Carnegie Mellon University

Swartz Center Spotlight

Friday, May 31, 2024

Ekaterina Demenkova

CMU Qatar Innovation Scholar Ekaterina Demenkova Wins $25K at Hackathon for Basira AI

Ekaterina Demenkova, 2024-26 Innovation Scholar studying  Information Systems at CMU Qatar, recently won $25K (QAR) at a Hackathon held at the Qatar Development Bank and Qatar Business Incubation Center for her startup Basira AI. The company, which won under the Tech Transformation category, is a smart AI menu that predicts guests preferences with nutritional and behavioral insights, providing restaurants with accurate analytics. As co-founder and CEO, the 20Under20 WISE EU recipient  is launching a pilot MVP with one restaurant and has forty two restaurants on a waiting list.

Ekaterina is also at the helm of a HealthTech startup, with a vision to revolutionize sports and wellness in the Middle East. Find out more about Ekaterina.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Ekaterina Demenkova

CMU Qatar Innovation Scholar Ekaterina Demenkova Wins $25K at Hackathon for Basira AI

Ekaterina Demenkova, 2024-26 Innovation Scholar studying  Information Systems at CMU Qatar, recently won $25K (QAR) at a Hackathon held at the Qatar Development Bank and Qatar Business Incubation Center for her startup Basira AI. The company, which won under the Tech Transformation category, is a smart AI menu that predicts guests preferences with nutritional and behavioral insights, providing restaurants with accurate analytics. As co-founder and CEO, the 20Under20 WISE EU recipient  is launching a pilot MVP with one restaurant and has forty two restaurants on a waiting list.

Ekaterina is also at the helm of a HealthTech startup, with a vision to revolutionize sports and wellness in the Middle East. Find out more about Ekaterina.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Congratulations to the 2022-24 Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholar Graduates! 

Congratulations to the 2022-24 Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholar Graduates!

The CMU Swartz Center would like to congratulate the 2022-24 cohort of James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows and Innovation Scholars who recently graduated. Each of the students spent the last two years completing their academic studies, while simultaneously exploring entrepreneurship to further the trajectory of their startups and to learn about the startup ecosystem on campus and in Pittsburgh. Some will remain in Pittsburgh or return home to continue working on their startups, while others have secured internships or will gain work experience at companies that will further expand their knowledge and help them on their journeys.

Each of the alumni will continue to mentor incoming Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholars, attend and get invited to special Swartz Center events, speak to new cohorts in person or virtually during the Friday Pro-seminars and share news and updates in a bi-annual newsletter created exclusively for them.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Ruben Quesada

Tepper School of Business MBA Ruben Quesada Presents His Company to Investors as Part of AI Ventures Class

Last Wednesday, Ruben Quesada, Tepper School of Business MBA and James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow, along with his partner Saket Kulkarni, presented their new venture, Sabana to investors from coast to coast as part of an AI Ventures class. The two have created a team composed of Carnegie Mellon University students from Computer Science, AI, Human Design Interaction
and Business. Sabana transforms the construction specifications process, making it a frictionless, collaborative endeavor. The platform leverages AI to provide architects and design engineers with an intuitive experience, enabling easy comparisons, transparent documents and seamless

In a recent post on LinkedIn, Ruben gives a shout out to faculty Sean Ammirati and Adam Paulisick for their guidance, as well as their team: Samuel Lin, Kyle Chen, Danyating (Amanda) Shen and Ajay Mittur.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Olivia Wu

Olivia Wu Finishes the 2024 Tri-State New Jersey Spartan Race

Qinyuan (Olivia) Wu, Master of Information Technology - Information Security program at Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute, recently participated and finished the 2024 Tri-State New Jersey Spartan Race. Held on April 27-28, 2024, the event is a series of obstacle course races designed to test endurance, strength, and agility. Participants can choose from different race types, including Sprint, Super, and Beast, each with varying levels of difficulty and distance.

Olivia participated and dominated in the Sprint event.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Christina Yang

Christina Yang Wins Fourth Place at 2024 DeAI Hackathon Competition

Carnegie Mellon Master of Design student Christina Yang recently won fourth place at DeAI Hackathon 2024, a global hackathon competition launched by EMC (Edge Matrix Computing). Her project, Marble (formerly Web4), empowers users with no-code tools to build decentralized apps (DaPP).

The DeAI Hackathon aims to promote innovation in the fields of AI and decentralized technology. The goal of the competition is to find and incubate dapps that have made breakthrough progress in the fields of AI and Web3, and to redefine the possibilities at the intersection of AI and blockchain technology.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Reed McManigle

The Swartz Center Hosts Retirement Party for Mentor In Residence, Reed McManigle

After almost forty years in the Pittsburgh tech scene, which includes his time as senior manager with Carnegie Mellon's Center for Technology Transfer (CTTEC) and a mentor and friend of the CMU Swartz Center, Reed McManigle will be retiring on May 31. A retirement party was organized by the CTTEC department and held at the Swartz Center on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Reed has been at CMU since 2006, managing intellectual property and assisting in the formation and early funding of technology-based startup companies. He has more recently focused his efforts on assisting with the formation of startup companies around university inventions from all departments.

