Winners of the 2017-18 Howard Cox '64 Prize for entrepreneurship
($15k) 1st Place: BlockX (now Afari)
($10k) 2nd Place: Food Period
($5k) 3rd Place: Retinox Medical
Join us on event day
Meet the teams
BlockX builds blockchain-based applications, like decentralized micro-blogging and messaging platforms, that help people own their data and regain their privacy on the internet.
EMDR VR is a virtual reality application that provides simulated EMDR therapy to effectively treat PTSD and other mental illness.
Food Period designs functional food products that help women have great periods, naturally.
Mechanodontics is revolutionizing orthodontics with a new type of braces that is not visible, cuts the treatment time by half, and decreases the number of orthodontist visits.
Oculogx is building an AR app that makes Order Picking 37% faster and saves $450K every year for warehouses.
The PSA blood test for prostate cancer sucks, Phylomics is a more accurate alternative that cuts down on unnecessary healthcare spending and testing.
Design to industry standard Swift code instantly.
Creating smart & innovative products that keep us powered up when on the go.
Using deep learning to eliminate inefficiencies that will enable doctors to perform their task in 1/4th of the time, and save hospitals millions of dollars annually.
Retinox is developing a revolutionary therapeutic contact lens that can prevent diabetic retinopathy from stealing the sight of someone you love.
Creating safer cops and safer communities with VR-based training for law enforcement.
Our app allows you to connect, meet and network with travelers waiting for their plane in your airport terminal.
KEYNOTE Speaker: CINDY HEALY, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS at microsoft
Cindy Healy has over 25 years experience in technology and leadership. For the past 12 years, she has held various leadership roles at Microsoft all with a common thread of driving efficiencies and improving experiences. In 2016 Cindy received the Circle of Excellence award (Microsoft’s highest level of recognition) for an innovative solution she created to simplify partner access to business-to-business systems and tools.
Prior to Microsoft, Cindy’s work experience spanned software development roles in entertainment and aerospace. At Napster and Movielink, Cindy was the Director of Software Development, leading teams who were among the first to deliver secure digital media over the internet. In aerospace, Cindy worked for several companies including six years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she worked as a Lead Software Engineer on NASA’s Mars Pathfinder project.
Cindy has been a sought-after mentor and speaker throughout her career and in 2017 made the leap to becoming a certified professional coach on top of her day job. She is passionate about helping people identify their dreams and plotting a course of action to achieve them.
Cindy holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from San Diego State University and is completing the Co-Active Coach Training Certification program. Outside of Microsoft, she enjoys spending time with her husband Paul and their sixteen-year old son Jack.
Meet the judges
Nikhil Basu Trivedi '11 is a Principal at Shasta Ventures in San Francisco, CA, where he focuses on early-stage venture capital investing in consumer-oriented companies. Nikhil joined Shasta in 2012, and has led or co-led the firm's investments in companies such as Bloc, Canva, ClassDojo, Eero, Frame.io, Hinge, Imperfect Produce, Stance, Survios, Tally, Timehop, and Whisper. Nikhil was previously at Insight Venture Partners, and at Artsy, a company he co-founded back in 2009 during his sophomore year at Princeton. Nikhil concentrated in molecular biology, with a certificate in finance, and restarted the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club in 2008.
Denali is an Associate at General Catalyst and Director of Operations at Rough Draft Ventures, an initiative backing student-founded startups. What excites her most about working with young entrepreneurs is the unique energy that drives them to get started now, not someday. She is also passionate about encourage more women to go on the startup journey. That includes working with universities to create the conditions for women to see themselves as entrepreneurs.
Doc Parghi is a venture capitalist with operational experience running and scaling businesses globally. Doc is a Partner with SRI Capital, an early stage venture capital firm. With over 30 investments, SRI Capital provides funding, advice and liquidity solutions to early stage start-ups primarily in enterprise software and deep tech. Previously, Doc was the Global GM of the Mobility, Social, and IoT business unit at CSC (now DXC Technology), with complete responsibility for building the business globally. DXC (NYSE: DXC) is a $20 Billion IT services and consulting company. Doc was on the founding team at AppLabs, the world’s largest independent software testing company with over 2,500 QA professionals in US, UK and India. He helped lead AppLabs through various transformations into what became the largest company of its kind. AppLabs was funded by Sequoia Capital. CSC acquired AppLabs, providing Sequoia with a sizeable return. Doc was involved with other early stage companies prior to AppLabs including iCoop (group purchasing dotcom). Doc received his BS and later his MBA from Drexel University.
Tripp is a General Partner with August Capital in Menlo Park, CA, and invests broadly in information technology companies, with a particular focus on consumer internet and enterprise applications software. Tripp also leads August’s Special Opportunities fund.
Tripp led August’s investments in ADARA, Bark & Co, Caer, CommonBond, Compology, Hipcamp, Paperless Post, Rocketmiles, Quandl, and Wattpad, and was involved in August’s investments in Avant, Ebates, Fastly, INRIX, Integral Ad Science, Mirantis, PubMatic, RJMetrics, Rockets of Awesome, and Zulily.
Tripp is a graduate of Princeton University.
Kef Kasdin is President & Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps, which mobilizes people, organizations, and networks for public good. Kef is also Board Chair at Rachel’s Network, a vibrant community of women at the intersection of environmental advocacy, philanthropy and women’s leadership. Kef created and taught the introductory “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” course at Princeton University, where she mentored 50 Princeton undergraduates per semester, inspiring them to launch innovations that can create value and make a difference in the world. Earlier in her career, Kef held senior leadership roles at 3Com Corporation, including general manager of a $1B division. She became a technology-startup consultant in the late 1990s, a venture capitalist in 2000 and a founding general partner of Battelle Ventures, where from 2003 to 2015 she led the firm’s investments in clean energy and started several companies based on U.S. Department of Energy Lab technologies. Kef holds a B.S.E degree in operations research from Princeton University, with a certificate in science and policy from the Woodrow Wilson School, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Amit joined NEA in 2012, where he is currently a Partner focused on consumer technology investments. He is a Board Observer for Casper, MasterClass, Brandless, and The Players’ Tribune, and was previously a Board Observer for Jet.com (acquired by Wal-Mart). As an Associate and Principal, Amit conducted diligence or assisted on more than two dozen companies on behalf of NEA, including Duolingo, Robinhood, Coursera, Snap, Uber, Appian, OnShape, Banjo, Moda Operandi, Care.com and Bridge International Academies. Amit was named to the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital. Prior to joining NEA, Amit was a member of J.P. Morgan’s Internet & Digital Media investment banking team. While at J.P. Morgan, Amit performed in-depth valuation analysis, due diligence, and industry analysis for over $37 billion worth of transactions including TripAdvisor’s spin-off from Expedia, Netflix’s common stock and convertible notes financing, and the IPOs of Facebook and Zynga. Amit earned his AB in Economics (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton University.
Mitchell R. Julis is Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Canyon Partners, LLC, a leading global alternative asset management firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Canyon specializes in value-oriented investments for endowments, foundations, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Its investment strategies focus on distressed loans, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, securitized assets, direct investments, real estate, arbitrage, and value equities. Mr. Julis is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A., honors). In 2014, Mr. Julis, along with his Co-Founder Mr. Friedman, received Institutional Investor’s “Lifetime Achievement” Award. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University and the Advisory Council for the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.