MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition

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The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is a student-managed business plan competition, where undergraduates and postgraduates from various programs and all levels at MIT organize and enter the competition. Teams must include at least one full-time MIT student, but membership is not restricted to the MIT community. The competition is supported by the MIT Entrepreneurship Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Every year a total of $300,000 is distributed as non-dilutive grant money. Since 1990, over 160 companies have been started as a result of the competition, generating 4,600 jobs, receiving over $1.3 billion in follow-up venture capital funding and totaling a cumulative market value of over $15 billion.


Throughout the academic year, the teams take part in a process that includes industry and legal mentorship, multiple live judging rounds, prototyping and pitch workshops, expense accounts for venture development, networking events with sponsors and alumni, and the awarding of roughly US$300,000 in non-dilutive prize money.

The competition started in 1990 as the $10K competition, and continued to grow throughout the 1990s. In 1996 the $10K evolved into the $50K with $30K going to the winner and $10K to each of two runners-up. In 2006, the $50K grant competition also added another aspect to the competition focused on business plans for low-income communities to complement the traditional business venture competition. Subsequently, the competition has rebranded itself with a bigger grant amount of $100K and is called as MIT $100K Pitch Contest.

MIT $100K PITCH Contest[edit]

The MIT $100K Pitch Contest is organized yearly by the MIT $100K organizing committee. Intended to provide a way for entrepreneurs with ideas to form teams, it is held in the fall. The contest is a warm-up event for the Executive Summary Contest, held in the winter, and the Business Plan Contest held in the spring. In the Elevator Pitch Contest, each contestant is given 60 seconds in front of a crowd to give their "elevator pitch" with the winner receiving a cash prize. This contest is open to the public.

MIT $100K ACCELERATE Contest[edit]

The MIT $100K ACCELERATE Contest replaced the MIT $100K Executive Summary Contest in 2011. It is held in the winter of academic year and is intended to help teams build a robust prototype for their start-up idea. Teams work on creating a demonstration of their idea over December and January, and the best selected are ACCELERATE Finale Show. MIT $100K provides resources and mentorship to help teams build their demonstrations, which will be reviewed by a panel of judges, with the winner receiving a cash prize.[1]

MIT $100K LAUNCH - Business Plan Contest[edit]

The MIT $100K Launch Contest is the flagship of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. In the spring, semi-finalists are selected from all business plan submissions. LAUNCH is the final contest in the $100K cycle. Participants present full-scale business plans for the chance to win a $100,000 Grand Prize.

Winners - Business Plan Contest[edit]

Year Winner Track and Description Team Members
2022 Nona+ Desalination Cleantech, Sustainability, Hardware Junghyo Yoon, Bruce Crawford
2021 Osmoses Cleantech, Energy Efficiency Francesco Maria Benedetti, Katherine Mizrahi Rodriguez, Holden Lai
2020 Ocular Technologies Hardware, Health & Wellness Brett Sternfield, Zona Liu, Grayson Armstrong
2019 Acoustic Wells Artificial Intelligence, IoT Sebastien Mannai, Charles-Henri Clerget, Louis Creteur
2018 Infinite Cooling n/a Maher Damak, Karim Khalil
2017 Lightmatter Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Photonic Computing Nick Harris, Darius, Dr. Yichen Shen, Thomas Graham
2016 Astraeus Technologies Medical Devices (Diagnostics) Joe Azzarelli, Alex Blair, Jay Kumar, Graham Lieberman
2015 Raptor Maps n/a Nikhil Vadhavkar, Forrest Meyen, Edward Obropta
2014 Disease Diagnostic Group n/a
2013 3dim Mobile Track Andrea Colaço, Nan-Wei Gong, Vivek K. Goyal, Ahmed Kirmani, Nate Stewart, and Rahul Tejwani
2012 Mobile Track Brett Van Zuiden, Anand Dass, David Chang, Thomas G
2011 Sanergy Emerging Markets Track David Auerbach, Lindsay Stradley, Ani Vallabhaneni
2010 C-Crete Products & Services Track Rouzbeh Shahsavari, Natanel Barookhian
2009 Ksplice Web/IT Track Tim Abbott, Jeff Arnold, Waseem Daher, Anders Kaseorg, Nelson Elhage
2008 Diagnostics for All Life Sciences Track Roozbeh Ghaffari, Jon Puz, Hayat Sindi, Gilbert Tang, Carol Waghorne, Krishna Yeshwant
2007 Robopsy Medical Devices (for biopsies) John Harthorne, Conor Walsh, Nevan Hanumara
2006 Semprus BioSciences (formerly SteriCoat) Surface Modifications on Medical Devices Chris Loose, David Lucchino, Joel Moxley, Mike Hencke and Vipin Gupta
2005 Balico Medical Devices Baruch Schori, Harry Lee, Kathleen Sienko, Jimmy Robertsson
2004 Active Joint Brace
Now:Myomo Inc.
Medical Devices Mira Sahney, Kailas Narendran, John McBean, Joe Jackson, Hocking Chen, Raja Surapanani,
2003 SmartCells Medical Devices Todd C. Zion, Robert Bruch, Martin Curiel, John Hebert, Tsafrir Vanounou
1998 Direct Hit Technologies Internet search engine Mike Cassidy, Gary Culliss, Steven Yang
1992 Toolbox Machine Tool Controller Miles Arnone, Chad Clawson, Dan Berkery
1991 Stylus Innovation Barcode-based remote shopping Krisztina 'Z' Holly, Mike Cassidy, John Barrus

Notable companies formed through the competition[edit]

Since its founding, the $100K Competition has helped launch more than 60 companies with an aggregate value of greater than $10.5 billion. Prominent $100K alumni companies include Akamai, net. Genesis, and C-Bridge.