The entire Swartz Center team is grateful for all that Reed has done for the startup community at CMU and in Pittsburgh and wishes him well on his retirement!

Friday, April 26, 2024

Astrobotic Visit

The CMU Swartz Center's 2023-25 Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholars Visit Astrobotic

On Friday, April 19, 2024 a group of 2023-25 graduate James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows and undergraduate Innovation Scholars visited Astrobotic Technology, Pittsburgh's Aerospace Company located on the Northside. After learning about the company's latest goals for space exploration and how they're using robotics to make space missions feasible and more affordable with Lunar Landers, Cube Rovers and more, the students—along with Sonya Ford, Program Manager at the Swartz Center—were led on a tour of the facilities and the Moonshot Museum.

The students were also briefly greeted by Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and Astrobotic CEO John Thornton, who was being interviewed inside of the Moonshot Museum during their tour.

The Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholars will celebrate the end of the Spring semester and the newest cohort of Innovation Scholars at their last Proseminar event of the semester on Friday, April 26.

Friday, April 19, 2024


Upload Your Most Recent Favorite Travel Experience to TravExp

TravExp is a vibrant travel experience-sharing social platform that transforms the way you plan your dream vacations. Say goodbye to the hassle of sifting through scattered travel information and struggling to find experiences that suit your persona. TravExp translates wanderlust into tailored adventures, gathering the essential info to craft a fulfilling journey that reflects your unique persona.

Co-founded by CMU MBA students Sai Harish Balijepalli and Anudeep Narisetti, they invite you to try the MVP version and help make travel easier for millions of vacationers around the world.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Tartan Food Truck Takeover Returns

Tartan Food Truck Takeover Returns

Students at Carnegie Mellon University will have more opportunities to eat locally this spring as the Tartan Food Truck Takeover returns to Legacy Plaza with a new lineup of Pittsburgh-based restaurants.

Launched in the fall of 2023, Michael Maddalon, a senior student at Tepper School of Business, initiated the student-led Tartan Food Truck Takeover program in partnership with CMU Dining and Chartwells Higher Ed. The Tartan Truck Takeover is a new, student-founded, student-run program bringing a weekly series of local, small business food trucks and restaurants to serve their food out of the CMU food truck, the Tartan Express. Check out the Flavor of the Puerto Rico in April!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association Hosts Contrary Capital at the Swartz Center

Carnegie Mellon's Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association Hosts Contrary Capital at the Swartz Center

The CMU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association (UEA) hosted a fireside chat with Contrary Capital partner, Jason Chen, on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. Moderated by Material Science/Engineering student and Innovation Scholar Shagun Maheshwari, the event brought together technical talent, builders and founders at CMU to share resources and lessons learned from Contrary and demystifying building a startup for student founders. Shagun recently joined Contrary as a Venture Partner.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Sigma Eta Pi: Entrepreneurship Society

Sigma Eta Pi: Entrepreneurship Society

Sigma Eta Pi is CMU’s new entrepreneurship society for undergraduate students of all backgrounds. Our mission is to transform individuals into founders, develop lasting relationships in the startup space, and create social impact through innovative ventures. Our rush process has begun and we cannot wait to meet you! Visit their Instagram @cmusep for more information and to view their rush calendar.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Materials Science and Engineering PhD Spencer Matonis Celebrates Completion of His Thesis.jpg

Materials Science and Engineering PhD Spencer Matonis Celebrates Completion of His Thesis

Carnegie Mellon University Material Science and Engineering PhD Spencer Matonis, announced that he has completed his thesis overview/proposal. The founder and CEO of Edulis Therapeutics, a platform to administer small molecule medications in patients with gastrointestinal pathologies, is also a James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow, Dowd Fellow and Innovation Commercialization Fellow.

Friday, December 15, 2023

CMU's Deniz Birlikci Wins $50K SAFE Note At Berkeley's Demo Day

CMU's Deniz Birlikci Wins $50K SAFE Note At Berkeley's Demo Day

CMU student and Innovation Scholar Deniz Birlikci and Arda Akman, founders of ObviousAI, recently won the AI Entrepreneurs in Berkeley's Demo Day competition. ObviousAI received a 50K SAFE note through Unusual Ventures, marking the first investment into the company. 

ObviousAI is finetuning fashion product discovery on users' aesthetics. Their first product, ShopMyStyle, allows users to find products through searching with their natural language, or images. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

Ram Potham

Innovation Scholar Ram Potham Makes Top 100 for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Global Pitch Competition

CMU AI student Ram Potham recently made it to the top 100 for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Pitch Competition with his startup that focuses on improving landing pages using AI (to increase conversions and sales) for startups. In Ram's words, "Although we're just getting started, I'm thrilled about the potential this idea holds for the future".

