At delta v Demo Day, the MIT community celebrates student entrepreneurs

The 2021 event, held in Kresge Auditorium and streamed live, was an unmistakable sign that MIT’s campus is up and running.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E), Startups, Students, Special events and guest speakers, Business and management, Sloan School of Management, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Finance, Health care, Health

A portion of the delta v Demo Day participants posed on stage before the event Friday. Image: Justin Knight

You know things are getting closer to normal at MIT when people gather at Kresge Auditorium to celebrate student entrepreneurs. That was the case Friday at the delta v summer accelerator’s capstone event, Demo Day.

None of the students who presented their startup success stories could have predicted the changing pandemic landscape they’d have to work through this summer. But the presentations — each interspersed with enthusiastic cheers from the audience as students announced company milestones — showed they were able to adapt.

“Everyone’s impressed, not only with the problems these teams are trying to solve, but also with the entrepreneurs behind them,” says Carly Chase, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management who directed the delta v program this year.

Each startup’s success was also a testament to the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, which runs the delta v program and puts an emphasis on entrepreneurship education in addition to startup success. The Trust Center took lessons learned from running the program virtually last year and incorporated them into this summer’s hybrid model.

This year’s delta v cohort featured 20 teams. Chase says about half of participants were master’s students while the other half was evenly split between PhD candidates and undergraduates. Chase says the Trust Center continues to see increased interest from undergraduates.

“Students are coming to campus not just with ideas, but more baked ideas,” Chase says. “The popularity [of the program] across campus just keeps increasing somehow.”

Entrepreneurs on a mission

This year’s delta v cohort included more social impact startups than ever before. It was also the first to include more students from the School of Engineering than the Sloan School of Management.

The startups in this year’s cohort are solving problems in commercial industries like logistics, recruiting, and agriculture as well as problems that impact consumers more directly, like personal health and fitness.

One of this year’s startups, Almond Finance, is building a system to allow for money transfers between the hundreds of mobile wallets in use around the world. Most mobile wallets today exist in technological siloes that make transferring funds extremely cumbersome, but Almond’s system will allow users to send money through their phones quickly and affordably.

Almond’s founders say there are over 250 different mobile wallets in use around Southeast Asia alone.

“In Asia, mobile wallets are more advanced [than U.S. services like Venmo],” co-founder Yunus Sevimli MBA ’21 says. “People use them for everything from making purchases to giving loans and sending money — but there’s no way for mobile wallets to talk to each other right now.”

Another startup, La Firme, is helping low- and middle-income families in Latin America construct homes with a digital platform for navigating the design and construction processes. La Firme’s founders say over 60 percent of families in Latin America build their own homes by partnering with a general contractor.

“Our online platform matches families with local professionals to design their plans,” says co-founder Mora Orensanz, a graduate student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. “We’re trying to make it cost-efficient by frontloading data collection about the family’s spatial needs and characteristics, and also educating the families to increase their construction literacy.”

Both Almond Finance and La Firme pivoted this summer to refocus their businesses, something Chase says is a good sign.

“In delta v, one thing we always hope is teams will have the confidence to pivot, and we had a lot of pivoters this year, whether it was the market, or the use case, or narrowing down their application to start,” Chase says. “That’s something we’re proud of and a good thing to normalize. You don’t need to come in here and think you know everything. You have to learn, and I think teams will be better for that in the long run.”

Ivu Biologics is building a platform to manufacture and deliver microbes based on biodegradable, non-microplastic materials. The team interviewed more than 150 potential customers as they explored different markets to enter before deciding their first use case will be in the agriculture space.

“Delta v is structured so that every month you have a set of goals, and having those goals pushes the teams to achieve them,” says Augustine Zvinavashe ’16, a current PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “The program does a really good job of helping you build the muscles for interviewing your customers, identifying the biggest problems they’re having, and building a solution to those problems.”

Other startups in this year’s cohort include Underdog Coaching, which helps university admissions teams with an online platform that lets prospective students find current students and alumni to mentor them during the application journey; Havvi Fitness, which provides virtual fitness classes to users for free by monetizing other features of its service; Surge Employment Solutions, a workforce development, staffing, and mentoring company for formerly incarcerated people; Robigo, which is developing a technology to engineer plant microbiomes to reduce disease without using pesticides; Hibiscus Monkey, which aims to be India’s first body specialist brand, addressing neglected parts of the body through skin actives and plant powered ingredients; Project Restore Us, which is partnering with community organizations and leveraging restaurant supply chains to provide meals to food insecure families in the Greater Boston area; and many more.

Back in action

Although the format of delta v changed as the circumstances of the pandemic evolved, teams were often able to come to campus to use workspace, hold strategy sessions, network, and more. Most student participants were in the Boston area, but like last year, some participated from around the world.

“We spent a lot of time making sure it was equitable for everyone,” Chase says. “When we ran an in-person event in Boston, we did one virtually simultaneously.”

