About This Project
Alumnify | 2014
As Navid Alipour spoke during “the Big Reveal,” AJ Agrawal said he was “doing the math” and Eghosa Aihie was thinking back to Spring Breaks past in which he did not go on vacation, but instead working on his business dream.
So around 9:30 p.m. on April 3 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre everything fell into place: Alumnify, a start-up alumni engagement company created by Agrawal, a 2013 University of San Diego alumnus (BBA, Finance) and Aihie, who graduates in May (BBA, Business Administration), was the biggest winner in the third annual $50,000 USD Venture Vetting (V2) Pitch Deck Competition.
Alipour, a 2003 USD alumnus (JD/MBA) and one of three judges, announced Alumnify had won $40,000 of the seed-funding $50,000 available prize money. The event, organized by V2 founder Michael Lawless and Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning Coordinator Regina Bernal, awarded the highest amount ever given to a USD-organized entrepreneurship competition. Last year’s V2 winner, OnMyBlock.com, received $10,000. The Social Innovation Challenge winner in 2013 earned $15,000.
Hugs, handshakes, text messages and smiles greeted Agrawal and Aihie after the announcement. Alumnify, a location-based professional networking application that promotes stronger communication and connection between mutually interested alumni, delivered.
“This means everything to us,” said Agrawal, who gave a solid seven-minute pitch for Alumnify and, with Aihie, impressed investors in follow-up breakout sessions before the decision was made. “It’s a tremendous boost for our image and to have the investors’ team believe in us. This ($40,000) validates our idea. It helps put us on the map.”
Energy and Technology