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Each semester, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and the NYU Innovation Venture Fund host two VC Pitchfests - one focused on IT/Consumer Ventures and the other focused on Deep Tech/Life Science Ventures. These events are a unique opportunity for NYU student and faculty entrepreneurs to present their startups and innovations to Venture Capital investors, fellow NYU entrepreneurs, and the wider startup community in a friendly competition. For each event a select group of startup teams are to pitch in front of real venture capital investors to get unfiltered feedback on their pitch, and candid advice.
The following teams were selected to pitch at the VC Pitchfest (IT/Consumer Edition) on Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:30 - 7:30pm ET via Zoom:
- Arium: Aidan Nelson (Tisch ‘19), Dan Oved (Tisch ‘19)
- Edgi Learning: Tinsley Maier (Gallatin '20), Josh Shapiro (Steinhardt)
- Visura: Adriana Teresa Letorney (GSAS '21), Graham Letorney
- Frich: Aleksandra Medina (Abu Dhabi ‘21), Katrin Kaurov
Here’s what happened.
The IT/Consumer VC Pitchfest on September 22nd saw 4 teams pitch. All four teams had been actively participating in programs at The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute over the last several months and making significant progress.
First up was Arium: Co-founded by Aiden Nelson (Tisch ‘19) and Dan Oved (Tisch ‘19), Arium creates engaging 3D virtual art exhibitions to bring story and context to artwork and connect with the community in a shared social experience wherever you are in the world. Arium participated in NYU Summer Launchpad ‘21.
Next up was Visura: Co-founded by Adriana Letorney (GSAS '21) and Graham Letorney, Visura is a new market network for publishers to discover freelance visual journalists ready to get hired and license their work. Currently, the platform offers freelance visual journalists worldwide access to tools to build websites, share exclusive content, and connect with a global marketplace of visual content buyers (publications, newsrooms, magazines, brands, and nonprofit organizations) looking to hire and license work. The database includes 6000 members from over 107 countries, including photo editors from the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, and National Geographic Magazine. Visura participated in NYU Summer Launchpad ‘21 and Adriana Letorney is an NYU Female Founders Fellow.
Third up was Edgi: Co-founded by Tinsley Maier (Gallatin '20), and Josh Shapiro (Steinhardt faculty), Edgi brings together high school students to explore relevant concepts as varied as artificial intelligence, financial literacy, gender & sexuality, CRISPR gene editing, the ethics of capitalism, and more, enabling students to have agency over their learning with student-led discussions & open dialogue through its online live learning platform. Tinsley Maier is an NYU Female Founders Fellow.
And last to pitch was Frich: Co-founded by Aleksandra Medina (Abu Dhabi ‘21) and Katrin Kaurov, Frich has launched a mobile application that helps students set spending goals together with friends and keep each other accountable through challenges. If you’re curious, you can download the Frich app here. Frich won the 2021 NYU-Yale Summer Accelerator Pitchoff, participated in NYU Summer Launchpad ‘21 and Aleksandra Medina is an NYU Female Founders Fellow.
The panel of venture investors evaluating the pitches included Austin Clements (Stern ‘13), Managing Partner at Slauson&Co, Victoria Grace, Founding Partner at Colle Capital, and Hillary Bush (Stern ‘22) representing Dorm Room Fund. All four teams showed a deep understanding of their market and real traction and received detailed feedback on their pitch.
While the judges deliberated, the audience had the chance to vote for their favorite pitch of the night and chose:
- Audience Choice Award: Frich!
After deliberating for about 20 minutes, the judges returned and announced the following winners:
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the judges who participated!
If you have a business that you’ve been building that you would like to be seen by the venture community here at NYU, let us know by signing up for a coaching appointment. We’d love to hear about what you’ve been working on!