Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts 2022 Annual Report

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Annual Report 2022

Building Entrepreneurial Leaders

To our friends at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, Wow, what a year! Despite the continued challenges posed by COVID, the Derby Entrepreneurship Center (DEC) fired on all cylinders, increasing the number of students served in entrepreneurship classes and co-curriculars, expanding the diversity of its faculty and students, and widening its presence across the university and the Boston area. The DEC plays not only a key role in the overall Tufts innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem but is also one of the fundamental pillars in Tufts Gordon Institute’s mission to create a worldwide community of transformative leaders with heart, who can work together to change the world guided by deep empathy and compassion for all.

More than any other time in our history, it’s become critical to help all our students and alumni develop their entrepreneurial skill sets and mindsets. The world is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, demanding each of us to be the CEOs of our own lives, able to see the world with fresh eyes and to be biased to action, to experimentation, and to perseverance. Only through innovating and launching new ways to meet our world’s challenges will we create our best future.

My thanks go out to all our faculty, staff, advisors, alumni, and friends who have joined together to create deep experiences for our students with people who have lived through the fog of the real world. While this report captures a snapshot of the collective achievements of the DEC this past year, I look forward to the coming year as we move onward and upward to ever higher impact.

All the best,

Dear partners and supporters of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center,

The 2021-2022 academic year was one to remember. The world slowly emerged from isolation and our students returned to campus. They worked on getting used to in-person interactions again, but constantly faced reminders of a new normal. It was not an easy transition. We saw them struggle.

Yet, they are resilient and they persevered - because our students are entrepreneurial at heart. Slowly but surely, they bounced back. With spring came a sense of renewal. We could see, hear, and feel the hopes, dreams, and positivity of our students spring to life. We saw them triumph, and it was a great feeling.

We are privileged to be able to help our students apply the entrepreneurial mindset and skill set to navigate this complicated year. We worked diligently to expand equitable access to educational experiences for all students, especially historically under-represented groups. We helped our students cross-pollinate across schools at Tufts, as well as across universities in the greater Boston area. We expanded our programming to serve more community members, including a pre-college program for high school students. We are incredibly proud of our students and alumni who took the initiative to put ideas to action, solve big problems through new venture creation, and make a difference in the world.

We look forward to continuing to expand our programming to educate, coach, and support an increasing number of aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs in the years to come. Onward!


The Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts develops an entrepreneurial mindset and skill set among our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members.

We give them the tools to turn ideas to action and lead with impact through entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Derby Entrepreneurship Center is a part of Tufts Gordon Institute, which in turn is a part of the School of Engineering.

Our undergraduate program is available to all students in the School of Arts and Science, School of Engineering, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Our co-curricular programs and activities serve all 11 schools and colleges across Tufts as well as community members in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem all over the world.

School of Dental Medicine


We build entrepreneurial leaders through three key avenues:


Our award-winning and highly rated undergraduate academic program, built around the Entrepreneurship Minor, reaches 10% of the undergraduate student body.

Co-curricular programs and activities.

Our co-curricular programs and activities provide educational experiences outside the classroom, where students, alumni, and community members can learn from our online portal, join bootcamps and workshops, listen to fireside chats with entrepreneurs, meet and form connections at mixers and networking events, or get 1x1 help from an entrepreneurial coach.

Funding through competitions, prizes, and awards.

We also offer equity-free funding to students and teams through our pitch competitions’ prizes, internship award program, and the Tufts Venture Accelerator.




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ACADEMICS, 2021-2022

The Derby Entrepreneurship Center is home to the Entrepreneurship Minor, the most popular minor on campus. We also collaborate with Tisch College to co-administer the new Entrepreneurship for Social Impact Minor.

The Entrepreneurship Minor

The Entrepreneurship Minor draws students from the School of Arts and Science, School of Engineering, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts alike. Students learn to work and think like entrepreneurs and speak the language of business by taking the equivalent of 5 dynamic courses taught by awardwinning entrepreneurs and investors. Students are able to apply this mindset and skillset wherever they go after graduation – whether it is graduate school, starting or working for a startup or small business, joining a larger organization (for-profit or non-profit), or even joining a government agency.

