HARVARD ALUMNI ENTREPRENEURS AND PEGASUS TECH VENTURES GRADUATE INAUGURAL COHORT FROM GLOBAL VIRTUAL ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
CAMBRIDGE, MASS –
This Spring, Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs and Pegasus Tech Ventures joined forces to launch a global virtual accelerator program for Harvard entrepreneurs and their start-up companies. The program provided an intensive ten-week curriculum designed to help early-stage start-up companies transition from starting up to scaling up and accelerating their growth. Ten companies were selected to participate in the first cohort out of a group of over 140 qualified start-up applicants. The companies covered a wide variety of technology sectors and spanned five continents around the globe, including South America, North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
On June 2, the program organizers brought together a panel of global venture investors to evaluate the pitches of the ten companies and identify the top three companies in the cohort.
Autonomo, the top prize winner, is reimagining the retail shopping experience by building checkout-free convenience stores. The company employs computer vision to track purchases, eliminate checkout lines, and reduce retailer costs. In its pilot store in Germany, Autonomo has succeeded in making both customers and retailers happy by simplifying the shopping experience while tripling retail profit margins. James Sutherland, a 2014 graduate of Harvard Business School, co-founded Autonomo
In addition to Autonomo, the investor panel identified two runners-up:
- Thermaband has developed a wearable device that helps regulate body temperature and comfort for people who experience hot flashes, cold flashes, or night sweats, such as women going through menopause. Thermaband’s CEO, Debbie Dickinson, is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Co-founder Markea Dickinson graduated from the Yale School of Management.
- Adapdix has developed AI software that monitors and manages precision manufacturing equipment, such as the machines used in semiconductor manufacturing and electronics assembly. Adapdix provides automated optimization of machine performance, which improves process efficiency and product cost. CEO Anthony Hill is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
This year’s winner, Autonomo, received an invitation to the Startup World Cup and the chance to compete for a $1 million investment prize. In addition, Autonomo accepted an invitation to meet with the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of New York.
Regina Ryan, the President of Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, and the co-founder of the Accelerator program, commented on the ten-week odyssey and the pitch day competition at the end: “While the pitch day certainly got those competitive Harvard juices flowing, the program was overwhelmingly characterized by a wonderful spirit of collaboration. The entrepreneurs got to know each other early on, and throughout the program were engaged in helping each other address the key challenges they each face.” Regina went on to say, “Borne out of success and failure, each venture is using the lessons learned from their collective experiences and from the program to develop innovative approaches to build stronger teams and create better outcomes for their customers.”
Bill Reichert, a partner at Pegasus Tech Ventures, the other co-founder of the program, commented, “This program gave us a chance to move beyond the traditional accelerator format and experiment with a variety of approaches to maximizing the value of the program for a diverse group of entrepreneurs distributed around the planet.” Bill went on to say, “We put a great deal of emphasis on creating a highly customized experience for each company, primarily through a dedicated weekly mentorship schedule with access to a deep pool of subject matter expert mentors, plus making sure that the entrepreneurs had ongoing opportunities to tap into the skills and experience of the other entrepreneurs in the cohort. We were absolutely delighted with the results, including the overwhelming feedback we got from the group.”
The formal name for the program is Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Accelerator, Powered by Pegasus Tech Ventures. The next program is scheduled for Spring 2023. Applications for participation will be opened this Fall.
The Accelerator is designed for seed and early-stage entrepreneurs who are ready to move beyond the start-up stage and are looking for the tools and training needed to scale up their companies. The curriculum provides a combination of training in applying valuable concepts and tools along with workshops and mentoring designed to enable entrepreneurs to use these concepts and tools to the specific requirements of their businesses. To provide a highly personalized experience, the Accelerator offers extensive mentoring support to address the specific needs of each company.
Startup World Cup
The winner of the 2022 Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Accelerator Demo Day received an invitation to compete at the global Startup World Cup championship event in San Francisco from September 28-30th, 2022. At the event, Autonomo will compete with over 70 regional champions from around the world for a $1 million grand prize, in the form of investment capital. Pegasus Tech Ventures founded the Startup World Cup.
About Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs
Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, Inc. (HAE) is a volunteer-managed non-profit organization with 20 Chapters worldwide, connecting 17,000 Harvard alumni, faculty, students, and friends from across the University and throughout the world.
Since our beginnings, HAE has served as a meeting place for entrepreneurial alumni, students, faculty, and staff from all of Harvard’s schools.
For more information, please check out www.harvardae.org.
About Pegasus Tech Ventures
Pegasus Tech Ventures is a global venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley with $2 Billion in assets under management. Pegasus offers intellectual and financial capital to emerging technology companies around the world. In addition to offering institutional investors a top-tier venture capital investment approach, Pegasus also offers a unique Venture Capital-as-a-Service (VCaaS) model for large, global corporations that wish to partner with cutting-edge technology start-ups. Some of the 35+ corporations that have partnered with Pegasus include ASUS, Aisin (Toyota), SEGA, Sojitz, and NGK/NTK. With funds from these corporate partners, Pegasus has invested in over 200 companies, such as SpaceX, Airbnb, SoFi, Doordash, 23andMe, Bird, Color, Carbon, and many more.
Pegasus also founded and sponsored the Startup World Cup, one of the world’s biggest and richest start-up competitions. Startup World Cup extends to over 70 countries across six continents, with a Grand Finale in Silicon Valley featuring a $1 million investment prize. The Startup World Cup aims to support regional innovation ecosystems and connect them to Silicon Valley.