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Competitions, Awards & Prizes

The annual Draper Business Plan 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.

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 15th annual Elevator Pitch Contest, held in December 2016, featured 12 Smith students vying for the opportunity to represent Smith at the regional collegiate competition in April. Two prizes were awarded:

First Place: $100
Zoleka Mosiah '20, Swift
A mobile app that promotes and helps facilitate budgeting and saving aimed at South African youth.


First Runner-Up: Google VR Goggles 
Isabelle Hodge '20, Shesabelle Chandeliears


Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards

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

"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.

Start-a-Thon

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.

Conway Center Start-a-thon 2016 first place winners

1st Place: Prize—$100 of Northampton Bucks per team member
Team members (left to right): Ramlah Ahmad '20, Elizabeth Boahen '20, Zhenyao Cai '19, Emelyn Chiang '20

"Happy Book" was an idea for a product that would allow kids to show support for their friends who are struggling with depression by sending them motivational messages. This team had great energy and delivered a fun and engaging pitch at the end of the day.


Conway Center Start-a-thon 2016 second place winners

2nd Place: Prize—Wireless earbuds for each team member
Team members (left to right): Anmei Zhi '20; guest member: Kenyatta Heavlow, JFK Middle School; Elaona Lemoto '20; Nouhaila Norredine '20

"Kwik Kids" is an idea for tackling the problem of safe transportation for kids by creating a special subway car for children and their teachers to ride in during school commuting hours.


Conway Center Start-a-thon 2016 third place winners

3rd Place: Prize—$50 Amazon gift card for each team member
Team members (left to right): Lizzie Sturtevant '18 and Oumayma Koulouh '18

"TrackMe" is an app for smarter scheduling aimed to help students with medical challenges keep track of their condition while minimizing the stress of managing their schedule and school work.


Smith Prize in Entrepreneurship

CIEC sponsors three monetary prizes in entrepreneurship for Smith students: Best Venture, Best Sustainable Venture, Best STEAM Venture. Winners for each $2,500 prize are determined based on a combined score from a written application and pitch to local business owners and investors. Students are judged on the viability of the venture and the quality of their presentations.

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: $1,500
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: $2,500
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: $2,500
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): $2,500 each
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: $1,000
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.