Clinical Trials Software Startup Takes First Place at 2024 Alumni New Venture Challenge Finals

Four startups received investment at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s 2024 Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC) finals.

The ANVC, which launched in 2019, is the alumni track of the New Venture Challenge, a top-ranked university accelerator that has been helping seed businesses for more than 25 years.

This year’s winners were chosen from a pool of eight finalists representing international and U.S.-based startups, which pitched to a group of esteemed judges on May 16.

The 2024 ANVC winners are:

// First Place ($55,000): UpTrials

UpTrials is an AI-enabled software to help clinical research employers hire, upskill, and supercharge their workforce.

  • Team Lead: Renuka Agarwal, MBA ’18

// Second Place ($70,000): Familial

Familial is a digital app that gives families peace of mind by making holistic long-term planning easier and more collaborative.

  • Team Lead: Eleanor Jacobs, MBA ’22

// Third Place ($20,000): Panacea

Panacea’s SaaS platform automates the workflows of care managers to address gaps in geriatric patient care and improve chronic disease outcomes. It assists care managers in overseeing every aspect of patient care, from care coordination to medication adherence.

  • Team Lead: Ariadne Souroutzidis, MBA ’20

// Fourth Place ($15,000): p!ng

p!ng is the first zero-wait coffee drive-thru, powered by true end-to-end fulfillment automation and machine learning.

  • Team Lead: Jane Lo, MBA ’09

“We started this process back in January when we received 45 applications to this year’s ANVC,” said Gorana Kolar, senior associate director at the Polsky Center. “With the help of the alumni co-chairs, 20 teams were selected for the program. These teams then participated in semifinal pitches, at which time the judges selected eight teams to compete in the Finals.”

“It has been a pleasure getting to work with all the teams and witness their tremendous progress over the last four months. They are each building real businesses that will have a great impact in their respective industries,” Kolar added. “From the finalists, I can truly say that all eight teams had excellent pitches. They worked very hard, took feedback from the co-chairs, mentors, and judges, and turned challenges into opportunities. It was a competitive and talented cohort and I look forward to following their successes.”

The ANVC is the youngest of five tracks of the New Venture Challenge. Each of the five tracks serves a distinct university audience: The original Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge is for MBA students; the Global New Venture Challenge is for Executive MBA students; the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture is for nonprofits or ventures with a social mission; and the College New Venture Challenge is for UChicago undergraduates.

The overall program has supported 500-plus startups that are still active today. They have raised nearly $2 billion and achieved $8.9 billion in exits.

*After voting was concluded, additional investments were made, so dollar amounts are not indicative of placing.

>> Make sure to tune in for the SNVC, GNVC, and NVC finals in the upcoming weeks.

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