Startups Receive $150K in Seed Funding at 2018 Final Pitch Night


Almost 200 students, faculty, staff, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, mentors, sponsors, and family members watched in awe as eight startups gave it their all and pitched for the chance to win the grand prizes in each of our four competition categories. To us, everyone was a winner last night. And as Standard Chartered Bank’s CEO Torry Berntsen put it last night: “Your dreams are never-ending.”

But, there can only be four grand prize winners. It is with great excitement that I announce the top startups in each category:

Kaylie Prize:

FreeFoot, an assistive device for those with gait disorders like foot drop, won the Kaylie Prize for $50,000. This prize is part of an endowment sponsored by City College alum Harvey Kaylie, founder of Mini Circuits. The FreeFoot team is made up of mechanical engineering students Jade Ardinez and Winnie Ngo, and biochemistry student Anwar Jammal. Jade was inspired by one of her family members who suffers from foot drop to create a solution for this issue. With $50,000, FreeFoot will adjust their prototype based on the customer feedback they’ve received and conduct more trials.

Zahn Social Impact Prize:

FloraMind, a mental health curriculum for high school students to promote self-care and break the stigma around mental health, won the grand prize for this category, also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. The FloraMind team is made up of CCNY undergrads Khandker Ahamed, a digital product marketing major; Mahmoud Khedr, an applied psychcology major; and Danny Tsoi, an economics major. They’re helping teens understand mental health, learn how to identify warning signs, and build resilience through workshops and well-being exercises. The $25,000 will be used to develop more workshops and educational tools to reach more classrooms. Read more about FloraMind here.

Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize:

CakeWLK, an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routes, won first place in this category and $25,000. The track, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, encourages women-led technology ventures to create solutions for issues in urban environments. The CakeWLK is made up of Ashia Nagi, a junior studying applied mathematics at CCNY; and CUNY students Estefanía Barrón, computer science & Frances Shnaidman, a computer science and journalism major. The prize money will help them finish development of their app. Read more about CakeWLK here.

Zahn Technology Prize:

Skinno, an app that deciphers skincare ingredients for consumers won the grand prize of $25,000 for this category, sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. The Skinno team is made up of Lisa Guerrera, a recent CCNY grad pursuing her Master’s in cosmetic engineering at Manhattan College; Christina Torres, a Master’s biology student at CCNY; Sumali Dey, a sociology & pre-law student at CCNY; and David Murphy, a computer science major. They all have a passion for science communication, and want to empower consumers to make informed decisions. They’ll continue to gather beta testers so that they have enough data for their machine learning technology. Read more about Skinno here.



These winning startups were chosen by four separate panels of elite judges, one for each track. Read more about our panels of judges here.

We are so thankful for those who joined us in supporting these outstanding startups last night (and for those who were there in spirit!). In the upcoming months, we’ll work closely with these startups to maintain goals and meet specific milestones. We cannot wait to share their progress with you, but in the meantime, check back next week for some exciting news about our Summer Accelerator!