The Entrepreneurship for Social Impact Minor

The Entrepreneurship for Social Impact Minor is offered in partnership with Tisch College of Civic Life. It is designed for students who want to solve problems and drive impact through innovation and new venture creation. Students build knowledge about processes of social change and learn how to take practical action and drive change via courses in entrepreneurship. These include courses that explore how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to starting, building, and running social enterprises spanning mission-driven for-profit companies, non-profits, and government agencies.

Re-imagining the ENT Minor

The popular Entrepreneurship Minor celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022. Our program has grown

and is attracting new students who have diverse interests, needs, and expectations.

Realizing that one size does not fit all, we implemented a major upgrade in 2022. Rather than take four required courses and one elective course, students choose one foundational course, followed by 12 additional credits from a combination of core and elective courses. This allows increased flexibility for students to pursue subjects they are most passionate about. We also created courses with varying credit counts (2, 3, and 4) and expanded the list of accepted courses with relevant content from other departments, empowering students to create an entrepreneurship minor that is uniquely theirs.

4 options 5 options 22 options

The new requirements are backward compatible with the legacy requirements. Aspiring startup entrepreneurs can still fulfill the minor using the same courses as before, while students who are pursuing different career paths (e.g. pre-med, pre-law, or creative arts students) have the option to create new course progressions that better equip them with the skill set and mindset to succeed in their chosen field.

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Foundational Core Electives


As a full-service entrepreneurship center, we offer a rich suite of programs and services throughout the year.

1x1 Coaching

Tufts Venture


Competitions, Prizes, and Funding

Bootcamps and Workshops

Meetups and Events

Our co-curricular programming falls into three themes throughout the year.

Fall: Innovation

Spring: Entrepreneurship

Summer: Acceleration

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Fall: Innovation

Fall is about welcoming new students into our innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem with inclusive events that open to all. In September 2021, we hosted the inaugural Innovation Month – an annual celebration of innovation through 10+ events that we either host ourselves or co-sponsor with other organizations.

Highlights included a panel discussion with Case Western Reserve University, a Makerfaire in the NOLOP Fast Makerspace, an Entrepreneurial Taco Social, and supporting the Fletcher School’s D-Prize launch event.

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Spring: Entrepreneurship

In spring, venture builders who have been working on their idea for a while come to us for 1x1 coaching and support. For them, we have tailored educational materials, workshops, and speaker events. We also partner with other universities to host networking events to help Tufts students meet other student innovators in the greater Boston ecosystem, and potentially find their future team members.

The highlight of our spring programming is the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition, where teams compete for cash prizes totaling $100,000 as well as in-kind services valued at more than $50,000.

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Summer: Acceleration

Summer is all about acceleration. Without the pressure of classes, students are free to concentrate on learning through immersion. This past summer we ran three programs:

The Entrepreneurial Internship Program

Through the generous participation of our alumni donors over Giving Tuesday, we were able to fund six students to work in small entrepreneurial companies that have not raised significant funding or generated significant revenue and would not otherwise be able to offer paid internships. Three of these students went to work for Jumbo-cofounded companies: Tellescope – founded by Sebastian Coates, A19, and MarkIt Social – cofounded by Jonathan Chang, E20.

The Pre-College Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp

The Tufts Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp is a two-week-long immersive experience for high school entrepreneurs. Students learn how to build a new venture from the ground up, whether it is a startup, small business, or non-profit. Students will take part in an authentic Tufts experience focused on entrepreneurship for youth, featuring fast-paced, interactive workshops taught by practicing entrepreneurs.

In our first year of offering this program, we far exceeded expectations in enrollment, with 60+ high school students joining us in July from all over the world. Students met, formed teams, came up with problems to solve and then developed ideas for new ventures that solved those problems. The bootcamp wrapped up with a Demo Day and a graduation ceremony on the last day of the bootcamp.

