3/15: Firestarter Pitch Competition Recap

On March 15, the Vanderbilt Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the fifth and final Firestarter Pitch Competition of the 2022 – 23 academic year. Firestarters provide an opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff at Vanderbilt to pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges and receive feedback. The winner receives a $500 prize to put toward furthering their business concept.

Judges for the March Firestarter:

Sam Palazzolo                                                                                                                                                                        Managing Director of Tip of the Spear Ventures      

Daniel Rosenzweig                                                                                                                                                              Founder of Kettle

Alex Morton                                                                                                                                                                     Managing Director at Actual Insights Solutions

Dan Bauer                                                                                                                                                                    President of Bauer & Associates & Founder of the Inc. Young Entrepreneurs Program 

Congratulations to our winner:


Presented by Jack Michelman (BA ’23) & Niall Harlan (MBA ’23)

Tacit optimizes the organizational problem solving process through a collective language platform that leverages natural language processing AI to harness the power of human capital networks.


Thank you to all the students who participated!

1cellbyte Presented by Juliana Yang (MS, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering ’23)

1cellbyte is revolutionizing the sample preparation process through an automated programmable and precise bio-tool that increases processing speed and handles more complex workflows with less equipment.

Venturous Presented by Neil Granberry (MBA ‘23)

Venturous is building the next generation of entrepreneurs through project based opportunities combined with learning initiatives, project placement, and paths to becoming a founder. The marketplace platform offers entrepreneurial students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through finite projects from venture capital firms and start-ups.

XR Books Presented by Craig Rothenberg (MBA ’23) & Burak Sezer

XR Books is enhancing the book reading experience through a fully immersive VR e-reader application that creates a lifelike and natural reading experience.

We Stand Presented by Lauren Chung (BS ’26) & Ginny Herron (BS ’26)

We Stand is a ride share app using an employer subscription model to provide help to women who want to terminate a pregnancy by providing empowerment and freedom through transportation and mental health support free of cost to the individual through a community centered approach.