, Pepper is now fully up and running operationally with predictable organic, month-over-month growth.

Participated in: Ignite Fellowship ‘17-’18, Summer Startup Sprint ‘18, Stern Venture Fellows ‘18

 

Sunthetics: Myriam Sbeiti (Tandon '18), Daniela Blanco (Tandon '21)

Who they are: Sunthetics drives sustainable change in the fashion industry by providing a solar-powered pathway to manufacture environmentally-friendly nylon, while improving manufacturing cost and efficiency.

Their sprint experience: J-Sprint was our first real business and startup experience and taught us all the essential foundations we needed to get to where we are, from the Business Model Canvas to customer discovery.

Where are they now: In order to move forward with sales, Sunthetics is currently developing a larger reactor to prove our technology out at industrial scales. Last week we also won the University Startup World Cup!

Participated in: J-Term Startup Sprint ‘18, Ignite Fellowship ’18, Summer Launchpad ‘18, 300K Entrepreneurs Challenge Winner ‘18, InnoVention Winner ‘18

 

Now it's your turn to lace up your shoes for a Startup Sprint. The deadline to submit your application for the January Startup Sprint is Friday, November 16th, 2018 at 5 p.m. RSVP to attend a mandatory info session to learn more. We look forward to meeting you and to reviewing your applications!