Student teams were also split into rotating “pods” of five and matched with entrepreneurs in residence (EiRs) in an effort to build tighter relationships and ensure accountability.

“The pods were meant to help students get to know people on other teams because meeting online with 20 teams can make that hard,” Chase says, noting the Trust Center hosted a number of social functions for each pod in addition to weekly meetings with EiRs. “I got to know my pod really well, and it removed the friction of having to get to know everyone. With a smaller group, you can share so much more.”

Other changes this year included a new version of investor day for teams and further involvement of delta v alumni, who talked to this year’s participants about what they got out of the program and answered questions.

Things weren’t quite back to normal at Demo Day, with numerous safety precautions in place, but they showed things are trending in the right direction on MIT’s campus.

“It’s great to be back in a room with people and feel the energy,” Bill Aulet, the managing director of the Trust Center and a professor of the practice at MIT Sloan, said in his opening remarks. “It’s been a long time.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Facebook's oversight board seeks details on VIPs' treatment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook’s semi-independent oversight board says the company has failed to fully disclose information on its internal system that exempts high-profile users from some or all of its ... Read more »

Nykaa releases IPO launch date, plans to raise up to Rs 5,200 crore: Reports

Beauty startup Nykaa will launch its three-day initial public offering (IPO) on October 28, reports said, adding that the company plans to raise up to Rs 5,200 crore through it. ... Read more »

Asteroids May Have Stolen The Oxygen From Earth's Ancient Atmosphere

For a period of Earth’s history, between roughly 2.5 to 4 billion years ago, our planet was a punching bag for asteroids. © SwRI/Dan Durda, Simone Marchi Artist’s impression of ... Read more »

Judi Love to miss Strictly Come Dancing this weekend as she tests Covid-19 positive

(PA) Strictly Come Dancing hopeful Judi Love has tested positive for Covid-19 and she will miss this weekend’s show. The Loose Women star, who lives in London with her two ... Read more »

Manchester Arena bombing inquiry: Attacker's brother 'takes coward's way out' after leaving UK, victims' families say

The brother of the Manchester Arena bomber has “taken the coward's way out”, families of his victims have said, as lawyers accepted he had been allowed to “laugh in the ... Read more »

Whether it's cock-up or conspiracy, officials are still feeding the public misleading statistics

Sajid Javid speaks next to Stephen Powis, NHS England National Medical Director and UK Health Security Agency Chief Executive, Dr Jenny Harries during a press conference – Toby Melville/WPA Pool ... Read more »

How the ‘Dune' science-fiction saga parallels the real science of Oregon's dunes

Timothy Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson star in “Dune,” a movie based on sci-fi author Frank Herbert’s book. The tale draws in part upon Herbert’s experiences in the Pacific Northwest. (Warner ... Read more »

Bite-Sized Brains Grown in a Lab Could Help Treat Fatal Diseases

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty It has all the makings of a Frankenstein-esque horror movie about science gone wrong: A group of scientists huddled over small organs vaguely ... Read more »

Regulator to probe into tech giants' payment practices

FILE – In this May 8, 2019, file photo, Federal Trade Commission commissioner Rohit Chopra testifies during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The ... Read more »

Floods in India's north leave dozens dead

Officials conducted an aerial survey over the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, which showed the extent of the destruction. Destroyed food items, clothes, electrical appliances and vehicles were seen drying in ... Read more »

New York county district attorney subpoenas Trump golf course records

The district attorney for Westchester County, New York, reportedly subpoenaed records from the Trump National Golf Club to examine financial dealings related to the property in a previously undisclosed investigation ... Read more »

William Shatner's Family Tried Talking Him Out of Space Flight — But He Said 'Save Your Breath'

william shatner Cover Images/Zuma As Captain Kirk on Star Trek, William Shatner became synonymous with space exploration in the 1960s — but several decades later, his family wasn't thrilled when ... Read more »

The Brain Processes Speech in Parallel With Other Sounds

Scientists thought that the brain’s hearing centers might just process speech along with other sounds. But new work suggests that speech gets some special treatment very early on. Read more »

There's an ideal window to get your flu shot for the best protection: late October or the first week of November

A man walks past an ad for free flu shots outside a CVS drugstore in New York on August 19, 2020. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images The CDC recommends getting a ... Read more »

Police hunting two ‘aggressive' women who smashed wine bottle over Tube passenger's head

Police are searching for two women after a Tube passenger was hit over the head with a wine bottle. (SWNS) British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for help in finding ... Read more »

Hundreds Sickened After Onion-Linked Salmonella Outbreak

(Bloomberg) — People across the U.S. have been advised to throw away all unlabeled red, white and yellow onions after a mass salmonella outbreak sickened hundreds of people across 37 ... Read more »

Spectacular Flaming Space Debris Confuses Skywatchers Amid Orionid Meteor Shower

A “bright, long-lasting” fireball that sailed over Highland, Michigan, in the early morning of October 20, coinciding with the peak of the Orionid meteor shower, was in fact a fragmented ... Read more »