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Summer: Acceleration

The Tufts Venture Accelerator

The Tufts Venture Accelerator is a structured, 10-week-long summer venture accelerator program for student and alumni entrepreneurs who are working on their venture full-time. It provides structure, accountability, educational experiences, and more that helps entrepreneurs who are building a venture make rapid progress throughout the summer. Participants will be guided through all the key stages of venture creation, from defining their market and customer to developing and testing a solution with a go-to-market strategy and pricing architecture, to building out their financials and planning their next steps regarding financing, team and company building.

The Tufts Venture Accelerator is offered in two editions: full-time and part-time. The Full-Time Edition is held in-person/hybrid at the Venture Lab in the Joyce Cummings Center with access to weekly goal-setting sessions, 1x1 coaching, dedicated mentors, educational workshops, fireside chats with entrepreneurs, and more. The Part-Time Edition offers accountability and educational support for entrepreneurs who do not meet eligibility requirements for the Full-Time Edition. Part-time participants can access DEC’s self-guided accountability platform, content, and resources, as well as book 1x1 coaching meetings, and join workshops, fireside chats, and select in-person events.

The Accelerator culminated in the first open Demo Day in the history of Derby Entrepreneurship Center. Teams pitched their ventures to their peers, mentors, and a large audience including students, alumni, and community members.

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We open-source our entrepreneurship education content. From first-timers to veterans, all entrepreneurs are welcome to browse our learning center, watch our recorded workshops, or use our searchable knowledge base.


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Derby Entrepreneurship Center also provides significant equity-free funding to individual students and venture teams through competitions, prizes, and awards. In 2021-2022 we distributed $222,000 in prizes and awards to students and alumni across our programs.


The Ideas Competition is a pitch contest for entrepreneurial Tufts students to choose a problem worth solving, come up with a great solution and a plan for adoption, and deliver a 5-minute venture pitch for a chance to win up to $1,000 per team in cash prizes. Many Ideas Competition winners go on to apply for the $100k New Ventures Competition or continue to build their new ventures over the summer through the Tufts Venture Accelerator.



The $100k New Ventures Competition is the flagship venture competition at Tufts. Early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in three tracks: General Technology, Social Impact and Healthcare & Life Science. Undergraduate and graduate students, recent alumni, faculty, and staff all participate. Teams compete in live pitch competitions for cash prizes valued at a total of $100,000 of non-dilutive funding, as well as in-kind services valued at over $50,000.


Paul Montle (Class of 1969) created the Montle Prize for Entrepreneurial Achievement to commend outstanding undergraduate Tufts students who demonstrate extraordinary entrepreneurial skills. The award helps kick-start entrepreneurial leaders in the business and nonprofit world. Winners receive cash prizes of up to $15,000. Recipients of the Montle Prize accept a future commitment to give back to Tufts University.

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The Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize is awarded annually within the $100k New Ventures Competition. The prize promotes interdisciplinary research and entrepreneurship within the school of engineering. Winning teams may consist of 2-5 current students, at least two of whom must come from two different departments within the School of Engineering at Tufts University. The winning team will receive $15,000, split evenly among team members.



The Friedman Food & Nutrition Innovation $10k Prize, sponsored by the Tufts Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute, is a $10,000 prize awarded at the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition. Any competing venture that focuses specifically on food system innovation and/or nutrition and creatively tackles the numerous opportunities and challenges related to food, wellness, and sustainability is considered for this prize.

Starting in 2022, full-time teams in the Tufts Venture Accelerator are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 of equity-free funding through a grant-making process. Teams submit an application summarizing their current progress, grant amount applied for, proposed use of funds, and a detailed budget. A funding board then meets to determine the amount of funding each team will receive. Teams enjoy full support of the accelerator including workshops, coaches and dedicated mentors to help them make the most of the funding they receive.

