Hello to our Princeton friends and colleagues!
The Princeton Entrepreneurship Council (PEC) has been in existence for four years now. We continue to engage alumni, faculty and students around “Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way”. Our signature TigerTalks programming continues to draw crowds to hear about the faculty and alumni startups in our ecosystem. Looking forward, our programming is growing to include more workshops and skill-based sessions, which is in direct response to feedback from alumni. Our OfficeHours advisory platform – which has grown to include the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Keller Center, and the Princeton Alumni Angels – allows those who have specific skills and knowledge to share them with those who are looking for advice. We continue to embrace a broad range of entrepreneurs – from social impact, to arts, to sports, to high tech and life sciences.We are most excited about the recent appointment of Professor Rodney Priestley as the inaugural Vice Dean for Innovation. Rod is an entrepreneur himself, as well as a highly regarded academician. His vision for how Princeton will grow around innovation and entrepreneurship is very exciting!
"I, and others on campus, firmly believe that innovation and entrepreneurship can become a new major strength at Princeton that seamlessly merges with and uplifts teaching and research." - Rod Priestley
We want to hear from you! We want to know what you are working on, so that we can make valuable connections. Put yourself on our alumni ecosystem map! Reach out to the PEC team – let us know what you need and what you can offer.
Anne-Marie Maman '84
The Princeton Entrepreneurship Council (PEC) is a “dot connector”. If you have a startup, fund startups, or are interested in startup technologies, in any ﬁeld – you are in our ecosystem.
Our objective is to add value by connecting Princeton-related people with one another. Attend one of our events or host one. Sign up for updates on our new ecosystem map at entrepreneurs.princeton.edu/map-launch.
Our mission is to engage the Princeton entrepreneurial ecosystem through educational programming, mentoring and funding in collaborative spaces. Along with our many partners, we are creating Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way.
Dot connector: highly networked individual or group who uses their network to the advantage of an individual, company or other enterprise (urbandictionary.com)
Bryton Shang '12, Founder and CEO
Aquabyte, founded by Bryton Shang ’12, uses machine learning and computer vision to optimize conditions for fish farming. Data collected by their underwater cameras are used to determine fish health and to regulate fish feeding. This minimizes water contamination while maximizing conditions for fish growth.
"Princeton’s involvement has helped to bring credibility to our business overseas."
Funding from Princeton’s Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund has opened doors for Aquabyte in Norway and Chile, and elsewhere. Princeton connections helped to encourage the Norwegian government to support Aquabyte for their important fish production industry.
"I enjoy coming back to campus to connect with students and to advise them on their ideas."
Bryton returns to campus regularly to give guest lectures, to participate in classes and to mentor students. Aquabyte has hired several Princeton alumni, and offers internship opportunities to students, both in the US and overseas.
Professor Yibin Kang and Mark Esposito *17
KayoThera is developing innovative therapies to treat patients with advanced and difficult-to-treat solid cancers. They are advancing two small molecule programs; one targets late-stage or therapy-resistant tumors while the other enhances anti-tumor immunity. They are looking forward to pushing these therapies toward the clinic over the next two years.
"Princeton has made great strides in supporting faculty and students, facilitating the translation of novel ideas generated from basic research into entrepreneurial endeavors." -Prof. Yibin Kang
ORFE Lecturer Margaret Holen *95 and Justin Zhen ’10 and Gregory Ugwi ’08
Thinknum Alternative Data crawls the web to collect deep, granular data on trends, opportunities and competitors for hundreds of data scientists and business intelligence analysts. This enables better decision making. The alumni community has helped spread the word via referrals for customers and job candidates.
"Greg joined one of my teams at Goldman after graduation. PEC reconnected us years later, and now I am an advisor to their startup." -Margaret Holen *95
Victoria Garcia '97 and Stuart Ahlum '13
Stuart Ahlum ’13 has been creating fashionable and sustainable footwear since shortly after graduation. Thousand Fell, his second startup, is a sneaker line that is sustainable and is also designed to be recycled.They take back all of their sneakers for refurbishing, recycling, or upcycling, keeping them out of landfills.
