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Members of the NYU startup community participated in the Posicovidity Innovation Challenge this year, which was designed to empower entrepreneurs to stay positive during COVID-19 and build a better future together. The challenge awarded over $30k in non-dilutive experiential learning scholarships and corporate sponsor perks to winning startups co-founded by 2020 grads in the areas of public health, education, financial empowerment, and small business support. NYU alumni Gloria Li (Stern ‘17) and Varun Rekhi (CAS ‘17) launched the competition with friends to encourage the Class of 2020 to not only create jobs, but develop innovative enterprises of the future. The initiative was announced in mid-May and ran through the month of August.
Of the top 5 winning teams, 4 are NYU startups! The 5th place finisher was Minder Health, a proprietary pill dispenser to prevent misuse. In 4th place was Rooted Fare, a food startup focused on working within immigrant communities. The 2nd place awardees were Qommunity, a mobile app for the LGBTQ+ community that links individuals to communities and resources. And in 1st place was Edgi Learning, an educational platform for remote learning. We caught up with some of the teams after the competition to learn about their experiences in the challenge and advice to NYU entrepreneurs. Here are a few takeaways:
- “Participating in any competition like this helps you hone the language you're using to identify the problem and articulate your solution. We realized very quickly the key to our success was getting students themselves amped about our programs, and for that we needed to find language that describes the experience without using vocabulary that has a lot of negative baggage.” - Josh Shapiro (Gallatin ‘18), Edgi Learning
- “We’ve participated in NYU Entrepreneurial Institute’s startup coaching, bootcamp programs, team hunt, and various events. They’ve helped us refine our business model more clearly and taught us the importance of customer discovery interviews. What I value the most about the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute is the staff who are experts in their fields and give honest feedback.” - Ashley Xie (Steinhardt ‘20), Rooted Fare