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$10 Million Gift Champions Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Innovative ideas find fertile ground at the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, and Jack Derby has helped them flourish as one of the center’s most popular teachers and its former director. Thanks to a $10 million gift to Tufts, Jack Derby and his wife, Jan, are ensuring that those ideas thrive for years to come.

The gift creates a $9 million endowment that has named the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts and will ensure the university will continue to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset and the skills to turn ideas into successful ventures.

In addition, $1 million supports a new multidisciplinary academic building and names its first-floor atrium as the Jack and Jan Derby Lobby. The Joyce Cummings Center, which will house the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, opened in January 2022 on the Medford-Somerville campus.

The gift creates a meaningful legacy for Jack Derby, who has taught sales and marketing at Tufts for two decades.

“It is a privilege to teach at Tufts,” said Derby, founder of and strategic advisor with Derby Management. “I share President Monaco’s vision to take entrepreneurship and innovation to the next level and to reach across all the schools throughout the university, encouraging exciting collaborations among students, alumni, faculty, and staff.”

That mission goes hand in hand with supporting the larger aspirations for Joyce Cummings Center, he said. The Jack and Jan Derby Lobby will make a positive first impression “the moment you walk in the door,” he said. “It will be bright, wide, and open,” a fitting expression of the building’s academic and research mission, with its focus on fostering dialogue and collaboration. “We are honored to be associated with this inviting and welcoming space.”

18 20212022 HIGHLIGHTS
I share President Monaco’s vision to take entrepreneurship and innovation to the next level and to reach across all the schools throughout the university.”
Jack Derby

Since its beginning, we’ve seen the difference that DEC’s faculty and programs make in turning students’ knowledge and passion into real, meaningful ventures. We are proud to support future entrepreneurs as they continue to challenge themselves and change the world through the Tufts Venture Accelerator.”

Tufts Venture

Accelerator Receives $1.2M Gift

In 2022, the Derby Entrepreneurship Center received a generous $1.2M gift from Earle Yaffa, E61, Kim Hartman, J85, her husband, Alan Hartman, and the Joseph H. Flom Foundation that funds the Tufts Venture Accelerator for 10 years. In addition to providing direct venture awards for participating students over the next decade, this gift will allow for additional development and expansion of the Venture Accelerator as it continues to identify ways to improve its structure and support students.

For many students, it’s difficult to find the time and resources to commit fully to a new idea or project. Those who want the opportunity to focus on creating something new also need to support themselves through school with a summer job or internship. We wanted the Tufts Venture Accelerator to serve as a standalone program within DEC and allow all students the chance to take a leap on an idea they truly believe in.”



Our academic program has been experiencing double-digit year-over-year growth in course enrollments for four consecutive semesters.

2021 - 2022: Our Year in Numbers




DEC Report
DEC 23Report Fall 2021 Spring 2022 Core Foundational Electives 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 2021 - 2022 2020 - 2021 # Unique Students # Course Enrollments 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 Academic Enrollment, YOY 2021-2022 Enrollment by Course Type


Unique Students by # of Courses

# of courses taken in 2021-2022

# Unique Students 1 2 3 4 5 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400


AY2021-2022 saw our students back on campus, hungry to connect with their community. We saw changes in consumer behavior, with demand shifting from online to in-person/hybrid. Students craved in-person events and steered away from virtual ones.

To adapt to changing conditions throughout the year, we:

• Resumed in-person events, such as taco socials and maker events

• Deepened our partnerships with the Fletcher School, helping to launch the Fletcher D-Prize and offering them additional coaching capacity

• Collaborated with other universities to co-host cross-university events

• Scaled back virtual workshops and speaker events in favor of guest speaker segments inside our undergraduate entrepreneurship classrooms, available to the public via Zoom

• Optimized our hybrid event management, enabling us to run the Tufts Venture Accelerator in full hybrid mode (speakers and audience alike)

• Ran co-hosted alumni events in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Boston

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Our flexibility and willingness to experiment paid off. Our estimated co-curricular participation in AY2021-2022 (including co-hosted events) was over 1900, a 45% increase year-over-year.