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Swartz Center Hosts Virtual Talk with XFund Partner Brandon Farwell 

The Swartz Center Hosts Virtual Talk with XFund Partner Brandon Farwell 

XFund Partner Brandon Farwell spoke with the current CMU graduate James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows and the newly selected undergraduate Innovation Scholars during their Proseminar in Entrepreneurial Leadership course talk on Friday, September 22, 2023. Brandon shared how XFund selects startups to invest in and provided valuable funding advice to the students. Xfund is an early-stage venture capital firm in California built to back entrepreneurs who think laterally and experiment across disciplines.

Among the students who attended virtually were CMU Qatar students Aisya Aziz (Swartz Fellow), Maria Sultana Mina (Innovation Scholar) and Mukhammadjon Gafurov (Innovation Scholar).

Friday, September 22, 2023

VentureBridge Pittsburgh

The Swartz Center Hosts The First of 3-City VentureBridge Demo Day Showcase

The Swartz Center's VentureBridge Demo Day Showcase kicked off in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at the CMU Swartz Center. Over 200 attendees filled the space to hear presentations and demos from select VentureBridge alumni startup founders, followed by a reception and networking.

The next Demo Day event will take place in New York on September 27, 2023 at Rise, created by Barclays.

Friday, September 15, 2023

YC Event

Y Combinator Visits the Swartz Center 

On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 300+ Carnegie Mellon students showed up at the CMU Swartz Center for a talk with Y Combinator Group Parter Diana Hu and co-founder and CEO of Gecko Robotics, Jake Loosararian. Diana was previously the co-founder and CTO of Escher Reality, an augmented reality company that was acquired by Niantic (makers of Pokémon Go).

Diana and Jake discussed their personal founder journeys and what Diana has seen from advising hundreds of YC startups. They will covered some of the myths that exist around starting startups and what to do while in school if you want to start a company.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Alex Cussell

Jisell Founder and CEO Alex Cusell-Marino Wins $5K at The Inicio Awards

In a recent post on her LinkedIn page, CMU MSTV alumnus and James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow Alex Cusell-Marino, founder of Jisell, placed 3rd at The Inicio Ventures Awards sponsored by Google and Mastercard in New York. Jisell is like Apple Pay for your gift cards. Consumers upload their gift cards and retailers pay a monthly subscription to get more of their gift cards redeemed.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Serena Dao

James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow Serena Dao Speaks On Her MBA Internship at Living Carbon

Serena Dao (MBA 2024) and a 2022-24 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow, was recently featured in the Life@Tepper blog about her summer internship at Living Carbon—a public benefit corporation with the mission to rebalance the metabolic system of our planet.

Dao didn't want just any summer internship—which is a one of the requirements of being a Swartz Fellow—she wanted to join an early-stage startup working in climate technology. She is helping them to bridge the gap between the scientific and commercialization teams and creating a custom scientific knowledge base to be used both internally and externally.

Read more at Life@Tepper.

Friday, July 21, 2023


EKTO VR Announces New Boots

EKTO VR, founded by CEO Brad Factor, has introduced the all-new EKTO Voyager—the company's latest breakthrough in VR adventuring. Designed with innovation in mind, the EKTO Voyager is lighter, faster and more affordable, while maintaining the exceptional motion sickness mitigation and continuous immersion that EKTO VR Boots are renowned for. The EKTO Voyager represents the company's commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology and redefining the future of VR. 

Read more at LinkedIn.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Edulis Therapeutics Receives Litwin IBD Pioneers Grant Worth $110K

Edulis Therapeutics Receives Litwin IBD Pioneers Grant Worth $110K

Edulis Therapeutics, a CMU spinout working on a drug-delivery platform for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), was recently awarded the Litwin IBD Pioneers grant worth $110K. Its founder Spencer Matonis, a Carnegie Mellon materials science and engineering Ph.D. student in the research group of Chris Bettinger, is working to improve treatment for Crohn's Disease through a tube-shaped structure that will be embedded at the site of the narrowing and degrade. The targeted treatment will allow for the controlled release of anti-inflammatory drugs directly to the symptomatic tissue.

Matonis, also a Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow with the CMU Swartz Center, was also awarded the Dowd Engineering Seed Fund for Graduate Student Fellowships in 2022, which was created to fund cutting-edge doctoral research in engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Nathan Pitzer

The Swartz Center Hosts One America Works Investor Event 

One America Works and Director/CMU alumnus Nathan Pitzer invited multiple investors to the CMU Swartz Center on Thursday morning, June 29, 2023 to hear from CMU startup founders as part of an Investor Event. Some of the investors in attendance were: 412 Ventures, 1888 Ventures, Blue Tree Capital, Drive Capital, Foundation Capital, Comback Capital, Early Light Ventures, Tech Square Ventures, Valley Capital Partners, Armory Square Ventures, Gigafund and Revolution.

