UChicago Awards First Prize To Team Led By Indian-origin Student

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Bharat Das, top left, co-founder and CEO of Pippin Title, with his team (Photo: polsky.uchicago.edu)

University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation announced its winners of the 24th annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge, the first prize going to Pippin Title, led by Bharat Das, co-founder and CEO.

The awards, meant for student-run startups, dispensed a record $1 million this year, of which $450,000 went to Pippin Title, a one-stop-shop for land title reports making things easier for title insurance agents, a June 29, 2020 press release from the University says.

Other winners also had some Indian-origin members in their teams that covered a wide range of startups providing anywhere from real-time sports experiences, to fertility treatments, and funeral arrangements.

Pippin Title’s win of $450,000 included $150,000 from the Rattan L. Khosa First Place Prize monies as well, the press release said.

Das said the next step for his company was the launch the product more widely, the UChicago news site said. “We will be finalizing the product over the next few months, and then begin a wider rollout. We believe the market has a great need to our product, especially as COVID-related restrictions ease and the real estate market picks up,” Das is quoted saying by the news site.

List of Winners and team members:

  •  First Place ($450,000): Pippin Title set a record after securing $450,000 in total funding. (Team members: Bharat Das, Emily Doubilet, Lucy Hu, Omar Naseef, Slava Nor, Bassel Said, Dominic Vallosio)
  • Second Place ($280,000): Lighten helps make funeral arrangements for loved ones. (Team members: Geesoo (Brian) Kim, Alexandra Koys, Teresa Lai, Amita Prabhu, Sarah Showak, Jiali (Carly) Zhao)
  • Third Place ($130,000): ETALYC, a cloud-based traffic management solution. The company also received the Moonshot Prize and an investment from OCA Ventures. (Team members: Chris Cebula, Vishal Mahulkar, Anuj Sharma, Richard Yan)
  • Fourth Place: ($50,000): Ollipsis Fertility provides egg freezing for free. It generates revenue by keeping half of the retrieved eggs available for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) patients who need donor eggs. (Team members: Albert Castelltort Mikkelsen, Paula Ghisalberti Feito, Howard Lakougna, Anne Tong, Jim Van Horne, Mary Wang)
  • Fifth Place (Tie) ($20,000): Ruby which gives real-time interactive experiences for sports fans. (Team members: Ini Archibong, Ryan Black, Julian Davidson, Morgan Franklin, Wyatt McCallum, Simon Sorich, Omar Taveras)
  • Fifth Place (Tie) ($20,000): Tharzen, a universal front-end visual editor. Tharzen also received funds from the Moonshot Prize. (Team members: Michael Abraham, Aseem Bhardwaj, Faina Dookh, Andrew Liu, Mikael Mayer, Philipp Spitta)
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