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for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.

Contests, Awards & Prizes

Draper logo

The annual Draper Competition is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need to advance 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.

VISIT THE COMPETITION SITE

2019 DRAPER COMPETITION WINNERS

Grand Prize Winner - $25,000

Locker Lifestyle - Product Track #1
Katarina Samardzija '19, Grand Valley State University

Additional prizes: $10,000 scholarship to Draper University plus 2-day, all expenses paid trip to Tampa, FL for 2 sponsored by Embarc Collective and in-kind prizes from Hubspot for Startups, IndieDoGood and Shoobx

Track Winners - $10,000

  • KnoNap, Danya Sherman '19, George Washington University
  • Early Intervention Systems, Nathalya Ramirez '19, George Washington University
  • Tongo Wata, Hawa Tarawally AC'21, Smith College
  • LOU, Rachel Pardue '19, Babson College

Each of these teams will also receive a $5,000 scholarship to Draper University, and in-kind prizes from Hubspot for Startups, IndieDoGood and Shoobx

Runner's Up - $5,000

  • AZUZA Beverage (Cal State Polytechnic)
  • PainterPrinter (Hampshire College)
  • Afra Cafe (Smith College)
  • Strides (Oklahoma State University)
  • Prolitfic (University of Texas, Austin)

Each of these teams will also receive a $2,000 scholarship to Draper University

Honorable Mentions - $1,500

  • Raspberry Farm (Illinois Institute of Tech)
  • Neurochi Meditation (University of Idaho)
  • Spark (Smith College)
  • Informer (University of Oregon)
  • VELV (University of New Hampshire)

Fan Favorites - $500

  • Machai (Smith College)
  • Tress It Up (Smith College)
  • CulFood (Mount Holyoke College)
  • Tongo Wata (Smith College)
  • UniSell (Smith College)

Special Prizes

  • Western Mass Innovation Jam Prize ($500): Blink Tek (Western New England University)
  • Conway Center 5College Prize - 1st Place ($1,000): Let's Talk About It (UMass Amherst)
  • Conway Center 5College Prize - 2nd Place ($750): Willow Denim (Mount Holyoke College)
  • Conway Center 5College Prize - 3rd Place ($500): MassBoard (UMass Amherst)

2018 Draper Judges

2018 Judging Panel (l to r): Dawanna Williams '90, Mona Sinha '88, Kathleen Curley '72, Dr. Alan Robinson, Debby Farrington '72, Tim Draper and Melissa Parker Draper '77

 

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT - The 2018 Draper Competition was held on a snowy Friday, April 6. The competing teams so impressed this year's judges that the competition sponsors -- Melissa and Tim Draper -- announced that the prize money awarded to the top 3 teams would be DOUBLED! In addition, all of the finalist teams were awarded $3,000 scholarships to Draper University.

Thank you to all of the members of the 2018 Selection Committee, faculty, staff and alumnae mentors at Smith College, faculty and staff mentors to all visiting teams, 2018 Draper Competition Planning Committee, CiEC Interns, and all the members of the Smith Community who made this year's event possible!

Of course, congratulations and good luck to all the student founders as they continue to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

See you in April 2019!


2018 DRAPER COMPETITION WINNERS

2018 Draper Competition - First Place

First Place - $20,000 + $10,000 scholarship to Draper University
Busy Beauty
Jamie Steenbakkers '18 and Michael Leahy '18 (not pictured), Babson College


2018 Draper Competition - Second Place

Second Place - $15,000 + scholarship to Draper University
The Forever Shower
Maria Horta Vorse '18, Alex Boatman '19 (not pictured) and Edward Hall '19 (not pictured), University of Idaho


2018 Draper Competition - Third Place

Third Place - $10,000 + scholarship to Draper University
ReBike
Anmei Zhi '20, Nouhaila Norredine '20 and Elaona Lemoto '20, Smith College


2018 Finalists - $500

Alz You Need, Leda Rosenthal '18 (Colgate University)
Fida, Zoleka Mosiah '19 (Smith College)
HF Magnet, Samatha Farley '18 (West Virginia University)
Spin, Oumayma Koulouh '19 (Smith College)
Survival of the Fitted, Rachel Laflamme '20 (Smith College)
Therapalz, Fiona Kalensky '18 (University of Illinois)
Zapp Technology, Giovanna Jimenez '18 (University of Houston)


SPECIAL PRIZE WINNERS

2018 Draper Competition - Fan Favorite

Fan Favorite - $1,000
The Lunch Buddy
Hannah Kelsey '20, Vivian Nelson '20, Haley Markos '20 and Frances Duncan '20, Smith College


2018 Draper Competition - Best App

Best App - $1,000
Hurdit
Brianna Moore '18 and Leigh Miller '18 (not pictured), Smith College


