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Johns Hopkins Team is 2023 e-Fest Grand Champion

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MINNEAPOLIS -- e-Fest 2023 came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday afternoon, April 29, with an amazing Championship Round judged by top business and entrepreneurship professionals: Ann Winblad, Tim Welsh, Shawntera Hardy, Angelina Lawton, and Damian Novak. These five judges (learn more about the judges here) had the difficult task of determining which team’s business venture would take home the Champions title and $50,000 grand prize.

The competition started back in February, when student participants submitted their business ventures for the online submission round. A talented nationwide community of faculty, entrepreneurs and business leaders served as first-round, online judges, with the difficult task of selecting 25 teams to advance to the finals. This year we received 110 submissions to the competition, from 67 colleges and universities across North America.

The Finalist Teams arrived in Minneapolis on Thursday, April 27, to compete in three days of business competitions and events designed to inspire these young entrepreneurs to follow their passions. 

e-Fest and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge are about energizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our rising generation of young leaders. It is about encouraging students to explore their potential, search out new opportunities, and use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to make a difference in the world.

After the Championship Round on Saturday, our panel of esteemed judges had the tough job of choosing a winner. Once deliberations concluded, the e-Fest team hosted an Awards Ceremony to announce the winners for the weekend. 

For more information about the Top 25 Finalist Teams and Championship Judges, check out their video interviews on the e-Fest website.

And now, for the results of e-Fest 2023!


$50,000 Grand Champion:

OnPoint Ventilation from Johns Hopkins University: Sneha Batheja, Krisha Thakur, Nina Nair, Ria Jha and Arijit Nukala

Advisor: Charlie Almoney and Elizabeth Logsdon

The Johns Hopkins team learns that they've won the top e-Fest prize.

$30,000 Runner Up:

Epiblock from University of St. Thomas: Asher Anderson, Caroline Anderson and Collin Brunet 

Advisor: Alec Johnson

$20,000 3rd Place:

Greenscapes  from University of Minnesota-Crookston/ University of St. Thomas: Ben Goelz, Matthew Thielen and Matt Gendreau

Advisor: Rachel Lundbohm

$15,000 4th Place:

Rarities Market from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater/Saint Francis University: Chad Tjugum and Damian Tobias

Advisor: William Dougan

$10,000 5th Place:

DioTex Diagnostics from Johns Hopkins University: Eric Simon, Ellie Zhang and Feiyang Huang

Advisor: Nicholas Durr

$20,000 Social and Global Impact Awards:

Elythea from Brown University & Dartmouth College: Reetam Ganguli and Rishik Lad

Advisor: Stephen Wagner


NextMed from University of British Columbia: Emily Roos and Aditi Sitolay 

Advisor: Christoph Sielmann 

Chemco from the University of St. Thomas: Gabriel Riegert and Georges Macheta 

Advisor: Alec Johnson 

Lectra from West Chester University: Jake Henry and Tyler Yeagy 

Advisor: Patricia Diggin 

ParaWave from The Ohio State University: Jack Murray and Adithya Ramaswami 

Advisor: Scott Griffin 

4U Medical Designs from Rowan University: Nicholas Nastasi and Joshua Perry 

Advisor: Eric Liguori 


Mitey Bites from SUNY Plattsburgh: Dahlia Rosen and Vladamiere Perry 

Advisor: Richard Gottschall 

Just Pause from Grove City College: Luke Gilligan and Mark Wilhelm 

Advisor: Logan Hammerschmitt 

Evendtor from Beloit College: Jalen Ponder and Lane Wilson 

Advisor: Brian Morello 

Elythea from Brown University & Dartmouth College: Reetam Ganguli and Rishik Lad 

Advisor: Stephen Wagner 

SmartDorm from University of Montana: J Kolter Stevenson and Trevor Wilson 

Advisor: Sarah Truglio 


The Finalist Teams arrived at The University of St. Thomas on Thursday April 27th and kicked off the weekend with the Pitch Slam! No slides, no props, no videos, just a microphone and 90 seconds to pitch their business ventures. Dick Schulze was in attendance and able to hear the business pitches and help decide the winners.

Each of the Finalist teams delivered elevator pitches, with the top 3 teams sharing prize money totaling $17,500.

1st Place - $10,000: 

Chemco from University of St. Thomas: Gabriel Riegert and Georges Macheta

Advisor: Alec Johnson

2nd Place - $5,000: 

Lectra from West Chester University: Jake Henry and Tyler Yeagy

Advisor: Patricia Diggin

3rd Place - $2,500:  

Evendtor from Beloit College: Jalen Ponder and Lane Wilson 

Advisor: Brian Morello 

Innovation Challenge

On Friday, students were put into new teams with members of other universities and had three hours to work through a challenge and create a presentation to pitch to judges comprised of our university advisors and EIX guests. This year’s Innovation Challenge topic -- food inequities -- allowed students to think of creative business solutions and connect with student entrepreneurs from across the country.

The top three teams shared prize money totaling $35,000.

1st Place - $20,000: 

Aditi Sitolay , University of British Columbia

Asher Anderson, University of St. Thomas

Cole Rameson , Loyola Marymount University 

Owen Doyle, Florida Gulf Coast University

2nd Place - $10,000: 

David Riha, Florida Gulf Coast University 

Jake Henry, West Chester University 

Nina Berglund, Loyola Marymount University 

Trevor Wilson, University of Montana

3rd Place - $5,000: 

Caroline Anderson, University of St. Thomas 

Ria Jha, Johns Hopkins University 

Rishik Lad, Dartmouth College

Richard Schulze, Founder of The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of Best Buy Co., Inc., talks with the student teams. His foundation provided the prize money and other expenses for e-Fest.


Congratulations to all the Finalist Teams! It was an amazing weekend and we all left e-Fest feeling more creative, more innovative and more inspired. e-Fest is not only a competition, but a chance for students and faculty to gain more insight into the entrepreneurial landscape, connect with industry experts and network with entrepreneurs from around the country.

A big thank you to Dick Schulze and The Schulze Family Foundation, The University of St. Thomas, EIX, judges, presenters, advisors, the e-Fest Team, and the Finalist Teams for making e-Fest 2023 such an incredible event! 

Save The Date: e-Fest April 2024






Jennifer Gessner
Jennifer Gessner
e-Fest Program Manager / EIX/University of St. Thomas
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Casey Frid
Casey Frid
Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship / University of St. Thomas
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Cite this Article

DOI: 10.32617/915-644fdc94d9cc1
Gessner, J., & Frid, C. (2023, May 1). Johns hopkins team is 2023 e-fest grand champion. Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from
Gessner, Jennifer, and Casey Frid. "Johns Hopkins Team is 2023 e-Fest Grand Champion" Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. 1 May. 2023. Web 25 Jun. 2024 <>.