Startups generate inspiration and applause at Demo Day 2024 | MIT News

Anyone trying to get a feel for MIT’s entrepreneurial culture should start their journey at the delta v summer accelerator demo day. For two whirlwind hours Friday, students took the stage in front of a packed Kresge Auditorium to celebrate their inaugural milestones in an event that was half board meeting, half pep rally.

Now in its 12th year, Demo Day is the culmination of a summer where students work full-time to create startups under the leadership of MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship.

The tone for the evening was set early, with MIT cheerleaders and Tim Beaver rousing the audience before Trust Center CEO Bill Aulette’s signature run through the audience and jumping on stage for his opening remarks.

“This is the best day of the year for entrepreneurship at MIT,” announced Aulet, who is also the Ethernet Inventors Practice Professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “We’re celebrating some great companies tonight and it’s also a day to attract new talent to the stage for years to come.” The entrepreneurs delivering today sat in your shoes last year. We hope to inspire many people.

The event also served as an introduction to the MIT business community for new MIT President Sally Kornbluth.

“I was very impressed when I found out that these students gave up their entire summer to work full-time at their companies, but to be honest, I wasn’t surprised,” Kornbluth told the audience. “Because I know that when entrepreneurs decide to do something innovative, they want to work incredibly hard to make it happen. In my eight months at MIT, I saw this more than once.

A diverse class of companies

This year’s cohort included 23 teams and 68 students. Each team, operating from Cambridge, Massachusetts or New York, received coaching, mentoring, work space and a small amount of funding to bring their ideas to life. Through mock board meetings and regular goal-setting sessions, the Confidence Center sought to maximize student learning by preparing them to “get away and escape into the real world.”

The theme of this year’s cohort was sustainability, although entrepreneurs are taking very different paths to making the planet greener. MacroCycle is developing a low-carbon way to recycle plastic more efficiently using a new chemical process based on the founder’s PhD work. Jane offers a chatbot platform that helps people make their homes more sustainable. Eki Agrivoltaics combines agriculture and solar energy with a vertical photovoltaic product that will be used in a revenue sharing model with farmers.

Agriculture was another common thread for several of this year’s teams. Fazenda da Mamma delivers organic food to consumers directly from small farms, and Agrichat AI uses a chatbot to provide farmers with timely research insights via chat.

“[Millions of small plot farmers] rely on intuition to manage weather variability, soil chemistry, pests and diseases,” said Hem Chaudhary, 23, who grew up on his father’s farm in Nepal. “Unfortunately, this intuitive system will break down as a result of climate change, because climate change, in addition to climate variability, also leads to invasive species, seasonal changes in plant behavior, and higher levels of infestation.” This is a big problem for my dad. This puts his profession at risk, and there are 600 million farmers like him in the world.

Release from the dormitory

in 2022 A study by the delta v program showed that 61 percent of the companies are still operating or have been acquired. Together, these companies have raised more than $1 billion in funding, and that doesn’t include delta v participants who went on to start other companies.

This year’s group included students representing each of MIT’s schools and colleges, a frequent pride of the Trust Center.

“In the past 30 years, MIT has grown tremendously in entrepreneurship,” new corporal Mark Gorenberg ’76 told the audience after President Kornbluth’s remarks. “It became the third part of the school, along with teaching and research, and made MIT an even more special place.”

For Aulet and other Trust Center members, the event was designed to motivate students to immerse themselves in MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“The key to a startup lies in the word: beginning,” Aulet told the audience. “At MIT, we all know Newton’s first law of motion: a test body will remain at rest, especially if it’s in a dorm room!”

Many other startups were presented at the event.

Neurobionics develops microscopic fiber technology to create minimally invasive implantable devices.

Sound card offers software for sole proprietorships to automate tasks such as customer tracking and billing.

Medicine streamlines the process of commercializing medical devices worldwide.

Boston Quantum uses quantum-inspired algorithms to uncover high-profit trading opportunities.

Nurture is a digital health platform that actively supports women at high risk of postpartum depression.

AugMend Health is developing a self-contained virtual reality immersion program to increase the effectiveness of mental health clinics.

Sea enables Southeast Asian small businesses to export to the US through business-to-business marketplaces.

Nona technologies is commercializing a water desalination plant that uses a proprietary electrical capture method to increase energy efficiency.

ReHome offers an online platform that helps landlords and resettlement agencies find homes for refugees.

Cru is an online platform that helps small and medium businesses with payments and currency exchange to increase productivity.

Glenn provides personalized reports on how consumers’ everyday spending aligns with their values, whether it’s supporting local businesses or reducing their carbon footprint.

Fascia contributes to sleep research with a convenient and accurate measurement device that looks like an eye mask.

Ape Fitness is a platform to track gym performance and increase member retention rates.

T33 develops solutions that allow any chemical to penetrate deep into tooth enamel to enhance dental treatments such as teeth whitening.

Yoku AI develops interactive AI tools to aid emotional understanding through sentiment recognition and AI conversational features.

Be your own boss is a virtual social media influencer manager that helps you spread your brand, get inquiries, and more.

Godfrey Kemp

"Bacon fanatic. Social media enthusiast. Music practitioner. Internet scholar. Incurable travel advocate. Wannabe web junkie. Coffeeaholic. Alcohol fanatic."