25madison Hosts Harvard Business School Virtual Pitch Competition

Following a flood of entries, 5 finalists were selected, and a winner awarded $10,000.

By Samantha Eisler

This summer, 25madison teamed up with our cohort of Harvard Business School interns to create the 25madison pitch competition, open to all startups whose founding team includes at least one Harvard graduate student or a recent Harvard graduate. The top five finalists are receiving free pitch coaching sponsored by the Women in Investing Club, in the form of office hours with 25madison leaders, and AWS credits and support. The winner has been awarded a $10k non-dilutive cash prize and is eligible for additional investment or incubation.

After receiving 57 entries from startups, we can attest that the entrepreneurial scene at Harvard is strong. Entries spanned many industries and verticals, from consumer retail, to small business tech platforms, and b2b prop-tech solutions. No easy task, our team narrowed down the entrants to a short-list of five finalists, each of whom were asked to pitch to our panel of judges. After an exciting afternoon of pitches, we awarded the winner with $10k in non-dilutable equity.

We are excited to share our top 5 finalists.

Here they are, starting with our 4 runners-up and concluded with our 2020 pitch competition winner. Congratulations to these great startups!


Candelytics is partnered with a Navy research lab to develop and commercialize a proprietary LIDAR-based 3D scanning process. This process will serve as the “front end” data collection for our product. Our core product will be a software solution that aggregates, analyzes, and manages this 3D data within a repository. This software will incorporate features such as geometric search, 2D-to-3D image recognition, and browser-based visualization that will make 3D data more accessible, insightful, and user-friendly.


Bryan Lee
Army Helicopter Pilot, HBS, Bain & Co, Private Equity & Consulting.

James Parker
Electrical Engineer, DoD/IC Contractor, Harvard Business / Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Tech.

Clark Yuan
Systems engineer, Intelligence Officer, Army Futures / Innovation Command, Harvard Kennedy & MIT Sloan, Goldman Sachs IB, LunaCap Venture Debt.


Found is a B2B2C company providing unique identities to products to better connect brands with their customers throughout a product’s lifecycle. For brands, FoundTags provide customer connection, reconnecting brands with customer information lost through wholesale channels. For customers, we provide product tracking and authentication. A brand’s customers can assign or transfer ownership, authenticate, and protect items from loss or theft.


Kait Stephens
CEO & Co-founder. 6 years in retail private equity & consumer tech. Founded nonprofit as a side hustle. Airbnb, Pimco, Blackstone.

Zack Morrison
CTO & Co-founder. 6 years in product engineering & management. Designed automated manufacturing lines that utilized QR codes. Carnegie Mellon, Auris.

Asa Schachar
Advisor, Tech. 9+ years as a software engineer & engineering manager, Microsoft, Optimizely.

Lena Ye
Advisor, Strategy. 8+ years in tech & strategy. Uber, Google.


Gryps is an AI powered platform that eliminates laborious data entry, extracts information, and liberates project data. It continuously consumes data and documents from any platform currently utilized on the project. The company then utilizes machine learning algorithms and domain knowledge to extract pertinent information from the documents and liberate the data to be used by the owner to improve productivity on future projects. Our first focus is on owner close-out documents. Throughout each project, the owner receives a large number of documents, including operation and maintenance manuals, warranty letters, and certificates of ownership. We will continuously ingest these documents and turn them into a usable/searchable database for all staff to track and access information. Today, it’s done manually and, in some cases, in hard copy!


Dareen Salama
CEO & Co-founder. Construction Management Experience in NYC (LaGuardia & Javits Center). 7+ years in US Construction Industry. Advisor to Columbia Global Leaders in Construction Management Group.

Amir Tasbihi
CTO & Co-founder. Construction, Healthcare & Manufacturing in NYC (Delta Airlines & Port Authority NY & NJ). Machine Learning and Data Analytics. 5+ years in US Construction Industry.

Human Dynamics

We are building a patent-pending robotic drone attachment system. This system performs the work of at-height workers via intuitive teleoperation allowing for the existing specialists to operate the system safely from the ground.


Michael Mancinelli
CEO, MS/MBA, Ball Aerospace.

Kazushige Yoshimaru
COO, HBS MBA, Softbank

Takahiro Nozaki
CTO, Researcher at MIT, Assistant Professor of Robotics at Keio University

Tomohisa Okamoto
CSO, MIT SDM, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Michael Pickering
MIT SDM, Chevron



Grow offers the benefits of group practice and more at a fraction of the cost. As a tech-enabled MSO, Grow offers independent behavioral health providers access to large pools of patients and billing/scheduling administrative support without restricting their autonomy or earnings.


Jake Cooper
CEO & Co-founder. Private equity investor focused on healthcare. Blackstone, Apollo, Duke University.

Manoj Kanagaraj
COO & Co-founder. MD/MBA Candidate, HBS Rock Center Fellow. Harvard Medical, HBS. Duke University.

Alan Ni
CTO & Co-founder. Product at Google and Stripe, KPCB Fellow. Kleiner Perkins, Duke University.

25madison is an NYC-based venture studio, incubating companies from the ground up and investing in early-stage companies. Learn more at 25madison.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store