Dinosaurs may have lived in social herds as early as 193 million years ago

Fossils indicate a communal nesting ground and adults who foraged and took care of the young as a herd, scientists say. Read more »

Lab-grown 'mini brains' are developed from the cells of dementia and motor neurone patients – opening the door to new treatments for the neurodegenerative conditions

Researchers made the mini brains and had them survive for up to 340 daysThese models of a brain made from real cells act as a testing lab for new drugsThe team say future mini brains can be made and customised to individualsThis will allow for medication to be tested against real world symptoms  Read more »

Pakistan's ‘miraculous' new health card scheme provides affordable treatment for the poor

Pakistani workers spray disinfectant at PIMS hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan – SOHAIL SHAHZAD/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Ishtiaq Ahmad has had heart trouble for years, but on security guard wages of only £72 per ... Read more »

What Europe's exceptionally low winds mean for the future energy grid

Shaggyphoto / shutterstock Through summer and early autumn 2021, Europe experienced a long period of dry conditions and low wind speeds. The beautifully bright and still weather may have been ... Read more »

How 'mix and match' COVID-19 booster shots work, and why we're using them

Chanei Henry, senior research coordinator of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, prepares a COVID-19 booster shot during a mix-and-match trial. Baylor College of Medicine Fully vaccinated ... Read more »

Only two DOZEN parts of England have yet to record new Delta off-shoot

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Fewer than two dozen areas of England are yet to record a single case of the new Delta off-shoot, official figures suggest. One ... Read more »

Health problems tied to global warming are getting grimmer

In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 file photo, a jogger runs along McCovey Cove outside Oracle Park in San Francisco, under darkened skies from wildfire smoke. AP Photo/Tony Avelar Health ... Read more »

Pfizer booster dose offers exceptionally high levels of protection against Covid and all variants

(Getty Images) A booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine offers exceptionally high levels of protection against coronavirus, including the Delta variant, new trial data show. Pfizer said its trial of ... Read more »

Deep-space radiation could cause have big impacts on the brain, mouse experiment shows

Could deep-space radiation seriously affect the human brain?  © Provided by Space This visualization shows space radiation interacting with Earth’s magnetosphere. In a new study, male mice exposed to simulated ... Read more »

A Capitol riot suspect who said he was 'invincible' because he was wearing a mask has now been arrested

Capitol riot suspect Landon Mitchell (circled) FBI Landon Mitchell boasted that he would likely evade detection because he was “masked up,” a complaint said. He told friends he was “invincible,” ... Read more »

Launch of new London to Edinburgh train service

Launch of new London to Edinburgh train service Read more »

Jack Nicholson makes first public appearance in two years

Jack Nicholson attended a basketball game with and his son Ray last night. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Jack Nicholson made a rare public appearance last night, attending a Lakers game with ... Read more »

Boris Johnson and Jacinda Arden announce post-Brexit trade deal

Boris Johnson and Jacinda Arden announce post-Brexit trade deal Read more »

Cause of mysterious deaths of California family to be revealed two months after bodies were found along trail

(KSEE/KGPE by Rosanna Heaslett) The mystery surrounding the deaths of a California family will finally be put to rest on Thursday, two months after their bodies were found along a ... Read more »

Jacob Rees Mogg: Tory MPs don't need masks because of our ‘convivial spirit'

Credit: Parliament Live TV Read more »

Flooding in South of England as Low-Pressure System Moves In

Flooding hit various parts of southern England on the night of October 20-21 as a low-pressure system moved in from the continent brining heavy rain and strong winds. Footage here ... Read more »

Facebook hid rules that led to Trump ban, says its 'supreme court'

Facebook, Trump Facebook kept its own “supreme court” in the dark about a security system that let posts by prominent politicians and celebrities break its rules. The tech giant was ... Read more »

Don't mention the ‘B' word: ‘Brexit' is taboo at festival to celebrate Britain leaving the EU

An artist’s impression of About Us, one of the installations to be featured in the renamed Unboxed festival The Festival of Brexit was billed as a celebration of the UK’s ... Read more »

The secret to South Korea's COVID success? Combining high technology with the human touch

Evelyn Jung/Shutterstock According to the recent House of Commons report on the UK’s pandemic response, one of the government’s key failings was to assume that the success of countries like ... Read more »

Grey-area drinking: pandemic's heavy drinkers are ignoring the health risks

High levels of drinking during the pandemic can cause health problems. Opolja/Shutterstock Increased drinking during the pandemic has created a group of people who don’t see themselves as alcoholics but ... Read more »

Ten Things Brits Can Enjoy At £120 Million Taxpayer Funded Brexit Festival 2022

A man poses in a Union Jack suit at Parliament Square as people prepare for Brexit on January 31, 2020 in London (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images) First ... Read more »

The best tablet stands and holders for elevating for viewing experience

We tested these tablet holders on both our home desk and in our office setup (The Independent ) With the world of remote and flexible working increasing, and only looking ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic