UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge Awards $65,000 to Student, Alumni Entrepreneurs

Ten UMass Amherst students and recent graduates will share $65,000 in equity-free funding to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors, thanks to the 2023 Innovation Challenge hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship in the Isenberg School of Management. The center’s premiere pitch event aims to launch novel ideas into scalable, impactful ventures.

The students and Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) represented five teams in the finals of the two-part competition, held in Old Chapel and remotely via livestream from the Mount Ida campus in Newton on May 3. Friends and alumni cheered on the teams in the competition hosted by Gregory Thomas, the Berthiaume Center’s executive director and a lecturer at the Isenberg School of Management.

Computer science and marketing dual major Juliano Wahab ’23 and computer science major Alex Rohrberg ’23 earned $41,000 in equity-free funding for developing Monet. The online platform, which connects artists with art lovers worldwide, was inspired by the mission to support artists by providing a platform to collaborate and connect with potential buyers and monetize their art.

IRON garnered $21,000 in equity-free funding. The brainchild of marketing majors Elijah Mishkind ’21 and Kyle Collins ’19, IRON is an app for the gym, empowering users with frictionless workout tracking and discovery though an addictive user interface.

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