First-Ever AEF Showcase Features Bay Area AEF Companies

Written by
Wright Seneres
May 22, 2018

The Bay Area-based companies of the Princeton Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund portfolio were the main attraction at the first-ever AEF Showcase, co-sponsored by PEC, Princeton Club of Northern California and Princeton Alumni Angels.

The Princeton Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund provides recent alumni startups up to $100,000 in matching funds as well as mentorship and peer-to-peer learning opportunities throughout the year. Alumni who receive AEF support serve as mentors to students, helping to advance the University’s educational mission and cultivate its entrepreneurial ecosystem. The fund was started in late 2014 and has funded 25 companies to date.

Piper, of the Fall 2015 cohort, was given the inaugural AEF Company of the Year award. Dubbed “the computer kit that prepares kids for a lifetime of building technology”, the Piper system uses games to develop both technical skills and approaches that lead to inventive solutions. Founded by Mark Pavulyukovskyy ’13, Piper has secured $10 million in funding and has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and CNBC.

Aquabyte, founded by Bryton Shang ’12, uses computer vision and machine learning to optimize feed for large-scale aquaculture. Based in San Francisco and Norway, Aquabyte is poised to transform fish farming, the fastest-growing sector of food production worldwide.

We presented at the @princeton_PEC Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund showcase last night! It was great to meet some other founders from this community #PrincetonAEF #entrepreneurship

— Aquabyte (@aquabyteai) May 17, 2018


BoxPower, founded by Angelo Campus ’16, manufactures rapidly deployable solar generators in 20-foot shipping containers, creating a future in which energy is sustainable, distributed, and portable – from Alaska to Puerto Rico and beyond. Their unique combination of renewable and conventional energy generation with battery backup provides a clean, reliable and cost-effective alternative to fossil fuel generation for off-grid and grid-tied energy consumers. (BoxPower participated in both the Keller Center’s eLab Incubator and eLab Summer Accelerator programs.)

CollegeBacker, co-founded by Jordan Lee *13, has empowered thousands of families to save for college, at a rate four times the industry average, by helping them access previously untapped sources. These sources include gifts from family and friends, and matching contributions from school and/or work.  



PHOTO: Tarun Pondicherry '11 of LightUp speaks at the AEF Showcase

Tarun Pondicherry '11 of LightUp speaks at the AEF Showcase


LightUp, founded by Tarun Pondicherry ’11, is an award-winning educational toy that teaches kids how everyday technology works, using magnetic circuit blocks and an augmented reality tutor on an iPad app. LightUp has been featured in Gizmodo, Time magazine, and Popular Mechanics.   

Nucleos, co-founded by Noah Freedman ’12, accelerates access to digital tools to improve the quality of education in underconnected communities. Using a hybrid learning platform that can deliver adaptive and personalized learning experiences both online and offline, Nucleos improves the student learning experience with inclusive and equitable quality education for all, while also adapting to situations that have little or no bandwidth.

Remedy, founded by Jessica Ma ’15, employs artificial intelligence in a prescriptive chronic care analytics platform for value-based health systems to uncover and address hidden chronic, comorbid diseases. Through a dynamically generated diagnostic interview process, the Remedy technology informs the care team of relevant disease risks and optimal care pathways coupled with rigorous clinical rationale.

(Unable to attend was LiftIgniter, a machine learning personalization platform that enables customers to display personalized recommendations or items online to each single user impression, in real-time, for each click or tap. LiftIgniter was founded by Indraneel Mukherjee *11.)  



IMAGE: AEF Company of the Year 2018


“It was gratifying to see such a large number of Bay Area Princeton alumni come together to learn about and support the local AEF companies,” said Lauren Bender, AEF Program Manager.  “The attendance and engagement by the audience at the AEF Showcase (which occurred while the Warriors were playing in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference finals) is exactly the kind of interaction that the generous donors who seeded the Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund envisioned at the outset. Connections with the Princeton alumni community are key to the success of the AEF founders, and I was thrilled by the number of alumni who came forward after the presentations to offer specific assistance to the companies.”



PEC logo // story ender


View more photos from the AEF Showcase at our Facebook page.

To learn more about AEF, visit the Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund page