Launched by Case Western Reserve University, CWRU trustee and venture capitalist Bob Pavey,
JumpStart Inc. and the Morgenthaler family, this competition honors the memory of David Morgenthaler,
a pioneer and icon of the American venture capital industry.
The Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition is designed to find and support high-potential startup companies coming out of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), while simultaneously training students to evaluate and ultimately invest in these types of ventures.
To fulfill this goal, the competition takes the novel approach of placing students on both sides of the financing process. Students will hone their venture capital skills by conducting due diligence on the competing startups, led by CWRU’s A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Scott Shane.
Meanwhile, founding teams with at least one current or recent CWRU alumni (graduates within the last five years) can apply for the chance to be one of six finalists who will compete for up to $25,000 in funding and valuable entrepreneurial assistance from JumpStart Inc. to help grow their venture.
The competition honors the memory of David Morgenthaler, a titan of the American venture capital industry who was president, chairman or director of more than 30 companies and was among the earliest venture capitalists to back legendary tech startups such as Apple and Nextel.
“Dave and I have always believed institutions can enhance their students’ academic and life experience by adding something new. We have taken a similar approach at a number of universities around the country, where we were alums, and I am excited that we have an opportunity to do it at home here at CWRU in Cleveland, too. This would have made Dave very happy.”
— Bob Pavey, Pavey Investments
The competition is backed by CWRU; Bob Pavey, managing partner of Pavey Investments and partner emeritus at Cleveland-based Morgenthaler Ventures; JumpStart Inc., a nationally recognized Cleveland nonprofit that supports and invests in Ohio-based tech startups; and the Morgenthaler Family Charitable Foundation.
Spring 2018 Winners
On Thursday, March 15, 2018 six startups with founding teams consisting of at least one current Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) student or recent alumni pitched at the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] for a shot at $50,000 in total prize money.
The six finalists received assistance from JumpStart Inc. to hone their pitch before taking the stage. They also received Thompson Hine’s QuickLaunch package and a 25% discount for all other legal services until the company raises $250,000.
Here are the three winners:
First Place – $25,000
Apollo Medical Devices
Apollo Medical Devices is commercializing a rapid blood testing technology with an anticipated turnaround time of five minutes using just a single drop of blood.
Second Place – $15,000
Hedgemon is focused on creating protective shock-absorbing materials for safer football helmets, drawing inspiration from hedgehog quills.
Third Place – $10,000
ImaginAG is pairing algorithms with drone technology to analyze aerial images of agriculture and timber lands.