The startups who presented were: Shift Robotics, founded by Xunjie Zhang, Mach 9 Robotics, founded by Alexander Baikovitz and Blastpoint, founded by Alison Alvarez.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Sankalp Arora

Sankalp Arora, Founder of Gather AI Named Most Influential CEO 2023 - Pittsburgh (Warehouse Automation)

Gather AI’s drone-powered inventory monitoring solution improves warehouse visibility and traceability, decreasing the cost of accuracy, optimizing productivity and boosting revenue.

 Read more at CEO Monthly.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Deniz Birlikci and Coleman Isner

Innovation Scholars Deniz Birlikci and Coleman Isner Move Into Swartz Center Startup Garage

During the summer, some of the startups inhabiting 'garage' spaces at the Swartz Center move out, making room for new startups. Tepper School of Business student Coleman Isner, and School of Computer Science-AI student Mehmet Deniz Birlikci, have moved into one of the vacant garages to work  on their individual startups. They have both been awarded a $6K summer stipend provided by the Swartz Center's Innovation Scholars program to take their startups to the next level. 

Coleman, a finalist in the 2022 McGinnis Venture Competition, is the founder of Mycelium, a documentation assistant that enables users to converse with a codebase.

Deniz is building an innovative, chat-box shopping assistant that revolutionizes the way people shop by eliminating the need for reading Amazon reviews for hours and provides instant, tailored recommendations to help users make informed purchasing decisions. If you're interested in helping Deniz, complete a short survey for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Yusufbek Nasriddinov

CMU Qatar Innovation Scholar Yusufbek Nasriddinov Has Big Plans After Graduation

Yusufbek Nasriddinov, a new graduate from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and the first Innovation Scholar from the school, was recently celebrated in a LinkedIn post by the Qatar Foundation. Yusufbek is working alongside his friends on building an educational financial platform that's both Sharia-compliant and competitive. The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organization that serves the people of Qatar by supporting and operating programs in three core mission areas: education, science and research and community development.

Read more on LinkedIn.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Frank Wang

Innovation Scholar Spotlight: Frank Wang Awarded AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Carnegie Mellon CIT alumnus and 2020-22 Innovation Scholar Frank Wang has obtained the AWS Cerfified Solutions Architect--Associate from Amazon Web Services. Earners of this certification have a comprehensive understanding of AWS services and technologies. They demonstrated the ability to build secure and robust solutions using architectural design principles based on customer requirements. Badge owners are able to strategically design well-architected distributed systems that are scalable, resilient, efficient, and fault-tolerant.


Friday, May 5, 2023

The Swartz Center Hosts Networking Event for the New Innovation Scholars

The Swartz Center Hosts Networking Event for the New Innovation Scholars

The CMU Swartz Center hosted a final Proseminar on Friday, April 30, 2023, to celebrate the new cohort of undergraduate Innovation Scholars and to wrap up the spring semester. Students from the current and last year cohorts of Innovation Scholars and graduate James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows also attended the celebration. Each of the new Innovation Scholars introduced themselves, including the two CMU Qatar students who attended virtually.

The Proseminars will resume at the start of the fall semester.

Friday, April 28, 2023

The 2022-24 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows and Innovation Scholars Visit Shift Robotics-_april_2023.jpg

The 2022-24 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows and Innovation Scholars Visit Shift Robotics

One of the requirements of the graduate James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows and the undergraduate Innovation Scholars programs is participation in a weekly Proseminar in Entrepreneurial Leadership course, which takes place at the Swartz Center on Friday's during the Fall and Spring semesters. During these sessions, the students get to network with various startup founders, local investors and members of the Carnegie Mellon University community to learn about resources available to assist them with their entrepreneurial journeys. They also visit Pittsburgh startups.

As a wrap up to the Spring semester, the students visited Shift Robotics founder and CEO Xunjie Zhang on Friday, April 21. After learning how the company started and where its headed, they each got to try out the Moonwalkers, the AI powered shoes that enable users to walk faster, intuitively and effortlessly.

The students will enter their second year of the programs in the Fall, in which they will become mentors to the new cohort of Swartz Fellows and Innovation Scholars, and act as ambassadors for the programs.

Friday, April 21, 2023


Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: ZeroWheel

ZeroWheel, co-founded by CMU Ph.D. candidate Brian Singer, along with CEO Neil Singer and COO David Ettenson, takes your training to the next level with the first motorized wheel that offers endless workouts on a device that fits in your bag.

If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future publications, please fill out the form here.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Revvo Technologies

Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: Revvo Technologies

Revvo Technologies ensures that vehicles are safe on the road through it's smart time management platform. Read Revvo's full story. If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future publications, please fill out the form here.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Damola Idowu

Toyz Electronics is Gamifying STEM to Draw Diverse Students Into Tech

Damola Idowu wants to see more Black engineers, and plans to employ his company’s app and the appeal of superheroes to make it happen.

Friday, March 31, 2023


GEC Startup Spotlight: Namma

Namma, founded by CMU alumna Sonal Bagga, helps initiate, formalize and manage loans between friends and family.

