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Draper Competition

2019 Competition: Friday, April 5
9am — 6pm; Indoor Track and Tennis Facility


The annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs 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. In 2019, over $100,000 in cash and scholarships will be distributed.


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 - 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
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)


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
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)


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



Ventures: The competition is for new, for-profit, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. An existing business is eligible only if, as of 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2018, it has received less than $25,000 in funding and/or has earned less than $100,000 in gross revenue.

Team Member: The competition is open to any undergraduate student currently enrolled at Smith College or in a degree program at any accredited not-for-profit college or university located in the United States.

Team Leader: Each team must have at least one eligible Team Member who is also a female undergraduate at any accredited not-for-profit college or university located in the United States. The Team Leader must have played a significant role in conceiving the venture. The Team Leader must serve as the main contact for the team.

Faculty Advisor: Each team must provide contact information for a faculty adviser at their school. Faculty advisers are welcomed but not required to be present at Smith College on Competition Day.


The application portal for the 2019 Draper Competition will open on December 1, 2018. Teams will have until February 15, 2019 to complete the application. The application requires that students map the strategic vision for their venture using the BMC and provide a written narrative of their canvas in a two-page executive summary.

Interested students should familiarize themselves with the Business Model Canvas (BMC). The BMC is a tool entrepreneurs use to track their progression from unproven concept to viable venture. Build your own BMC here (requires that you create an account)

Business Model Canvas

“A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.” - Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Generation (2010)


Customer Segments
Who are your most important customers? What do they do? What are their pains? What gains are they seeking?

Value Propositions
What value do you create for your customers? Which pain are you solving? What need are you satisfying?

Key Resources
What assets are required in order for you to offer and deliver your value proposition to your customer segments?

Customer Relationships
How do you interact with your customers (e.g., online, in person)? Do you interact differently with different customer segments?

Key Partnerships
With whom do you need to work so that you can focus on the key activities of the venture (i.e., to whom can you outsource non-key activities)?

Cost Structure
What are the major cost drivers of your value proposition? How are they linked to revenue streams?

How are your value propositions delivered to your customers? What are your modes of communication, sales and distribution?

Key Activities
What crucial things does the venture need to do in order to deliver on your value propositions?


Revenue Streams
How does the venture make money?



  • December 1, 2018: Application Portal Opens
  • February 15, 2019: APPLICATION DEADLINE
  • March 1, 2019: Applicants Notified
  • March 8, 2019: Invited Semi-Finalists Confirm Commitment to Compete
  • March 18, 2019: Revised Executive Summaries Due
  • April 4-5, 2019: Competition Activities at Smith College


Grand Prize: $25,000 + Draper University Scholarship
Track Winners (4): $10,000 + Draper University Scholarship
Track Second Place (5): $5,000
Track Honorable Mentions (5): $1,500
Fan Favorites by Track (5): $500