Columbia College and Engineering team win undergraduate entrepreneurship challenge

Anuke Ganegoda CC’18, an applied mathematics and computer science/mathematics double major; Sahir Jaggi SEAS’17, a biomedical engineering major with minors in computer science and entrepreneurship; and Mathew Pregasen SEAS’18, a computer engineering major with a minor in computer science, have won first place in the Columbia Venture Competition’s Undergraduate Challenge for their mathematics technology, Parsegon, which renders mathematical equations without the need to learn a coding language. The award, which comes with $25,000 in funding, was announced by Dean James J. Valentini on April 29.

The Columbia Venture Competition’s Undergraduate Challenge, sponsored by Columbia College, asked undergraduate student teams made up of students from Columbia’s four undergraduate schools – Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies and Barnard College – to compete for the challenge’s cash grants by presenting a business model. Seven finalists pitched to a panel of six judges, composed of both faculty and alumni; the top three teams were selected based on their innovative ideas and the viability of their proposals.

Along with Parsegon, the Undergraduate Challenge also recognized cerVIA (Ritish Patnaik SEAS’16, Olachi Oleru SEAS’16, Jahrane Dale SEAS’16 and Stephanie Yang SEAS’16) and Auxcare (Matthiew Luigi Gavaudan SEAS’17 and Dan Burkhardt GS’17) for their entries, awarding the teams $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

In addition, Blue Moon Box (Sara Sakowitz CC’18) received first prize in the Columbia Venture Competition’s StartupColumbia Challenge; Shruta Care (Sanat Kapur CC’17 and Anshul Kumar Gupta SEAS’16) was the third place winner of the Columbia Venture Competition’s Global Technology Challenge, sponsored by Columbia Engineering.