Conway Center Five-College Prizes

CIEC 5-College Prize Winner

First Place - $1,000
Duo Display - Kate Meacham '20 (Mount Holyoke College), Alessandra Massa '19 (Mount Holyoke College, not pictured) and Bryce Paquette '18 (Western New England University)

CIEC 5-College Prize Winner

Second Place - $750
Anchor - Romina Gupta '20 (Mount Holyoke College) and Abhinav Karthikeyan '20 (Boston College, not pictured)

CIEC 5-College Prize Winner

Third Place - $500
Painter Printer - Darleane Torres '21 (Hampshire College) and Joseph Mendoza '21 (Clarkson University)

 


Elevator Pitch Contest

90 SECONDS—is all the time students have to present business, product or service ideas to their peers, local entrepreneurs and a panel of judges. Contestants may use one 3x5 index card; no props allowed.

The 18th annual Elevator Pitch Contest, held on November 18, 2019, featured promising Smith students vying for the opportunity to represent Smith at the regional collegiate competition in April. The following 4 ideas were awarded monetary prizes:

Top Pitch ($400):
Claire Rand '20, audiolearning.com

Claire Rand '20

 

Runners Up ($200 each):
Eseza Kironde '20, KISA and Kelly Pien '20, Eliza

Eseza Kironde '20

Kelly Pien '20

 

Grinspoon Prize ($200):
Elise Snoey '20 and Tani Somolu '20, Walkshare
Elise and Tani will represent Smith at the regional collegiate pitch competition sponsored by the Grinspoon Foundation in April 2020.

Elise Snoey '20

The 17th annual Elevator Pitch Contest, held on November 26, 2018, featured 13 brave students vying for the opportunity to represent Smith at the regional collegiate competition in April. The following 5 ideas were awarded monetary prizes:

  • Best Ask - $100
    Isabelle Hodge '20 (Sociology), MarketSpace

    Isabelle Hodge '20 (Sociology), MarketSpace

    (judges - l to r: Deborah Wijnhoven, Lazarus Center for Career Development; Susannah Howe, Engineering Design Clinic Director; and Rick Plaut, CIEC Entrepreneur-in-Residence)
     
  • Best "Green World" Ideas - $150 (each)
    Madeline Turner '21, Sprout
    Phoebe Little '20 (Government), Ugly Smoothies
    Madeline Turner '21, Sprout Phoebe Little '20 (Government), Ugly Smoothies

     
  • Biggest Impact Idea - $200
    Zoleka Mosiah '20 (Engineering), Afrobotics
    Zoleka Mosiah '20 (Engineering), Afrobotics

     
  • Best Pitch - $400
    Kelly Pien '20 (Economics), Safety Sister

    Kelly Pien '20 (Economics), Safety Sister
    Kelly will represent Smith at the regional collegiate pitch competition sponsored by the Grinspoon Foundation in April.

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

 

First


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

 

Jacqui


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

 

Anmei and Elizabeth

 


Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards

Grinspoon logo

The Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) recognizes collegians who demonstrate what philanthropist and successful entrepreneur Harold Grinspoon refers to as "the entrepreneurial spirit." The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation supports the EI by fostering entrepreneurship education among participating colleges and universities in the region. Each year the Foundation provides participating schools with a pool of funds to distribute amongst students who demonstrate an entrepreneurial passion.

Spring 2021: Grinspoon Spirit Awards

Students may self-nominate to receive an award in recognition of their entrepreneurial spirit. Awards are given to students at both the idea and revenue-generating phases.

2021 SELF-NOMINATION FORM (not yet available)

 

2019 GRINSPOON AWARDEES

This year the EI advisors, Susannah Howe and René Heavlow, awarded one spirit award and four concept awards to Smith students.


Spirit Award

Afra Cafe
Basira Daqiq '21 (Engineering)
Simin Saba Royesh '21J (Education & Child Study)


Concept Awards

  • Afrobotics
    Zoleka Mosiah '20 (Engineering)
     
  • Soul Doula
    Caitlin Sutherland '20 (Sociology)
     
  • We Story Tell
    Mirella Hernandez '19 (Statistical and Data Science)
    Dulce Ixcoy '19 (Government)
    Anna Quintanilla '19 (French Studies and Computer Science)
     
  • WikiConnects
    Wiktoria Leks '19 (Biochemistry)

2018 GRINSPOON AWARDEES

This year the EI advisors, Susannah Howe and René Heavlow, awarded one spirit award and three concept awards to Smith students.