DEC Co-curricular Participations Over Time (est.)

Thanks to our DEI-J efforts, gender and race balance for $100k Semifinalists and Finalists has improved year-over-year. We will continue our efforts in new program development and outreach to attract more historically under-represented groups to come into our ecosystem.

0 AY2022 AY2021 AY2020 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 $100k Semifinalists Participants: Self-reported Gender Identification 2022 2021 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Male Female $100k Semifinalists Participants: Self-reported Racial Identification POC White 43% 57% 26 DEC Report

DEC 27Report

Expanding our Infrastructure


Venture Lab

In November 2021, Tufts Gordon Institute and the Derby Entrepreneurship Center moved into our new home within the new Joyce Cummings Center. DEC’s Venture Lab is on the third floor, overlooking the Tufts academic quad on one side, and the Boston skyline on the other.

We are hosting select ENT classes and in-person events in the space. We also developed digital infrastructure to allow student clubs to host their meetings inside. When the Venture Lab is not in use, students are free to use it as a coworking space.


We have been hard at work building our new website, with a minimum viable product for the website that was quietly brought live in June. Students report that they find the website very helpful. One student says: “Honestly, this is one of the best sites at Tufts.”

Explore the website at:

Digital footprint

DEC also expanded our social media presence. At the time of writing, we had acquired over 2000 followers on our LinkedIn Company Page and over 300 on our new Instagram account.

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Building Partnerships Within and Beyond Tufts

Derby Entrepreneurship Center collaborates with all 11 schools and colleges across Tufts University. We are also building partnerships with identity centers and student clubs.


Collaborating on the Entrepreneurship for Social Impact Minor with support from Tisch for 3 ENT courses (Innovative Social Enterprises, Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Impact, and Paths to Entrepreneurship).

Tisch College also provides funding to support our co-curricular programming for social impact innovation and entrepreneurship.


We share educational resources with Fletcher students who are either taking entrepreneurial courses or are working on new ventures.

We support the annual Fletcher D-prize by providing pitch practice and venture coaching support to applicants.


We coordinate on workshops and events to help Friedman students get access to additional resources outside their own cohort.

The Friedman Prize, administered alongside the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition, is backed by the Food and Nutrition Innovation Institute.



In Spring 2022, we collaborated with the Office of Alumni Relations (OAE) and University Advancement (UA) to host multiple alumni events in Boston, New York City, Palo Alto, and San Francisco. Back at home, we met many alumni during two alumni weekends.

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Student clubs

DEC is proud to have supported four student-led initiatives:

• Jumbo Ventures: a student-led startup incubator that runs twice a year. DEC sponsors the cash prize for their end-of-semester Demo Days and provides coaching and support to club leaders to grow and expand their club.

• WE@T (Women Entrepreneurs at Tufts): a club for women entrepreneurs. DEC provides mentorship and support to club leaders in event planning including the annual WE LEAD conference.

• Product Studio: a new club for students interested in product management. DEC is proud to sponsor coffee and donuts for their two-day producthon.

• The Black Women’s Empowerment Conference: a conference open to Black women and femmes attending universities in the Northeast. It seeks to empower Black women and femme postsecondary students by providing them with the networking and leadership skills necessary to succeed in their academic and professional careers. DEC is a proud co-sponsor for this event.

Cross University partnerships

DEC is building strong partnerships with other universities in the greater Boston area and beyond.

• DEC is part of a core group of universities that organize Cross University Student Innovators Mixers (CUSI Mixers). In 2021-2022 we organized three events. At peak, we drew students from 17 universities, routinely drawing 100-200 attendees. Tufts is proud to be consistently in the top 5 schools from a student participation standpoint.

• DEC also collaborated with Boston University in their annual IDEA Con – an annual one-day conference that draws students from multiple universities including University of New Hampshire, Tufts University and more.

