Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition

Lighthanded Enterprises poses with their winning certificate

2024 Awardees

On April 3, over 150 attendees gathered in the Sears think[box] to celebrate the accomplishments of our twenty finalist teams, who pitched their ventures, ideas and research to a group of twenty judges.

All of the participants showed up with their best energy. Competition was fierce. Presentations were solid. And in the end, nine were deemed winners. 

The Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship team is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2024 Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition. Please join us in congratulating all who pitched and celebrate our winners!

Idea Track

Second Place

MAWE Technologies ($2,000)

First Place

HemoSan ($5,000)

Research Track

Second Place

AGTR2 Agonist Lung Therapeutics ($3,000)

First Place

Artemis Platform ($4,000)

Social Impact Track

Second Place

Voteable ($1,000)

First Place

tekSafari ($5,000)

Venture Track

Third Place

SellAnalytix ($4,000)

Second Place

SearchOwl ($5,000)

First Place

Lighthanded Enterprises ($16,000)

Watch a clip of Lighthanded team lead Brecken Blackburn after winning the grand prize.

2023 Awardees

The final event of the 2023 Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition had an energetic crowd and an inspiring group of students and alumni pitching their projects for the chance to win funding. Everyone enjoyed a lively networking hour and got a chance to sample food from local entrepreneurs Redheart (Michael Zhou and Danny Lee), Smokin’ Bettie’s BBQ Sauces (David Ball) and Bon Appetit.

Taking place on the brand new Community Space floor of the think[box], finalists pitched their ventures, ideas, and research to audience members and judges in four separate rooms.

While every finalist brought their A-game to their pitches and impressed us all, only a few could be awarded prize money.

Congratulations to the 2023 winners!

Research Track Winners

First Place (Tie)

  • Hyperion Therapeutics: $3,000 awarded to Jennings Luu
  • Bladder Patch for Treatment of Obstetric Fistula: $3,000 awarded to Ilaha Isali

Second Place

Voice Analytics for Pathology Tracking: $1,000 awarded to Millan PatelKatelyn VlastarisMatthew Glaros and Andrew Ye

Social Impact Track Winners

First Place

Cocoa Potash: $5,000 awarded to Ibrahim Quagraine

Second Place

Sonali Bags: $1,000 awarded to Tanvir Hasan

Idea Track Winners

First Place (Tie)

Venture Track Winners

First Place

Lumilin Therapeutics: $15,000 awarded to David Suh (CWR '22), Grayson DerossiAahana KanyalKerry McConnaughayKendall RogoffAna Salas

Second Place (Tie)

2021-22 Awardees

Idea Track

  • 1st place: LEAF led by Evan Haug (CWR ‘21, electrical engineering and systems and control) won $7,500.
  • 2nd place: UAVistas led by India Johnson (CWR '17, biology) won $2,500. 

Venture Track


Named After Legendary Cleveland Venture Capitalists

The Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition is named after venture capital leaders David Morgenthaler and Bob Pavey, whose valued input has been a key component of the success of the CWRU Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Morgenthaler, who was a mechanical engineer and made early investments in companies like Apple Computers and Manufacturing Data Systems, was an active supporter of Case Western Reserve University initiatives in management, medicine and international engagement. His venture capital firm was founded in 1968 in Cleveland, where he lived for several decades. The New York Times referred to him as someone who shaped venture capitalism, and The Wall Street Journal called him “one of venture capital’s founding fathers.” 

Within a year of starting his firm, Morganthaler took on Bob Pavey as a partner. According to Pavey, Morgenthaler told him, “There's only one thing that will get you fired: telling me what you think I want to hear.”

Pavey sits on the Board of Trustees at Case Western Reserve University, and as an angel investor his focus is on seed companies run by experienced entrepreneurs in California and Ohio. His involvement with the Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition includes contributing generous funding for the prize money.


Not Just a Competition

In 2023, MPSC teams were partnered with experienced mentors, and had the opportunity to participate in Skills Labs entrepreneurial programming throughout the Spring semester:

  • Creating a Compelling Pitch Deck
  • Writing Your Value Proposition
  • Conducting Market Research and a SWOT Analysis
  • Positioning Your Messaging and Building a Brand
  • Business & Team Formation and Creating an Operating Agreement
  • Writing Legal Agreements (IPVC)
  • Budgeting and Financial Modeling


Applications are open from December 1, 2023 through February 8, 2024. Click here to get started.

MPSC is open to current students, postdocs and Case Western Reserve University alumni who have graduated within the last 5 years.

Teams who won in a previous MPSC year cannot enter the same company/project in the same track. Teams can enter the same project or company in an appropriate different track, or can apply with a new project or company in the same track.

Yes, teams are welcome to apply, as well as singular participants.

Each venture, project or idea can be entered into one track. Participants may complete more than one application as long as each application is a different venture, project or idea.

We encourage you to apply even if you're at the beginning stages of your entrepreneurial journey! We offer Skills Labs programming leading up to the competition to help prepare you for your presentation in a number of topics, such as creating a pitch deck; branding; market research; value proposition creation; and more.

Additionally, we welcome ideas and ventures from any industry, including healthcare, tech, creative arts, lifestyle and anything else you can think of!

Photos by Character Studies Photography