What's The Wolff New Venture Competition?
The Wolff New Venture Competition features live pitches by the five top startups coming out of UConn each year. The legwork for the competition begins in March, where 10 startups are hand-selected by an independent panel to participate in the CCEI Summer Fellowship Program. Here, CCEI works to strengthen the support for the university's top entrepreneurial teams and take them beyond concepts and towards market readiness.
After this eight-week accelerator, the teams present their final pitches to a panel of judges and the top five startups are selected to compete in the Wolff New Venture Competition; chosen on a basis of venture viability and value-added to the market. A panel of venture experts then decides which team deserves the Wolff New Venture Prize and the $25,000 winnings accompanying it!
Congratulations to the 2022 Wolff New Venture Competition Winner!
Led by Jayme Coates and Brittany Molkenthin, Lactation Innovations features a device that provides critical insights into the amount of breastmilk an infant has digested. Lactation Innovations won the $25,000 Wolff New Venture Prize. Read more about Lactation Innovations.
Photographed: John A. Elliott, Dean of the School of Business; Greg Wolff, managing member of Wolff Financial Group; Michelle Cote, Instructor and Director of strategic partnerships at CCEI; Jayme Coates, alumna and co-founder of Lactation Innovations; Jennifer Mathieu, Executive Director of CCEI; and Rory McGloin, professor of communication.
2022 Wolff New Venture Competition Finalists:
Led by Hunter Bowden, Michael Greco, Hailey Altobelli, Jonathan Moore, and Michelle Saglimbene, Appoint is a SaaS that removes the burden and stress of overly complicated nursing clinical schedules.
Appoint won the $5,000 Mark and Jamie Summers Innovation Award. Read more about Appoint.
Led by Daniele Fabris and Limin Deng, RiboDynamicsis technology used for the detection of pathogens in biological material based on the presence of specific RNA biomarkers.RiboDynamics won the $5,000 BD Emerson Legal Services Award. Read more about RiboDynamics.
Led by Brian Peng and Shivam Patel, ShadeSnap gives prescription glasses the ability to tint and un-tint on demand.
ShadeSnap won the $5,000 FML Audience Choice Award. Read more about ShadeSnap.
Led by Ashkan Novin, Genesist is an RNA based reagent that makes the healthy tissue surrounding a tumor in a patient's body more resistive against breast cancer metastasis.
Genesist won the $5,000 Baystate Financial Disruption Award.
Previous Wolff New Venture Competition Winners:
2021 Wolff Winner: ProVelocity Bat
Led by Elijah Taitel, '22 (ENG) and (BUS), ProVelocity Bat is an innovative baseball and softball training tool that has a sliding “power barrel” that releases to the impact position when a batter achieves the desired speed.
Read more about ProVelocity Bat.
2020 Wolff Winner: Pisces Atlantic
Led by Peter Goggins, '21 (CAHNR), Pisces Atlantic aims to render fishmeal-based formulations obsolete by providing species- and application- specific feed formulations that are economical, effective, and generally superior to conventional feed solutions.
Read more about Pisces Atlantic.
2019 Wolff Winner: Phoenix Tailings
Led by Nicholas Myers and Michael Martin '17 (ENG) '19 MS, Phoenix Tailings recycles industrial mining waste that produces usable material for other industries.
Read more about Phoenix Tailings.
2018 Wolff Winner: Bastion Health
Led by Reza Amin and Stephanie Knowlton, graduate students in the School of Engineering, Bastion Health is an at home, affordable and easy to use test for male fertility.
Read more about Bastion Health.
2017 Wolff Winner: Simvize
Led by Kostyantyn Partola, a graduate student in ENG, and Dr. George Lykotrafitis, Simvize developed a device designed to help physicians measure patients’ blood viscosity, a traditionally un-used, but promising indicator of cardiac risk, and health for patients on dialysis and certain types of cancers.
Read more about Simvize.
