Mount and RefEd Take Top Prize at Boston University’s $64k New Venture Competition Finale 

On Friday, April 16, 2020, Boston University’s Innovate@BU initiative awarded $64,000 to six student and alumni startups in the annual New Venture Competition.

Over the last 21 years, more than 700 teams of BU Terriers have put forth new and innovative ideas through the New Venture Competition–these teams have represented every BU school and college and ideas have spanned almost every industry in the forms of new technology, for-profit ventures, and nonprofits.

For some, the competition has served as a launching point to take their venture to the next level or to make entrepreneurship their full-time role. And for others, it gave them the skills, confidence, and mindset needed to create impact through their careers and in their communities.
During the event, each of the twelve finalists presented a 60-second pitch before the following top three winners were announced in each track: General Ideas and Social Impact Ideas.

1st Place: $18,000

  • General Track: Mount, a company that uses its IOT smart lock and fleet management system to launch electric scooters at Airbnb and vacation rental properties.
  • Social Impact Track: RefEd, a mobile, interactive app designed specifically for refugee students without consistent access to education.

2nd Place: $8,000

  • General Track: Sky International Music Education, a company that provides online music lessons from teachers around the world and students in China.
  • Social Impact Track: Turn In. Reach Out., a place for resources for an entire family to learn and practice meditation, community building, expressive arts, and emotional intelligence.

3rd Place: $6,000

  • General Track: Phonetic Beats, a company that teaches phonetic literacy to small children using trap/music music.
  • Social Impact Track: Viinko, is making time management and organization education accessible for all students. Viinko integrates into a school’s curriculum, making the essential life skills or time management and organization a part of every student’s education.

Innovate@BU also announced the recipients of its two annual awards. Ian Mashiter received The Henry Morgan Award for her dedication to mentoring and coaching Boston University student entrepreneurs.

Hailey Hart-Thompson (CAS/COM ’21), who helped design and lead Innovate@BU’s inaugural First Year Innovation Fellows program, launched an Innovation Pathway project, collaborated with peers at Idea Nights, Emceed this year’s IDEA Conference, and was a finalist in this year’s Social Impact Track. The award is given to students who support and grow BU’s innovation and entrepreneurship communities and help spread the mission of Innovate@BU across the University.

A recording of the event can be viewed on YouTube and more information about the competition finalists can be found in the New Venture Competition Lookbook.

More Innovation, More Inspiration