What do safe sanitation, home neutrophil-level testing, and production management software have in common? They’re all ideas driving the winning projects of the 2014 Columbia Venture Competition! Launched in 2009 by Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Competition drew 62 applications from current Columbia students and recent alumni this year. Six projects made the final round, judged by a team of NYC business leaders that included Gilt Chief Information Officer Steve Jacobs (who received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Columbia).
This year’s top prize of $25,000 went to Toilets for People, who have developed a composting toilet aimed at creating clean sanitation for more than three million people within the next decade. The second and third place winners were PhD Devices, who created an affordable, portable neutrophil-level counter; and GamePlan, a construction management startup.
“It was so cool to see such a passionate group of people trying to change the world in such diverse ways,” Steve says of his experience judging the competition. Congrats to the winners!