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The Deshpande Award for Excellence in Curriculum Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial education at Tufts University and the Derby Entrepreneurship Center (DEC) reached a new milestone in the summer, thanks to the Excellence in Curriculum Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award the DEC received on June 16 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The award was presented to the Tufts team at the 11th Annual Deshpande Symposium Awards Reception. The award recognizes an exemplary commitment to, and success in, developing and offering innovative educational courses or programs that foster entrepreneurship education across an institution.

The team at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center has expanded the reach of our entrepreneurship programming with a strong focus on underrepresented students, helping to unlock the entrepreneurial potential in all of our students at Tufts.”

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Kevin Oye
This prestigious award recognizes our commitment to, and success in, expanding equitable access to entrepreneurship education for all.”
Elaine Chen

Tufts Venture Accelerator Team Spotlights

Baak Network (Social Impact | Emerging Markets)

A virtual mentoring network for young women from high school and universities in Bangladesh to connect with female mentors globally

Team members: Masrura Oishi, F21

In their words:

“I’ve seen all types of vague vision statements from my experience in nonprofits, so going into the Tufts Venture Accelerator I thought: ‘I’m all set.’ But then we were asked about how we were going to measure impact and I realized—wait, I do need that north star. It’s necessary to ask: how are you going to sustain this organization? How are you going to measure progress?” said Oishi.

Blesser Breakers (Social Impact | Emerging Markets)

Teaching “sugar daddy awareness” to middle school girls in Zambia to reduce unwanted teen pregnancies and HIV infections

Team members: Daniel Kibet, F22, Ashira Pelt, F22, Wabei Saboi, F21

Malflora Studio (Creative Arts)

Empowering LATINA/e Rights and wrongs through storytelling

Team members: Paloma Velasco, A23; Mia Palomba, A24

In their words:

“I’ve learned that takes a village to create a world I didn’t have when I was growing up, to create experiences that are more inclusive,” Velasco said, regarding the circle of support she has found from her peers and her instructors. “When I heard the word ‘trailblazer’ applied to our vision, that seems to be a word that fits.”

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(General Technology | Social Impact)

Reimagining how businesses hire other businesses, starting with how we connect through an RFP process. Built for nonprofits to find trusted and diverse partners.

Team Members: Alfredo Ramirez, F21; Nick Lopez, Nyle Malik

In their words:

“Not only are you being supported by a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs, but you get an all-star staff of ex-entrepreneurs and expert professors to help guide you along the way,” said Lopez.

Scope Tennis

(General Technology | FinTech)

Fan engagement platform built on the Blockchain: The first NFT Tennis platform to connect fans and athletes

Team Members: Laurent Isnard, A22; Max Stehling

In their words:

“We think the program was a great success as it helped us with several aspects of our business. In addition, the connections you introduced us to through mentors and guest speakers have all been very helpful and we expect to maintain a few.” said Laurent and Max, via email.

Tessera Intelligence

(General Technology | AI)

Utilizing advanced AI to enhance sensor performance, extending the range of what millions of cameras can see and detect in the real world

Team Members: Professor Karen Panetta, Ph.D.; Shishir Rao, Ph.D.; Srijith Rajeev, Ph.D.; Rahul Rajendran, Ph.D.

In their words:

“Our team is highly technical, and we know very little about business,” said Rajeev. “With every step we get closer to understanding what a business is—what it takes to actually implement an idea.”


Alumni Spotlights | 2021-2022

In their words:

“I’m a biology major and I’m premed. I’ve always been interested in business and entrepreneurship. Because Tufts doesn’t have a business major or minor option, I thought entrepreneurship is the next best option. And honestly, I think it’s a lot better than business major or minor. The mindset that you get from it, and the classes and the skills that you take away… you learn a lot more from the ground up.”

Jean Pham, EG21, Cofounder & CEO, Cellens

“When I look back, what was most helpful for me at (the Tufts) Venture Accelerator were the mentorships and connections I made,” she said.