Previous Wolff Finalists
Queen Bee: Raina Jain, Undergraduate, School of Business
All-natural beverage by mixing royal jelly, from beehives with ginger and turmeric. Learn More
Engagement Solutions: Shaleighne Cantner, Alumni, NEAG School of Education
Startup Offering Lifeline to Families Trying to Access Special Education Services. Learn More
ProVelcocity Bat: Elijah Taitel, Undergraduate, School of Business
New Iteration of Baseball-Training Invention Learn More
InPrint Bio: Jacob Quint, Ph.D. Student, School of Engineering
Offers Reconstructive Breakthrough After Breast Surgery Learn More
Reactomol: Eugene Pinkhassik, Sergey Dergunov, and Kevin Rivera
Startup Strives to Simplify Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Reduce Toxic Waste. Learn More
Junity: Janoye Williams, School of Business
A nonprofit that aims to be a connection point between underprivileged youth and guidance counselors with educational, employment and mentorship programs. Learn More
SedMed: Jeremy Bronen, School of Engineering
SedMed creates toilet lift assist devices to help the elderly get on and off toilets. Learn More
onewith: Haley Segar, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
A bathing suit brand that provides a smoothing, second-skin fit with the feel of seamless undergarments. Learn More
Pisces Atlantic: Peter Goggins, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
An innovative fish food based on his belief that the fish that people consume should be fed healthy ingredients. Learn More
VeraDermics: Reid Waldman, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
A revolutionary treatment that eliminates warts by delivering precise wart-busting medication via a microneedle patch that looks similar to a bandage.Learn More
Geyser Remediation: Nikolas Franceschi-Hofmann, School of Engineering, Brendan MacInyre, School of Engineering, Elizabeth Perry, School of Business, Gabrielle Conrad-Amlicke, School of Social Work
A remediation system that breaks down PFAS in drinking water. Learn More
Land Maverick: Emily Yale, School of Engineering
A soil-sampling rover that can test soil moisture, pH, and overall nutrient level creating precise and organized measurements to maintain soil quality. Learn More
Levo International: Christian Heiden, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
Provides sustainable produce to suburban families and uses the proceeds to increase food stability in other countries. Their Patio Greenhouse is a self-contained growing system that allows suburban homeowners to grow healthy agriculture in the convenience of their own homes. Learn More
Nami Therapeutics: Dr. Xiuling Lu, School of Pharmacy, Derek Hargrove, School of Pharmacy, Sterling Glass, School of Pharmacy
Provide advanced cancer treatments to fulfill the unmet needs of patients and partner with pharmaceutical companies to help in minimizing product toxicity while maximizing effectiveness. Learn More
Phoenix Tailings: Michael Martin, School of Engineering, Nicholas Myers
Recycles industrial mining waste that produces usable material for other industries. Learn More
Encapsulate: Armin Tahmasbi Rad, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Engineering & Leila Daneshmandi, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Engineering
A diagnosis device to determine personalized treatment for cancer.
MycoZap: Dr. Cindy Tian, Faculty, College of Agriculture, Health, & Natural Resources & Elizabeth Johnson, Graduate Student, College of Agriculture, Health, & Natural Resources
A plant-derived antimicrobial treatment for illness in cattle caused by microplasma bovis.
QRFertile: Reza Amin, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Engineering, Stephanie Knowlton, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Engineering, & Dr. Savas Tasoglu, Faculty, School of Engineering
An in-home device to measure male fertility. Learn More
SAVKAR.AI: Dr. Amit Savkar, Faculty, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Bill Moschella, Chairman, Savkar, Inc. & David Nichols, Ph.D. Candidate, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
A predictive analytics platform for student retention in STEM fields.
WellTech: Dr. Robert Aseltine, Faculty, UConn Health, Dr. Riddhi Doshi, Postdoctoral Fellow, UConn Health, Wenjie Wang, Graduate Student, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Madeleine Aseltine, Undergraduate Student, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, & Cal Colins, Industry Partner, CEO, OpenClinica
Tablet application to assist healthcare providers in collecting patient information to improve
Hans Health: Dr. David Han, Faculty, UConn Health & Veneta Quendro, Ph.D. Student, UConn Health
Developed a new way to provide doctors with information about the specific type of mutations causing an individual patient’s form of cancer. Learn More
NataSure: Dr. Courtney Townsel, Fellow, UConn Health & Dr. Winston Campbell, Faculty, UConn Health
Developed a new device that will replace in the treatment of cervical insufficiency, a condition that causes prevent premature birth due and miscarriage.
Potentiometric Probes: Dr. Corey Acker, Research Associate, UConn Health, Dr. Leslie Lowe, Faculty, UConn Health & Dr. Ping Yan, Research Associate, UConn Health
Created a new voltage-sensitive dye that can help medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies study electrical conductivity in cells, and test for dangerous cardiac side effects while new prescription drugs are in development. Learn More
Quantum Purification: Dong Yu, Graduate Student, School of Business & Michael Curtis, Industry Mentor
Developed a new type of filtration process to help producers of biogas – a renewable natural gas – remove damaging and toxic byproducts more cost efficiently than current solutions that limit its production and adoption as a reliable form of alternative energy.
The Wolff New Venture Competition Is Proudly Supported By:
The Wolff Prize is endowed through the Thomas John and Bette Wolff Family Fund in Strategic Entrepreneurship, established to provide leadership for teaching and research in the field of strategic entrepreneurship. The Wolff family has a long tradition of business success, personal philanthropy, commitment to the University of Connecticut, the UConn Business School, and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We are grateful for the support of Thomas John (1928-2008) and Bette and their three children Greg, Gary, and Debi.