If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future publications, fill out the form here.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Ananya Kapur

Type Beauty Founder Ananya Kapur Featured in Vogue

Type Beauty, Inc's founder—Ananya Kapur, a CMU Chemistry BS alumna, was recently featured for the third time in the iconic Vogue magazine. Her idea of curating clean beauty products, backed by science, has received praise by consumers and magazine editors. The brand understands the need for products rooted in science and inclusivity, which sets it apart.

Friday, March 17, 2023

GEC Startup Spotlight: ESTAT Actuation.png

GEC Startup Spotlight: ESTAT Actuation

The CMU Graduate Entrepreneurship Club (GEC) is highlighting ESTAT Actuation for its recent spotlight. ESTAT is a deep-tech hardware company pioneering components that make customer designs safer, more capable and less expensive. The company boosts performance with clutches and brakes that are 10x lighter and 1,000x more efficient than conventional components.

If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future GEC spotlights, sign up here.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Entrepreneur First Office Hours at the CMU Swartz Center

Entrepreneur First Office Hours at the CMU Swartz Center

Entrepreneur First (EF) is the best place to meet a co-founder that can join you to tackle global problems. EF is where ambitious people gather to spend time figuring out who their best co-founder is.

For the first time, Entrepreneur First is coming to Pittsburgh on March 22, 2023 to meet founders. Alice Bentinck, co-founder of Entrepreneur First, and Derek Jouppi, a former nanotech founder from Entrepreneur First, are offering to meet aspiring entrepreneurial CMU PhDs, Masters and undergraduate students who will be defending/graduating this year. Alice and Derek want to learn about your research, projects, societies and aspirations for founding a startup.

Interested? Please fill out the interest form!

Friday, March 3, 2023


Get Career Help with CMU Founded Startup, Hardly

Whether you are an executive or an intern, you’re probably wondering about your next career step. Hardly is a centralized career development hub that grows with professionals over the course of their careers. Once you make a free account, you can easily plan out your future, take assessments, attend workshops and talk to executive coaches.

Want to help? Tepper School of Business alumni Allison Braund-Harris, CEO, and Roger Harris, COO, are excited to hear your feedback on the newly-launched career development platform. Make an account today and/or sign up for one of the upcoming workshops. Have feedback, good or bad? Schedule a meeting with Allison here.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: SupraFin

Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: SupraFin

SupraFin provides Crypto investment and risk intelligence solutions to financial institutions for improved wealthtech, crypto risk scores and research services.

If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future publications, please complete the form here.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: UpContent

Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: UpContent

UpContent is improving the efficacy of B2B SaaS content curation by surfacing relevant content through it's AI engine. Learn more about the company and its plans for the future here. If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future publications, please complete the form here.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Jisell E-Wallet for Gift Cards

Announcing Jisell E-Wallet for Gift Cards

Jisell, co-founded by CMU Silicon Valley MSTV alumna, Swartz Fellow and VentureBridge '2022 participant Alexandra Cusell, wants you to ditch those plastic gift cards, and send personalized, augmented reality gifting experiences in 2023. If you have plastic gift cards cluttering your drawers, simply scan them into Jisell’s e-wallet. Find out more and visit Jisell at the Apple store here.

Friday, February 3, 2023


Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight: Picasso

PicassoMD is improving the patient experience by connecting PCPs with specialists while the patient is still in the office. Learn more about the company and its plans for the future here.

If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in future spotlights, complete the form here.

Friday, January 27, 2023

CMU's Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight

Feature Your Company in CMU's Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Startup Spotlight

The Carnegie Mellon Graduate Entrepreneurship Club's Startup Spotlight showcases a CMU founded startup every week. If you are a founder of a startup and would like to be featured in the newsletter, please fill out the form here.

Friday, December 16, 2022

VCIC 2022

CMU's Graduate Entrepreneurship Club Hosts Annual Venture Capital Investment Competition

The CMU GEC hosted its annual local round of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) on December 10, 2022 at the CMU Swartz Center. VCIC is an international student competition where students role-play as VC investors and evaluate investments in three, real startup companies. Teams are judged by real VC's and the team with the best due diligence process and term sheet is selected as the winner. In this internal round, six CMU student teams competed to earn a spot representing CMU at the VCIC Regional round at Jones Graduate School of Business in Houston. 

Congratulations to the winning team: Shaunak Kulhalli (MBA '25), Houtan Bozorghadad (MBA '25), Kristina Barounis (MBA '25), Eva Chen (MISM '23), Jue Zhou (MBA '24) and Kjell-Andreas Pu (MBA '25)
on their victory!

A special thank you to the judges: Craig Blank (Woodland Management), Davit Davitian (412 Ventures), Gaby Istruiz (The Fund XX), Jim Nolan (Institutes for Pharmaceutical Discovery), Luke Deasy (IgniteXL Ventures), Matt Harbaugh (Mountain State Capital), Phil Brooks (Brooks Consulting), and Robb Myer (99 Tartans). And thank you to the three startups: Advanced Optronics, Agni and Nollapelli.