"Princeton's Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund introduced us to Victoria Garcia ’97, who has given us fantastic advice and introductions – one led us to our first investor. Now I advise other Princeton founders looking to deliver true sustainability." -Stuart Ahlum ’13
Natalie Tung '18
Co-Founder and Executive Director
HomeWorks Trenton is the first community-based, after-school boarding program for 8th, 9th, and 10th grade female scholars in Trenton, NJ. Their programming provides academic and social-emotional enrichment activities to supplement the public school system, to empower women, and to build community leaders. Their scholars and families report greater confidence, stronger community ties and increased consistency.
HomeWorks Trenton started as Natalie’s class project, went on to be selected for the Keller Center’s eLab summer accelerator and is now housed in the Princeton eHub.
Natalie was awarded the 2019 Tiger Entrepreneur Award, given annually by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. The award recognized the financial traction she has successfully negotiated. It also recognized the positive reputation HomeWorks has developed in the community of Trenton and the strong partnership she has developed with the Trenton public schools within a relatively short period of time.
Natalie has grown her organization from a summer live-in to a semester live-in program for young scholars. Partnering with the families and with the Trenton Public Schools is a key to her success.
Working in the university incubator gives Natalie ample opportunities to mentor students with their own startup ideas. HomeWorks has employed Princeton alumni and has given students great hands-on internship experiences.
In the City | On the Road
PEC and our partners bring entrepreneurial Princeton faculty and alumni together in New York City and across the country for thought-provoking panel discussions and lively networking receptions. Previous topics include genomics, self-driving cars, arts entrepreneurship, AI and computer vision, and blockchain. entrepreneurs.princeton.edu/tigertalks
Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund
A Princeton Entrepreneurship Council Program
After five years, AEF is fully invested and has exceeded its goal of building and supporting a dynamic ecosystem of early-career Princeton alumni founders. The company founders have benefited from mentorship from more experienced alumni, and in turn have served as a resource for current students and younger alumni interested in entrepreneurship. entrepreneurs.princeton.edu/aef
PEC's startup advising program continues to enable entrepreneurial alumni with specific skills and knowledge to share with Princetonians looking for advice on their startup journeys.
Interested in becoming a mentor? We match our entrepreneurs with alumni experienced in business development, fundraising, creating a compelling pitch deck, legal issues such as contracts, corporate structure, and IP rights, marketing, business planning, fi nance, operations, public relations and strategy. entrepreneurs.princeton.edu/officehours
Princeton Innovation Center BioLabs
The University’s incubator and coworking space for biotech and life science companies is open to Princeton and non-Princeton-connected startups. PICb also hosts a number of educational and networking events open to the public. princetonbiolabs.com
Princeton Spark Podcast
The new season of PEC’s podcast of stories of Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way begins on February 4th. Available in your favorite podcast app.
- PEC: Working at Entrepreneurial Speed
- It Takes a Network to Make the Dream Work
- Persisting Through Failure
- Thriving Under Uncertainty
- Taking Risks
Arts & Entrepreneurship Day: February 15
Open to all undergraduates, graduate students, and all alumni. Join us on the Princeton campus throughout the day for dynamic workshops, panel discussions, and networking. entrepreneurs.princeton.edu/aeday
Reunions 2020: May 29
Join us on campus Friday, May 29 for several alumni entrepreneurial panels and keynote speakers. entrepreneurs.princeton.edu/events
More PEC Events
Princeton Entrepreneurship Council is actively planning 2020 events for entrepreneurial alumni across the country. Help us plan events in
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Washington, DC
People of PEC
Anne-Marie Maman '84, Executive Director
Don Seitz '79, Assistant Director, Alumni Engagement
Lauren Bender, Program Manager, Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund
Diane DeLorenzo, Event Coordinator
Wright Seneres, Social Media & Marketing Specialist
Neal Bituin, Departmental Computing
Photos by Gerardo Puglia
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