Boston Entrepreneurs Take Top Honors in Global Startup Open Competition
Nov 23, 2011
Prizes Include Trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool and One-Year Mentorship with Redbox Founders
WASHINGTON (Nov. 14, 2011) – Startup Open, a competition for startups with high-growth potential featured as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2011, today announced the two grand prize winners: Kavita Shukla, founder of Fenugreen, and Jason Ethier, founder of Dynamo Micropower. The two Boston-area entrepreneurs were selected from a group of startups dubbed the “GEW 50” announced last month. In selecting the winners, a panel of judges took into account each of the startups’ concept, growth projections and knowledge of their industry.
“Young firms, like those conceptualized by Kavita and Jason, are the linchpins to revitalizing the world economy,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, founder of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “Their ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurial passions exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship and will inspire others to strive to create new firms.”
Shukla’s Fenugreen offers patented, all-natural material to address the global challenge of food spoilage. The sustainable product keeps food fresher from "farm to fork" by helping reduce transportation, inventory and energy costs. Shukla will receive an all-expenses paid trip to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool in March 2012. The Congress will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, global leaders and startup champions from more than 100 countries. Shukla will have the opportunity to showcase her business plan on a global scale, gain valuable insight from successful and experienced entrepreneurs, and network with world leaders and economists.
Ethier’s Dynamo Micropower has developed a proprietary ultra-micro turbine architecture that will supplant conventional power solutions in the sub-10kW range. Ethier will receive one year of mentoring from Redbox founding members and serial entrepreneurs Michael DeLazzer and Biju Kulathaka, courtesy of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). The program will include a trip to DeLazzer’s home in Marco Island, Fla. where Ethier’s business plan will be scrutinized and market opportunities will be identified.
Selected startups from the “GEW 50” will be invited to participate in Start-Up Chile, a ground-breaking program that attracts world-class, early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world to start a business in Chile. The program offers startups $40,000 in equity-free, seed capital and a one-year work visa in Chile, along with access to the most potent social and capital networks in the country. “GEW 50” company participation could help Start-Up Chile reach its goal of bringing in 300 participants to Chile in 2011.
The Startup Open competition, now in its second year, was open to entrepreneurs who had a “startup moment” between GEW 2010 and GEW 2011 (11/22/10 to 11/20/11). A startup moment is defined as any event related to launching a new business, such as incorporating a company; officially opening the doors for business; completing a first sale; and securing outside funding.
Today’s announcement coincides with the beginning of GEW, an initiative to spur new ideas, ingenuity and firm creation through local, national and global activities. A record 123 countries will take part in the week-long event. In the U.S. alone, more than 1,400 organizations – including top universities, non-profit organizations, startups, government agencies and corporate sponsors – will host 3,500 GEW events.
Global Entrepreneurship Week
During one week each November, thousands of activities around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial action while connecting them to potential mentors, collaborators and investors. In four short years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to more than 100 countries—empowering nearly 20 million people through 95,000 activities. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a growing network of 24,000 partner organizations. For more information, visit unleashingideas.org, and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students set to open in 2011. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on Twitter at @kauffmanfdn and Facebook.