Friday, December 9, 2022

CMU Africa Delegation Team

CMU Graduate Ambassadors Heading to CMU Africa for Entrepreneurship Forum

Graduate students from Carnegie Mellon University's main campus will be visiting CMU Africa's campus this week to share entrepreneurial values and to provide guidance to students regarding the formation of their businesses. This initiative is part of an ongoing engagement to increase the connectedness between CMU campuses.

Friday, December 2, 2022


CMU Startup, Profesh Is Live!

Co-founded by Tepper School of Business alumnus Greg Foster (2015), Profesh is now live with its first bite-sized career education lessons on consulting!

Profesh was created to help young people better understand the professional world so they can find careers they actually like. The Profesh team is excited to offer the platform for free to help more people learn about consulting and whether it might be a fit for them post graduation.

Interested in learning about consulting and potentially breaking into the field? Check out Profesh and share with anyone who might be interested. The team would love to help in any way possible. Send inquiries to

Friday, November 18, 2022


Fractional Founder Stella Han Attends the National Association of REALTORS at NARNXT

Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science alumna and Innovation Scholar Stella Han, recently presented her company, Fractional, at the National Association of REALTORS® at #NARNXT. The company is working with more REALTORS® to become Fractional Community Leaders to close larger deals more quickly, and to be the local investor expert and build their own financial wealth through co-ownership.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Asad Abdurazzakov

Qatar Campus Student Named CMU 2024 Innovation Scholar

Asad Abdurazzakov, a sophomore in business administration at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a Qatar Foundation partner university, was named a 2024 Innovation Scholar by the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship last Spring. Asad is the second Qatar campus student to join the program.

Read more at Carnegie Mellon University.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Maven Machines Tour

Innovation Scholars Visit Maven Machines

As part of their Proseminar In Entrepreneurial Leadership course, some of the 2022-24 Innovation Scholars visited Maven Machines, a leading trucking fleet management and transportation dispatch software provider in Pittsburgh, last Friday. The visit included a tour led by CMU alumni Innovation Scholar and VP of Enginering Daniel Gorziglia and an opportunity for the students to ask questions after hearing about Maven's journey. Daniel was also in character for Maven's Halloween party in the above photo, which took place for their staff later that day.

Additional visits to PIttsburgh startups will take place during the Spring semester.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Black and Latino Business Association's Entrepreneurship Panel

The Swartz Center Hosts Carnegie Mellon's Black and Latino Business Association's Entrepreneurship Panel

The CMU Swartz Center hosted an entrepreneurship panel on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, organized by 2022-24 Innovation Scholar Isaiah Rodgers, who is the Professional Development Chair of CMU's Black and Latino Business Association (BLBA). The panelists included Damola and Wole Iduwu, co-founders of Toyz Electronics, Nadyli Nuñez, Executive Director of Ascender and the Swartz Center's Executive Director, Dave Mawhinney and Sonya Ford, Program Manager.

Damola, Wole and Nadyli shared their personal stories and entrepreneurial experiences, which helped to propel them into their current roles.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Adam Paulisick

The Swartz Center Hosted Panel Discussion on CMU's New Strategic Design Kit

The CMU Swartz Center hosted the 'Big Picture and Systems Design' panel event on Thursday, October 13, 2022, in partnership with the Corporate Startup Lab (CSL, a Swartz Center Initiative), and maad labs, founded by CMU HCI and Tepper School of Business adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship Adam Paulisick. More than 150+ participants attended in person and virtually from Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Germany and all over the USA, to ask tough questions about how to make the most of the new Miro hosted strategic design kit. 

The early version of the strategic design kit includes over twenty design thinking templates hosted by miro (sneak preview here) and accompanying videos featuring CMU's faculty. The kit hopes to catalyze a broad audience of strategy, sales, product and design professionals to shape the world in a more empathetic way at a fraction of the time and cost of legacy methods.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Kwaku Jyamfi

Invest in Farm to Flame Energy: Clean Electricity at Half the Cost of Diesel Tackles $4.4T Power Market

Farm to Flame Energy, Inc. founder and Swartz Fellow Kwaku Jyamfi, is ready for you to invest. According to Kwaku, thirteen percent of the world still lacks access to reliable electricity, and their best alternative is expensive, polluting and toxic backup diesel generators.  Farm to Flame's smokeless generators provide sustainable electricity at half the cost of diesel generators. The company is uniquely positioned to provide the 24-hour renewable power needed to displace fossil fuel use.

Now anyone can invest in Farm to Flame Energy Inc. at even just $100,  become a co-owner, and engage in its multi-billion dollar growth.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Priyanka Aggarwal

Tepper School of Business Alumna Launches Chai Company

When Tepper School of Business alumna Priyanka Aggarwal (TPR '15) started creating her own chai blends in her kitchen, she soon discovered she had a hit among her friends and family. Soon after returning from a trip to India, she founded her company Chaibag in 2021 and its unique flavors came to life.

