Apr 06, 2017 07:16 AM EDT
Inc. has announced the winner of its 2017 Coolest College Startup competition. Carnegie Mellon University's Justin Weinberg and Igor Belyayev's compay, 101, was voted as the best.
16 startups built by college and graduate students were chosen by Inc. for its Coolest College Startup competition. The companies faced for three rounds and a championship round before the winner was announced on Apr. 4.
The startups were chosen from a list of over 100 companies from universities nominated by schools as well as college entrepreneur groups. Criteria for judging included originality of idea, pitch and growth potential.
Inc. reported that the edtech company was founded by Weinberg and Belyayev back in 2014. It has since experienced significant growth. Now, it has Columbia University and the University of Cincinnati have become its partners.
Last month, it got first place at the SXSW Student Startup Madness competition. It also took home third place in the McGinnis Venture Competition at Carnegie Mellon University.
The company creates education tools that promote active learning. They recently launched Chem101 that lets chemistry professors send problems which students can complete on their personal devices during lectures. It has been used by Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Temple University and the University of Cincinnati, among others.
Founder Justin Weinberg was inspired by his experience as a STEM student. He said that classrooms and lectures have not fundamentally changed in centuries, which involves sitting and listening to an hour-long or so lecture by a professor.
Together with Belyayev, they created Chem101 which is an app that is designed especially for the STEM field. Professors can use the app to get the participation and engagement of their students during lectures.
Belyayev added that they want to increase the quality of interaction between professors and students. They are planning to expand their products into the K-12 curriculum as well as to form partnerships with institutions.
Other schools represented in Inc.'s Coolest College Startup competition are the University of Pennsylvania, Colgate University, the University of Michigan, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Southern California, among others.
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