College New Venture Challenge first-place winner Wessam Abozeid, AB’19, of PODU, and Polsky Centerʼs deputy head Starr Marcello, AM’04, MBA’17. (Photography by Joe Sterbenc)

College New Venture Challenge winners

Top 6 winners of the Collegeʼs version of Shark Tank

This year there were six finalists in the College New Venture Challenge (CNVC), a competition for start-up ideas. Since 2018, CNVC has been offered as a for-credit class for undergrads.

First place


PODU, the first platform for podcasting in Arabic, led by Wessam Abozeid, AB’19.

Second place

($10,000 each)

Dr. Shake, which makes and delivers smoothies to health-conscious consumers in China’s metropolitan areas. Team members include Richard Zhao, Class of 2021; Nancy Xue, Class of 2020; and Jeffrey Zhu, Class of 2022.

Nahvy, an online marketplace for people 65 years and older. Team members include Martin Bolotin, Marley Rosario, Jake Fauske, and Ben Brandt, all Class of 2021.

Honorable mention

($5,000 each)

Besst, an online game where friends predict anything from sports to others’ love lives, wagering social media incentives instead of money.

Southsider, hardware that prevents theft of bicycle parts.

WAGR, a platform that allows users to bet on their own performance in online games like Fortnite or League of Legends.