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The Kravis Leadership Institute is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Innovative Startup Award!

Commercial Track: Phoenix
Award: $12, 500

The winner of this year’s commercial award, Phoenix is a team coming out of Harvey Mudd and Claremont McKenna that is bringing a unique product to the world of virtual reality. They aim to allow a user to interact with virtual objects through a digital glove that can track the movement of individual fingers and orient them in the virtual world. To date, this is something that no other firm has been able to accomplish.

We congratulate the following team members for their achievements:

John Shaughnessy, CMC ’14
Varun Kanwar, HMC ’15
Alex Melville, HMC ’15
George Posner, CMC ’12
Jacob Rosenbloom, HMC ’15

Social Track: ZATTARO
Award: $12, 500


The social champions, ZATTARO, are empowering women in the Bolivian highlands through a line of designer footwear. These shoes, crafted from a unique blend of sheep and alpaca wool and constructed by rural Bolivians, are eventually sold for a premium at high end retailers in New York. ZATTARO pays close attention to its roots, using proceeds to developed educational programs and community improvement schemes back in rural Bolivia.

We congratulate the follow team members for their achievements:

Vedant Jaitha, CMC ‘14
Marcelo De Rada Ocampo, CMC-Columbia 3-2 major, ‘15
Marcelo Pereira


See who made it to the final round - click here to meet the 2013-2014 finalists!

Want to see who won the KLI ISA 2012 Competition? Click here.

What does it take to win? See the details below:

Flyer (pdf) Overview (pdf) Official Rules (pdf)

If you have any questions, please email Neela Rajendra, Director, KLI’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives (

The Innovative Start-Up Award was founded in 2008 by three young CMC entrepreneurs with the hope of inspiring innovation and risk-taking among their fellow students. The first award offered a prize of $10,000 and was operated as a beta test for Professor Conger’s class. The success of this primary program drew the support of Mr. Henry Kravis ’67, who invested an additional $15,000, bringing the award to a sum of $25,000.

The Kravis Leadership Institute took on the operation of the competition and expanded the application pool to the entire college in order to allow more students to participate. The award is presented annually to a CMC student or team who proposes a business venture with the intention of putting it into operation.

The winners of ISA ’12 was Erebos Games, LLC! The brainchild of CMC Sophomores Chad and Joe Newbry ’14, Erebos Games creates online flash-games that can be played and shared via social media sites and other online portals.

The Newbry twins are the defending champions of this competition. They took home the prize once before in 2011 with their company, Twins Shave Ice. The company seeks to bring shaved ice to events in Oregon and California that is both delicious and environmentally friendly.

Co-founder Chad Newbry said about their beginnings and where they got the initial idea for the business:

“It was fate. Actually it was more than that. We both didn’t like our prior jobs, lifeguarding, and wanted to do something different. We thought of a few different summer jobs we could do and realized that we had an ice shaver in the garage that our older brother had purchased, so selling shaved ice was the logical choice. The ice shaver is one of the largest initial costs of starting a shave ice business.”-Chad Newbry ’14

Hear the winners of ISA ’12 share their thoughts in this interview with KLI.