Phase II Teams Selected for the 2021 College New Venture Challenge

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago has officially announced the 15 teams moving on to phase II of the 2021 College New Venture Challenge (CNVC). The CNVC is the College track of the university’s business launch program, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC).

This year’s cohort included a select group of entrepreneurial students from The Grainger College of Engineering’s City Scholars program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The City Scholars program is a semester-long study and work program, normally based in Chicago, but will be held virtually this year. The CNVC course is the cornerstone of the Startup City Scholars program. Through the course, students from both UIUC and UChicago worked side by side on building high-growth, high-impact businesses.

Learn more about the teams moving on to phase II of the CNVC below:


Acapala is creating an AI-powered web-based application that offers students speedy and accurate inline context-specific definitions, background reading recommendations, and layman summaries, for academic papers.

Ascent Integrated Tech

Ascent Itegrated Tech is creating technology that enhances the productivity and well-being of workers in extreme environments, such as firefighters or industrial workers.


Atante is a SaaS-project management dashboard that integrates all the tools necessary for efficient product management in a remote workforce.

Bridges Health            

Bridges Health is an mHealth app that seeks to better connect patients with physicians, to tackle and prevent cardiovascular disease.

DeepWalk Research   

DeepWalk is developing a mobile application that scans sidewalk curb ramps and checks if they meet the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements, saving cities time and money.

Elevated Tea   

Elevated Tea is a beverage company that manufactures and sells flavored and organic kombucha drinks to health-conscious consumers in China.


Fillow aims to provide women with a safe, reusable menstrual product that prevents leakages and is easily inserted and removed. Fillow uses an innovative expandable design that contours to the shape of an individual’s body without the increased risk of toxic shock caused by traditional absorbent products.


HexNest is developing a replacement for foam that reacts to every impact and changes its stiffness so every impact is as safe as possible.


Ivy designs, manufactures, and distributes the world’s first consumer 4D printer. Our product is a highly-scalable system that rapidly and can easily reuse shapes into objects with the click of a button.

Know Your Skin

Know Your Skin is a comprehensive platform that educates people about their skin, the most effective products for them, and the right way to use them.


MyDeskmate is an app that helps Chinese students learn English vocabulary with more motivation and better retention.

STIX Financial

STIX is the first stock-currency payment platform that allows users to make payments by selling fractional shares of their personal investment portfolio.


TraCap provides farmers with the technology to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint and save money.

Vega Capital   

Vega Capital is a student-run quantitative trading firm with the goal of democratizing the trading process. Vega Capital is developing an online platform that builds a community around investing and allows users of any income level to create individualized portfolios from a menu of quantitative strategies.


VITY is the first ever caffeinated trail mix that is energizing, healthy, sustainable, and delicious.


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