“To this day, I’m thankful for the conviction and encouragement we found at the Derby Entrepreneurship Center.”

“The most valuable aspect of the Tufts Venture Accelerator,” said Weinstein, “was to work with other student-entrepreneurs and expert mentors to identify and test the hypotheses of our venture in a judgment-free, collaborative environment.”

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Selection of Notable Milestones

From the Tufts Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Many of these entrepreneurs were alumni of Tufts Gordon Institute and Derby Entrepreneurship programs.

James Rogers, A10 and Zach Gorman, A10, Torii, seed round (June 2021)

Greg Raiz, E98, was named the Managing Director of Techstars Boston (June 2021)

Karen Donoghue, J87, and Craig Newell published her book, “Envision Product: User Experience for Founders” (June 2021)

Bader Ataya, A09, $415M Series C (July 2021)

Jean Pham, EG21, Cellens, received funding from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (July 2021)

Kofi Asante, A17, Elroy Air, $40M Series A (August 2021)

Sean Harrington, A14, Notemeal, acquired by Teamworks (October 2021)

Dr. Ali Tratchman Hill, J98, delivered a TED Talk about women in entrepreneurship (November 2021)

Aaron Tartakovsky, A12, Epic Cleantec, $9.4M (December 2021)

Jason Bravman, A05, Billie, acquired by Edgewell for $310M (November 2022)

Cory Siskind, A10, Base Operations, $3M seed round, (December 2021)

David Mok, A10, Labelbox, $110M Series D (January 2022)

Daniel Weinstein, E18 and Noah Hill, E21, Lura Health, $1M Phase II SBIR Grant from NSF

James Rogers, A10 and Zach Gorman, A10, Torii, $50M Series B round (February 2022)

Daniel Lewis, A20, $100k winner, Winno YC Winter 22 Batch, (March 2022)

Chris Giliberti, A10, Zestworld, $9M Series A (March 2022)

Matt Thoms, E10, launched early stage venture firm, Baukunst (April 2022)

Krenar Komoni, EG08, Tive, $54M series B (April 2022)

Benji Koltai, E12, Galley, $14.2M Series A (May 2022)

Sandra Babu-Boateng, F21, LegacyShift, presented at Techstars Boston Demo Day (August 2022)

Jonathan Chang, E20 and Brawner Quan, MarkitSocial, presented at Techstars Boston Demo Day (August 2022)

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Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker, IPO September 29, 2021
39 PEOPLE | TEAM 20212022
Elaine Chen Cummings Family Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship Director, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts Carol Denning Assistant Director, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts Idicula Mathew Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts | Cofounder & CEO, Hera Health Solutions

FACULTY | 2021 - 2022

Frank Apeseche Professor of the Practice

Elaine Chen

Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship & Director, Derby Entrepreneurship Center

Andy O’Brien Lecturer

Rachel O’Neil Lecturer

Jack Derby Professor of the Practice

Jimmy Edgerton Lecturer

Gavin Finn Professor of the Practice

Elizabeth McCarthy Lecturer

Jay Mixter Lecturer

Usha Pasi Lecturer

Joe Volman Lecturer

Tina Weber Lecturer

Josh Wiesman Lecturer

Julianne Zimmerman Lecturer

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BOARD OF ADVISORS | 2021 - 2022

Chairman of the Board

Chuck Auster (Chairman of the board) Founder & Partner, Runtide Capital

Members of the Board

Kofi Asante VP of Strategy and Business Development, Elroy Air

Mike Doyle President and CEO, COTA Healthcare

Christine Dunn

Steve Herrod

Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners

Ben Carson Jr. Cofounder and Partner, Fvlcrum Funds

Partner, Seven Letter Member, Executive Committee | Chair, Marketing Committee, DEC Board of Advisors

Karen Cassel President and CEO, MedicAlert

John Cuming

Former President, Cuming Microwave Corporation

Jack Derby Professor of the Practice, DEC | CEO, Derby Management

Pamela Goldberg President and CEO, MDC Member, Executive Committee | Chair, Finance & Fundraising Committee, DEC Board of Advisors

