Carnegie Mellon University

VentureBridge Program

The VentureBridge is an initiative of the Swartz Center to help early stage Carnegie Mellon alumni founders develop their startups into fundable seed stage ventures. This effort is outside of the traditional education model and serves as a bridge between the many different ecosystems that Carnegie Mellon University alumni live and work.

We are currently at capacity for mentors for our teams, but we are always happy to expand our mentor list for future events. You can register to be a mentor here


Please contact Aleksandar Petkov, VentureBridge Program Manager with any questions or sponsorship inquiries.


Summer 2020 Cohort



Agot uses AI to increase revenues and customer experience and decrease costs for quick service restaurants with make-line models (eg. Chipotle, Subway, etc.) while also allowing them to optionally eliminate the dedicated cashier role. Agot integrates with point of sales systems to allow insights to be maximally useful and easy to integrate into existing processes.

Team Members:
Alex Litzenberger
Evan DeSantola



Visual data (images/videos) is growing exponentially across numerous industries as data science and machine learning techniques keep improving and driving business differentiation. But managing this complex data is time consuming, frustrating, and inefficient with today's alternatives. ApertureData offers a unique and specialized database, ApertureDB, designed for visual data."

Team Members
Vishakha Gupta
Luis Remis



EKTO VR builds wearable robotics that enable the next generation of fully immersive safety and equipment training for mining, energy, and construction companies. Our Traverse Robotic Boots improve training outcomes by enabling intuitive, limitless movement while preventing motion sickness.

Team Members:
Brad Factor
Bobby Li
Antonio Garcia-Smith
Jenny Sharpe



Komodo saves users time by streamlining the municipal credit evaluation process. Komodo extracts and standardizes fundamental credit information into a single location, saving users an average of six hours per week. Komodo makes our users money by allowing them to search for mispriced bonds using any of our forward-looking credit indicators; think instant credit reports for municipal bond issuers.

Team Members:
Joel Perdzock
Matthew Dulac


Organoid Therapeutics

At Organoid Therapeutics, our mission is to develop artificial organ technologies to cure endocrine disorders such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, testosterone deficiency, and infertility. We envision a future in which lab-grown artificial organs can be mass-produced, are made widely available, and become the first-line treatment option for patients with end-stage glandular organ disease.

Team Members:
Denver Faulk
Ricardo Londono



Refiberd is developing a novel textile recycling system that uses AI and a green chemical recycling process to convert used, discarded textiles into new, reusable fiber. By turning waste into a resource, Refiberd is able to offer a new fiber product for textile production that is cost-effective, sustainable, and easy to integrate into existing manufacturing processes.

Team Members:
Sarika Bajaj
Tushita Gupta
Mingyue (Ida) Wang



Sightseek is a social platform for creating and sharing travel stories. We are shaking up the decades-old online trip planning industry by providing a new lens - authentic experiences from people you know and trust.

Team Members
Anna Fuller
Logan Anderson



Sparkline is a visual technology enterprise focused on guiding customer behavior through actionable analytics. The company is focused on opportunities in the retail, parking, and real estate industries.

Team Members
Max Henkart
Vaibhav Viswanathan

VentureBridge Sponsors

Intuitive Foundation Logo
perkins coie logo

CMU SV Wordmark

VentureBridge Key Components

VentureBridge Summer Accelerator

Bloomfield Robotics Photo

The VentureBridge Summer Accelerator is a 10 - week program hosted in the San Francisco Bay Area each summer. The program is designed to create networks with mentors, customers, and early stage investors. Sessions include: Mentor matching, investor feedback, founder dinners, and more. The university invests $25,000 in each company. Companies also receive many other in-kind services.

Applications for the VentureBridge 2020 Summer Accelerator have closed. 

VB Bay Area Mentor Match

Robb VB

The VentureBridge hosts multiple Mentor Matching events throughout the year.   These events bring founders (student and alumni) together with a network of experienced and vetted alumni who have agreed to mentor founders.  Startups of all stages are encouraged to apply.  Mentors are useful at many different stages of personal and company growth.

The Mentor Matching sessions take place in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

VentureBridge Incubator Space

Incubator Space Photo

The VentureBridge offers temporary incubator space for visiting founders on the CMU – Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View and in the Financial District in San Francisco. These two locations cover the majority of the bay area. Locations can be used to work, host meetings or just a quiet place for a phone call. Please contact Aleksandar Petkov for details.  This is open to any approved CMU affiliated founder, current or alumni.

VentureBridge Resources

Mentorship & Training

Nabla Ascent Venture Bridge

  • The VentureBridge program offers unique opportunities and insight into the Silicon Valley ecosystem:
  • Introductions to angel investors, incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, CMU-affiliated companies and alumni startups
  • Invitations to attend different workshops and events located in the heart of Silicon Valley


  • $25,000 Investment by Carnegie Mellon (summer accelerator only)
  • Matching with 2-3 mentors
  • Incubator space at CMU-SV facilities in Mountain View
    CMU SV Map
  • Incubator space at the Vault Co-working space in the Financial District, San Francisco
    Runway SoMa Map
  • Access to Conference Rooms, WiFi and free coffee
  • $25,0000 in Amazon Web Services credits
  • $5,000 in Amazon Web Service consulting services
  • TalkMeUp Virtual Coachng over the summer
  • Other benefits

VentureBridge Summer Accelerator

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for VentureBridge:

  • Teams must have one CMU affiliated (Student, Faculty, Staff, Alumni) founder
  • Founders on the team must be Alumni, eligible for graduation or will be graduating within one semester.
  • Once accepted, teams must be located or able to relocate to Silicon Valley for the duration of the program.

Application Process

  • All applications must be fully completed and submitted by the application deadline and late entries will not be considered.
  • Applications are reviewed by the VentureBridge Selection Committee and the best startup applicants are invited to present in person at the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • After the selected teams have presented the VB Selection Committee evaluates the best candidates and five to eight teams are selected and invited to participate in the Summer Accelerator program.
  • Candidates invited to the program have a week to confirm their acceptance of the invitation.

Program Deadlines

The VentureBridge Summer Accelerator is currently in progress. 

  • Start Date: June 17, 2020
  • Demo Day: September, 2020


VentureBridge Cohorts


A to Z


Summer 2020

VentureBridge Team

VentureBridge Team

  • Namrata Banerjee, VentureBridge Director, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Aleksandar Petkov, VentureBridge Program Manager, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship; Executive Director, Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship; Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship

VentureBridge Advisors

  • Bob Dobkin, Chairman of the Dobkin Intuitive Foundation, Founder and CTO of Linear Technology
  • Gabe Fenton, President, Intuitive Private Equity Group
  • Sheryl Root, Program Director of III's MSTV program, Associate Professor of the Practice for the M.S. in Software Management program
  • Jon Cagan, Faculty director Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor, Mechanical Engineering;
  • Lane Bess, Principal and Founder at Bess Ventures and Advisory
  • Marcel Depaulis, Chief Technical Officer at Proofpoint
  • Peter Clarke, Talent Partner at Accel Partners
  • Will Sanders, Tech and Entrepreneurship Alumni Group

CMU Tech & Entrepreneurship

CMU Tech & Entrepreneurship wants to connect Bay Area CMU entrepreneurs and build the Carnegie Mellon University entrepreneurship community.

View their events and join the mailing list