Spirit Award

Survival of the Fitted
Katharina Geppert '19 (Sociology)
Rachel LaFlamme '20 (Statistical and Data Science)


Concept Awards

  • Chic
    Farida Sabry '18 (Economics)
    Leen Ajlouni '18 (Economics)
    Neamat Sabry '21 (Computer Science)
     
  • Kinsfolk
    Kitty Chen '21 (Economics)
     
  • Baylasan
    Reem Ladadwa '18 (Art)
    Darpan Bohara '18 (Economics)

Shark Tank

Smith teams who have been selected to move on to the second round of the Draper Competition have an opportunity to perfect their pitches. Each team leader has 90 seconds to pitch to a room of mentors. Teams then receive feedback on ways to improve the content and quality of their presentation from the mentors.

First Place: $500 
Survival of the Fitted
Rachel LaFlamme ’20 and Katharina Geppert ’19

Second Place: $300
Spark
Jane Lee ’19 and Cara Flores ’20

Third Place: $200 
Tie

Tress it Up
Roli Dema ’21 and Desiri Dema ’21

UniSell
Joyce Huang ’22, Vivian Ma ’22 and Gin Chen ’22

 

Gold winners - $250/team

EcoImpact Tracker: Dayln Gillentine '21

FitYes: Jacqueline Ritchie-Dunham '18, Maxine Ainetchi '18, Sasha Kolomatsky '18 and Julie Kim '19

Survival of the Fitted: Rachel Laflamme '20 and Katharina Geppert '19

 

Silver winners - $150/team

Baylasan: Reem Ladadwa '18 and Darpan Bohara '18

CommUNIcate: Andrea Olivera '19J, Jakqueline Granillo '19 and Janeth Mora-Martinez '21

Marginalia Podcast: Temar France AC'18


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.

Prize List

  • Best Overall Venture: $2,500
  • Best S.T.E.A.M. 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

* Atrevida means "bold or fierce."

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 - $1,000

Spark
Jane Lee '19 and Cara Flores '20
an online subscription database that connects and highlights creatives of color in the media, advertising and marketing worlds

Best Trade Sow Exhibit - $1,000

Tongo Wata
Hawa Tarawally AC'21
seeks to eliminate the consumption of contaminated water and improveaccess to clean water in villages in Sierra Leone

Brodsky Prize for Engineering Entrepreneurship - $1,000

Afrobotics
Zoleka Mosiah '20
aims to use emerging technologies to improve agricultural practices in South Africa and use its revenue to support technical after-school programs for local children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds

Best Social Impact Venture - $1,500

Tongo Wata
Hawa Tarawally AC'21
seeks to eliminate the consumption of contaminated water and improveaccess to clean water in villages in Sierra Leone

Best S.T.E.A.M Venture - $1,500

Soul Doula
Caitlin Sutherland '20
uses new technologies to address some of the pre-and post-birth complications faced by all Black women 

Best Sustainability Venture - $1,500

UniSell
Joyce Huang '22, Vivian Ma '22 and Jingyu (Gin) Chen '22
a mobile app that provides an efficient, organized, and sustainable system where college students can sell unwanted goods at affordable prices

Best Overall Venture- $2,500

Tress It Up
Roli Dema '21 and Desiri Dema '21
a fun and affordable wig company that empowers college women with the ability to increase their confidence, versatility while tackling their busy lifestyles in style

On Saturday, March 31, the Conway Center held the third annual Smith Prize in Entrepreneurship (2-5p, Davis Ballroom). 16 Smith teams showcased their ventures to mix of faculty and staff mentord. Teams also pitched their business to a panel of judges: Maggie Liu (Economics), Borjana Mikic (Engineering) and Anika Penn '99 (cofounder, Frontier Health). Following is the list of prize winners*:

Best Overall Venture - $2,500

Baylasan: Reem Ladadwa '18 and Darpan Bohara '18

 

Best Social Venture - $1,500

Borderless: Joanna Okondo '18

 

Best S.T.E.A.M Venture - $1,500

Survival of the Fitted: Rachel Laflamme '20 and Katharina Geppert '19

 

Best Sustainability Venture - $1,500
ReBike: Anmei Zhi '20, Nouhaila Norredine '20 and Elaona Lemoto '20

 

Best Trade Show Exhibit - $1,000

Baylasan: Reem Ladadwa '18 and Darpan Bohara '18

 

The Altrevida Prize for Best Pitch - $1,000

Chic: Farida Sabry '18, Leen Ajlouni '18 and Neamat Sabry '21

 

The Brodsky Prize for Engineering Entrepreneurship - $1,000

The Lunch Buddy: Hannah Kelsey '20, Vivian Nelson '20, Haley Markos '20, and Frances Duncan '20

 

*winning a S.P.I.E. prize has no bearing on a team's standing in the Draper Competition.


Western Mass Innovation Jam

The Western Mass Innovation Jam will let you put your design thinking strategies to use in developing innovative ideas for a product/service/experience. Not familiar with design thinking? Join us anyway and we'll introduce you to the first step in generating an idea, determining your idea's potential value, and get you started on your journey to turning your idea into reality.