Chaibag is not just tea. With Prianka's extensive knowledge of spices, she takes pride in creating a curated chai experience. Each tea bag is generously packed with carefully sourced herbs, spices and premium quality tea—all hand-picked in India. Chaibag's black tea comes from the oldest tea garden in the Terai region, which is near the foothills of the Himalayas. To enhance the natural flavor, the spices are dry roasted and freshly ground prior to blending. Each bag is packed right where it’s grown, providing a fresh, exciting and flavorful cup of chai.

Find out more about Chaibag.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Rob Miller

CMU's Rob Miller Launches Grab N' Go Micro-Retail Shop

Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business student and Swartz Fellow Rob Miller, is the founder of By Me, a grab n' go micro-retail shop serving high quality, flavor filled and affordable grain bowls. All of the grain bowls served at By Me are made fresh daily with local culinary partners and prominently feature regionally sourced and sustainably grown ingredients. Combining these attributes through a tech enabled consumer experience, By Me is the exciting lunch option for you to turn to day in and day out for deliciously convenient meals, without breaking the bank.

Come out and join us for the By Me pop-up launch at Market House in Lawrenceville.

  • What: ByMe Grab-n-Go Grain Bowls Pop-Up
  • Where: Market House, 41st and Butler Street
  • Dates: Free Samples: 9/17-9/18 and 9/24-9/25
  • Full Pop-up Lunch: Thurs-Sun / September 29 - October 9th
  • Times: 10 AM - 3 PM (Check instagram and website for updated times)


Friday, September 9, 2022

Dave Mawhinney

The Swartz Center's Dave Mawhinney To Receive Pittsburgh Inno Fire Award on September 15

Dave Mawhinney, executive director of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, has been named a recipient of a Pittsburgh Inno Fire Award for his support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pittsburgh. He along with the other honorees will be celebrated during an event at The Assembly in Bloomfield on Thursday, September 15 and in a special edition of the Pittsburgh Business Times on Friday, September 16.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Toyz Electronics

Toyz Electronics Among Semi Finalists For UpPrize's 2022 Social Innovation Challenge

Toyz Electronics is a semifinalist in the 2022 UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge. This year’s challenge focuses on technologies and solutions focused on racial and economic justice.

Toyz is an education technology company founded by Damola Idowu and his son, CMU ECE alumnus Wole that uses game-based learning and adaptive learning to introduce minority and underserved students to skill development for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) careers.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Chris Gassman

Chris Gassman Among Recipients of the 2022 Tepper School Alumni Awards

Tepper School of Business alumnus Chris Gassman is among the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Awards. Chris, an outstanding alumni connector and experienced entrepreneur, is co-founder and Chief Commercialization Officer of MAAL Associates, LLC and is also a mentor for the CMU Swartz Center. He was recently named Associate Director at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Sustainable Business.

Read more at Tepper School of Business.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Alanna Fusaro

The Inuitive Foundation Spotlights Its Partnership with the Swartz Center's VentureBridge Program

In a recent LinkedIn post, the Robert & Kathleen Dobkin Intuitive Foundation spotlights its partnership with the CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship to create the accelertor program, VentureBridge and highlights one of the program participants, Alanna Fusaro, founder of VICE VERSA. Alanna's company blends fashion and engineering to create magical shoes that fold into flats.

Friday, July 22, 2022


Wisy Named Startup of the Year at Cloud Ward Expo Days

Wisy, a 2019 VentureBridge company founded by CEO Min Chen, recently won the Startup of the Year designation at the Cloud Ward Expo Days. Chen impressed attendees at the Expo with Wisy’s retail intelligence platform, an intuitive app that dramatically increases the accuracy of a company’s real-time shelf data, reducing the potential revenue lost to out-of-stock products, solving a $1T annual problem.

Wisy is considered one of the most successful startups born in Latin America with operations in Silicon Valley. The company was just featured in Forbes Central America.

Friday, July 15, 2022


VentureBridge 2022 Summer Cohort Spotlight - Brandbass

Brandbass, one of the new VentureBridge 2022 Summer cohort companies, is a B2B social commerce platform that matches brands with everyday creators to get social content on-demand. Co-founded by Mya Papolu, Tepper School of Business/CIT and Vamsi Nagavarapu, University of Missouri-St Louis, Brandbass enables businesses to connect with the right "brand ambassadors" to create high-quality, shoppable content such as social video in just days or hours. The company's mission is highlighted in a recent article which was originally published on AdWeek.

The company is excited to partner with and work with startups and customers who are interested in learning more about their product.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Swartz Center Space

A Second Look at the Swartz Center's VentureBridge Summer Cohort

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship announced its latest round of startups participating in its prestigious VentureBridge program.

This year's summer 2022 cohort includes twelve startups, many of which are working to address and solve challenges across industries including climate change-related solutions, legal matters, new forms of finance and digital ownership, among others. Several are based in Pittsburgh, and others are based in San Francisco or New York.