Year Competition Result Company Result Exit lue
1991 Grand-Prize Winner Stylus Innovation Acquired - 1996 $12.8M
1995 Finalist Harmonix, Inc. Acquired - 2006 $700M
1995 Finalist Silicon Spice Acquired by Broadcom $1.2 billion
1996 Finalist Webline Communications Acquired by Cisco $325M
1998 Grand-Prize Winner Direct Hit Acquired - 2000[2] $517M
1998 Runner-up Akamai IPO - 1999 $26.00 per share

Current market cap: $12.50 Billion

2003 Finalist Brontes Technologies Acquired by 3M - 2006 $95M
2006 Finalist HubSpot CurrenMarket cap $2.29 Billion
2010 Finalist Pushpins Acquired by Ebates - 2012[3] $10–17M
2010 Runner-Up[4] Flywire (fka PeerTransfer) IPO - 2021[5] $250M

History: MIT $10K/$50K/$100K Entrepreneurial Competition[edit]

The competition was founded in the 1989–1990 academic year and was initially intended as a promotional vehicle for the MIT Entrepreneurs Club (now the MIT E-Club.) Club members Richard Durling-Shyduroff and Douglas Ling along with club Founder Peter Mui envisioned a cross-campus event that brought MIT's varied schools together to identify and support innovative ideas on campus. The goal was to create a safe, nurturing, (relatively controlled) sandbox environment where fledgling entrepreneurs could try their wings. The lead alumni donor was George Hatsopoulos of Thermo Electron. with additional generous support from other alumni, the Sloan School (Dean Lester Thurow) and Engineering School (Acting Dean Jack Kerrebrock.)

Managing Directors[edit]

Year Name
2022 Ezgi Emiroglu, Jimmy Teng, Graziano Gallitto
2021 Claire Beskin, Thierno Sylla, Samuel Lambert
2020 Akhilesh Koppineni, Christian Mirabile, Jennifer Shin
2019 Harry Kainen, Kat Krieger, Cy Schroeder
2018 Jake Guglin, Sandy Corrales
2017 Bar Kafri
2016 Monique Guimond
2015 Marc Chalifoux, Jake Auchincloss
2014 Peri AbouZied, Gino Korolev
2013 Ally Yost, Haya Al Ghanim
2012 Alice Francis, Adam Borelli
2011 John Casey, Kourosh Kaghazian
2010 Daniel Vannoni
2009 Sombit Mishra, Brian Cantwell
2008 Frederic Kerrest
2007 Jeff Sabados
2006 Karina Drees
2005 Jason Fuller, Lawrence Walmsley
2004 Ian Blakely, Marcus Lopez
2003 Dan Riskin, Matt Richards
2002 Brian Curtis
2001 Michael Parduhn
2000 Elad Gil
1999 Heather Wilding
1998 Scott Blankstein
1997 Sally Shepard
1996 Will Clurman
1995 James Deverell
1994 Joost Bonsen
1993 Joost Bonsen
1992 Doug Ling
1991 Doug Ling
1990 Peter Mui, Doug Ling
1989 Peter Mui, Doug Ling

Entrepreneurship for Development Competition[edit]

The Entrepreneurship for Development Competition is a competition for business plans that are judged on the following criteria: uniqueness of business idea, management strength, path to sustainability and social impact. The competition was added in 2006 as a complement to the Business Venture Competition due to increasing demand and interest in socially conscious ideas. In the spring, semi-finalists are selected from all business plan submissions. Semi-finalists submit more detailed business plans and 5-6 finalists are then chosen. At the awards ceremony, the top team is awarded the Entrepreneurship for Development grand prize.

Winners - Entrepreneurship for Development Competition[edit]

In 1998, a dual award within the Venture Competition was awarded to a pair of finalists including Volunteer Community Connection. At the time, VCC was a non-traditional entry into the competition and has since served as a motivating example for the genesis of the MIT $100K Developmental Entrepreneurship Competition. As a result, they are listed as a winner and implicitly as an innovator within the Entrepreneurship for Development Competition.

Year Winner Description Team Members
2007 Bagazo Alternate Fuels from Agricultural Waste Johan Löfström, Felicita Holsztejn, Jules D. Walter, Gerthy Lahens, Amy Banzaert
2006 CentroMigrante Sustainable Housing for Migrant Communities Illac Diaz, Neil Ruiz, Tina Laforteza, Artessa Salvidar-Sali, Bianca Locsin, Chester Yu
1998 Volunteer Community Connection The Volunteer Community Connection enables the easy and automated sign-up and management of volunteers with non-profit agencies. Michael Bryzek, Jonathan Allen, Oumi Mehrotra, Emily Sandberg, Mark Y. Sun

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Accelerate".
  2. ^ "Ask Jeeves Investor Relations". Archived from the original on 11 January 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Performance Marketing Brands (A.k.a. Ebates) Buys Grocery Shopping App Pushpins". 20 January 2013.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2021-06-01. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Gardizy, Anissa (May 25, 2021). "Boston payments firm Flywire raises $250 million in IPO". Retrieved 2021-06-01.

External links[edit]