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Competitions, Awards & Prizes

Draper logo

The annual Draper Competition is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need to advance through the process from idea to venture creation. Through three rounds of competition, students demonstrate an understanding of a problem, why the problem requires a new venture to address it, how their idea presents the best solution to the problem, and what resources, partnerships and activities it takes to successfully launch the venture.

Judging Panel
Melissa Parker Draper '77, Tim Draper, Jesse Draper, Mona Sinha '88, Tim Rowe and Dawanna Williams '90

First Place: ImmunoGo, Emily Morris '19 (Smith College)
$10,000 + $10,000 scholarship to Draper University

Emily Morris '19, ImmunoGo

Second Place: The Ekari Book Series, Pricilla Semphere '18 (Smith College)
$7,500 + $7,500 scholarship to Draper University

Priscilla Semphere '18, The Ekari Book Series

Third Place (tied): Sugaway, Danya Abutaleb '19 (University of Virginia)
$2,500 + $2,500 scholarship to Draper University

Danya Abutalev, Sugaway


Third Place (tied): Vescenece, Kiran Meghani '17 & Arsheen Menon '17 (University of Houston)
$2,500 + $2,500 scholarship to Draper University

Kiran Meghani, Vescence

Audience FavoriteSanitary Solutions, Sarah Price '18 & Katie Christensen '19 (Smith College)

 Sarah Price '18, Sanitary Solutions

Best App: ReBike, Nouhaila Norredine '20, Elaona Lemoto '20 & Amnei Zhi '20 (Smith College)

Best App


Conway Center Five College Prizes:

  1. Tiwale, Ellen Chilemba (Mount Holyoke);
  2. Travel Unicorn, Carly Forcade (Mount Holyoke) & MejiH2O, Rebecca Onyango (Mount Holyoke)
  3. We've Met, Molly Palmer (UMass - Amherst)

House Prizes: Tenney House - 72% of house members present; Park House - Most Attendees

Elevator Pitch Contest

90 SECONDS—the approximate time an investor gives you to convince them to take things to the next step where they can learn more about you and your idea. This is all the time students have to present business, product or service ideas to their peers, local entrepreneurs and a panel of judges. No props, just one 3x5 index card, 90 seconds, a great pitch and an even better idea! The winning pitch receives $100 and the right to represent Smith College at a regional competition in the spring, at which the first place is $1,000! Join us for dinner, some great ideas and a guaranteed evening of fun.

The 16th annual Elevator Pitch Contest, held in November 2017, featured Smith students vying for the opportunity to represent Smith at the regional collegiate competition in April. Three prizes were awarded:

Most Viable Venture Prize: $500
Katharina Geppert '19 and Rachel LaFlamme '20, Survival of the Fitted



Grinspoon Pitch Prize Prize: $300 + Representing Smith at Regional Competition
Jacqui Ritchie-Dunham '18, FitYes



Professional Pitch Awards 
Anmei Zhi '20 and Nouhaila Norredine '20, Rebike
Elizabeth Boahen '20, SchedulRing


Anmei and Elizabeth


Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards

Grinspoon logo

Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative recognizes collegians who demonstrate what philanthropist and successful entrepreneur Harold Grinspoon refers to as "the entrepreneurial spirit” with monetary awards.

Apply here for a 2018 Spirit Award

"The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation supports the Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) to foster entrepreneurship education among participating colleges and universities in the region." Each year the foundation provides each particpating school with $2,500 to distribute amongst students who demonstrate an entrepreneurial passion. This year the EI advisors awarded one spirit award and four concept awards to Smith students.

Spirit Award
Julia Franchi Scarselli '18, founder of Libellula
Libellula connects customers in search of truly pure extra virgin olive oil with growers in Sabina, Italy. Libellula's adopt-a-tree approach is designed both to establish a profitable solution to the dying practice of family olive oil cultivation and to create a successful new business model that respects and protects the historic countryside.

Concept Awards

  • Natasha Jadavji '17, founder of Ask Betti
    Using an interactive AI tool, Ask Betti’s mission is to offer customers personalized beauty tutorials and tips, and provide samples of organic & cruelty-free beauty products suited for you.
  • Kelly Pien '20, Ji Won Chung '18, Subashini Sridhar '18J, Justine Yun '18, founders of Qline
    QLine is a simple and intuitive organizational tool to improve the efficiency of office hours. On QLine’s website and app, professors and TAs can create a digital queue line for their office hours.
  • Vivian Wang '19 & Khimberly Zhang '19, founders of MedAhead
    A smartphone app that combines healthcare scheduling and budgeting. The application will remind users of upcoming appointments, while simultaneously saving small amounts of money specifically reserved for healthcare expenses.
  • Christine Yee '17, founder of Word Wall
    An app that turns your phone into a convenient, effort-less language-learning tool. The phone’s lock screen wallpaper changes automatically with a new word of the day to aid in a user’s language learning experience.


A fun food-filled day for students to work on potential solutions to needs/problems. The day features an Idea Jam, team formation and preliminary idea/venture development. Materials are available for teams to prototype their ideas (create a Minimum Viable Product). Teams must also craft a two-minute business pitch.

Smith Prize in Entrepreneurship

The Conway Center sponsors monetary prizes in entrepreneurship open only to currently enrolled Smith students. Students are judged on the viability of the venture and the quality of their presentations. Winners are determined by combining scores from a written application and pitch to local business owners and investors.

2018 Prize List

  • Best Overall Venture: $2,500
  • Best STEAM Venture: $1,500
  • Best Sustainability Venture: $1,500
  • Best Social Venture: $1,500
  • Best Trade Show Exhibit: $1,000
  • The Atrevida* Prize for Best Pitch: $1,000
  • Brodsky Prize for Engineering Entrepreneurship: $1,000

Note: Judges for the Smith Prize in Entrepreneurship are not affiliated with the Draper Competition. Winning a Smith Prize in Entrepreneurship has no bearing on a Smith team’s status in the Draper Competition.

Best Pitch
Shesabelle Chandeliers, Isabelle Hodge '20
Revolutionary backer based earring accessories that combine the decorative part of hanging earrings with earring backers that can be paired with any post earring.

Sustainability Award
Rebike, Anmei Zhi '20, Elaona Lemoto '20, Nouhaila Norredine '20
ReBike connects students with bikes they rarely use to students who need bikes for easy short-term transportation. It is Uber for bikes.

General Award
Malako, Hilda Nalwanga '18
Enables Ugandans to access solar power during times of irregular income, while helping solar companies to better deal with late payments. Our mission is to provide accessible and affordable consumer credit that fits the lifestyles of low-income earners.

STEAM Award (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics):
Ask Betti, Natasha Jadavji '17
Using an interactive AI tool, Ask Betti’s mission is to offer customers personalized beauty tutorials and tips, and provide samples of organic & cruelty-free beauty products suited for you.

ImmunoGo, Emily Morris '19
The Yelp! for antibodies. Research institutions can find and rate commercial antibodies with ImmunoGo, saving time and money on potentially redundant validation studies.

Brodsky Prize for Engineering Entrepreneurship
Survival of the Fitted, Claire Kerper '18, Hannah Mathews '19, Katharina Geppert '19, Rachel LaFlamme '20
Love to buy clothes online? We take the guesswork out of sizing. SOTF provides automatic size conversions across a variety of clothing brands and gives users personalized sizing suggestions based on their unique body shape and size.