 Read more on Pittsburgh Inno.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Vice Versa

Design Alumna Launches VICE VERSA

As featured in an earlier edition of the Weekly Bulletin and recently in this week's CMU Piper Weekly, Alanna Fusaro, CMU School of Design alumna (BFA ’14) and 2019 VentureBridge participant, recently founded and launched VICE VERSA, a shoe brand specializing in heels that fold into flats. The shoes, which “walk the fine line between engineering and fashion,” were the result of a design process that included trips to factories around the world, CAD modeling, 3D prints and mechanical quality testing with Boeing engineers.


Friday, May 6, 2022


The CMU Graduate Entrepreneur Club Hosts Swartz Shorts Podcast Featuring Matt Spettel, CoPilot

Personalizing Fitness For Long Term Lifestyle Change On this weeks Swartz Shorts, organized by the Carnegie Mellon Graduate Entrepreneurship Club (GEC), Matt Spettel CEO and Co-Founder of CoPilot, shares how his company, CoPilot, helps its users to redefine their fitness journey and connect them with human coaches to build simple, habit forming strategies. As their team likes to say "The greatest things in life are achieved together"!

Watch the episode, and subscribe to Swartz Shorts on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Ishgun Singh Arora

Innovation Scholar Ishgun Singh Arora Launches The FashionVerse, Inc.

Co-founded by current Innovation Scholar Ishgun Singh Arora (Statistics and Machine Learning, SCS/Dietrich) and Isabella Boleng, (Science in Statistics, Dietrich),The FashionVerse, Inc. is an NFT marketplace for 3D digital clothing. All fashion NFTs are wearable in virtual worlds like Decentraland, and they are often interlinked with physical pieces. The company, which has raised capital at a 10+ million dollar valuation, functions as a web3 fashion retailer enabling self-expression in the metaverse with utility-driven NFTs.

The co-founders are releasing the genesis collection with six drops: streetwear, evening wear, party wear, vintage, ethnic and limitless pieces of fashion beginning in April. Join the company's discord server to get involved with the community and follow on Twitter.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Tartans on the Rise

Meet the 2022 Tartans On The Rise

Tartans on the Rise celebrates recent alumni who are making an impact in their organizations and in their communities, across the nation and around the world through leadership, innovation and career achievements. Several CMU alumni startup founders made the 2022 list:

  • Doug Bernstein, CoFounder and CEO, PECA Labs
  • Arush Kalra, CoFounder and CSO, PECA Labs
  • Jamie Quinterno, CoFounder and COO, PECA Labs
  • Kwaku Jyamfi, CEO, Farm to Flame Energy


Friday, March 11, 2022

Tepper Podcast

Tepper Voices From The Intelligent Future Podcast Features Meredith Meyer Grelli

The Tepper School of Business podcast, VOICES, transports listeners to The Intelligent Future. Here, alumni share their experiences from their time at the Tepper School and beyond—discussing how the school’s data-informed, emotionally intelligent approach to business has helped them to co-create the future of the landscape with their successful business ventures. The first episode, "A Woman In Whiskey", features Wigle Whiskey co-founder Meredith Meyer Grelli.

Listen to the podcast.

Friday, February 11, 2022


Pralent Opens Up Beta for Communities

Pralent, co-founded by CMU alumnus Samarth Gowda, is building the future of online communities. The company's goal is to put a users entire community in one place—events, jobs, projects, networking, programs and more. Samarth, the former president of CMU"s Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association (UEA), has participated in several Swartz Center programs, competed in the 2021 McGinnis Venture Competition, and is currently working on Pralent out of the Swartz Center. Visit the Pralent website to learn more and sign up for the beta.

Friday, February 4, 2022


TOMO Design Studio Lives Up to the Promise of 3D Printing

TOMO, founded by CMU alumnus Reggie Raye, is a design studio focused on living up to the promise of 3D printing—museum-quality products at the push of a button. Unlike most startups, TOMO's R&D efforts don’t go straight into the dust bin—they end up in home goods that its supporters can buy, download or 3D print themselves. Since joining the CMU Swartz Center, TOMO’s output has advanced from products for home and garden to analogue computers.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Gus Jenkins

CMU Alumnus Gus Jenkins Creates Scholarship to Fund African American Men Pursuing STEM Degrees

To accelerate his passion to give back to his community, CMU alumnus and 2016 Swartz Fellow Gus Jenkins started a scholarship fund last year called Moonshot Dreamers, aimed at creating self-sustaining assets to fund African-American men pursuing STEM degrees. The fund supports high school seniors or current, first generation undergraduate and graduate students from low-income households.

Gus, a software engineer at ShipBob, Inc., has raised over $8K for the scholarship so far and is currently looking for the Moonshot Dreamers 2022 scholarship recipient.

Visit the Moonshot Dreamers website here to learn more, or if interested in making a donation.