Paul Halpern

Chief Marketing Officer, JP Morgan Wealth

David Jen Director & Head of Finance and Strategy, X

Josh Kapelman

EVP and MD, Hilldun Corporation | Chair, Development and Governance Committee, DEC Board of Advisors

Nancy Karp

MP of Development and Operations, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design

Kim Hartman Owner, KH Designers; Cofounder, Mask Ready

Jordon Kivelstadt

Founder & Proprietor, Kivelstadt Cellars

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Sarah Kugelman Founder, skyn ICELAND &

Catherine Popper Angel Investor, LaunchPad Venture Group

Forrest Snowden

Chairman and CEO, Aria Gems

Steve McDermid MD, Emerson Collective

Steve Remondi Founder & CEO, Xphera Biosciences

Omer Trajman Founder, AskFora

Andy Merken Partner and Co-chair, Life Sciences, Burns & Levinson LLP

Kenny Nova

Founder & Investor, Stat Scientific

Peter Rothschild Partner, East Wind Advisors, Managing Member, Daroth Capital Felice Shapiro

Founder and Publisher, Better after 50 (BA50)

Alex Wulkan

Cofounder and COO, Estateably Earle Yaffa

Former MD, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom LLC

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Jack and Jan Derby: Jack and Jan Derby Lobby, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts

Naming Gifts

Joshua Kapelman, A12 and Emily Hawkridge Kapelman: Kapelman Family Collaborative Space

Stu Birger, A85, A22P and Debi Birger, A22P: Birger Family Seminar Room

Tufts Venture Accelerator Sponsorship

Earle Yaffa, E61 and Elizabeth Yaffa, J85P

Kimberly Hartman, J85 and Alan Hartman

The Joseph H. Flom Foundation

Prize Sponsorships

Tufts $100k General Technology Track:

John W. Cuming, A81, Pamela Cuming and the William R. and Ruth D. Cuming Charitable Foundation

Tufts $100k Healthcare and Life Science Track:

Douglas J. Hirsch, A92 and Chona Hirsch and the Hirsch Family Funderpants

Tufts $100k Social Impact Track: The Joseph H. Flom Foundation

Friedman Prize: Food and Nutrition Innovation Institute at the Friedman School

Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize:

Stephen J. Ricci, E67, E88P, J88P and Geraldine R. Ricci, E88P, J88P

Paul and Elizabeth Montle Prize for Entrepreneurial Achievement: The Montle Family

Corporate Sponsors

Cummings Properties (Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition – Cummings Properties Rent Credit sponsor)

WE Global Studio (Women Entrepreneurs memberships sponsor)

J. P. Morgan Chase (Celebration of Entrepreneurship event sponsor)

Jimmy Nguyen (Leading the charge on facilitating CUSI mixers and helping to build the Boston innovation ecosystem)



Platinum supporters ($10k+ and all board members)

Mark Ain



Kofi Asante

Charles F. Auster

Benjamin S. Carson, Jr.

Karen J. Cassel

John W. Cuming

William S. Cummings and Joyce


Jack and Jan Derby

Michael J. Doyle

Christine Overholt Dunn

Robert L. Finnegan

The Joseph H. Flom Foundation

Douglas J. Hirsch and Chona Hirsch

Pamela W. Goldberg

Paul S. Halpern and Nancy Halpern

Kimberly Hartman and Alan Hartman

Stephen Herrod, Ph.D. and Flavia Herrod

David J. Jen

Joshua W. Kapelman and Emily

Hawkridge Kapelman

Nancy Karp

Jordan C. Kivelstadt

Sarah D. Kugelman

Stephen McDermid and Katherine J.


Andrew J. Merken and Gail Merken

Kenneth M. Nova and Janet Nova

Catherine Popper and D. Noah Eckhouse

Stephen Remondi and Kristen Remondi

Peter H. Rothschild

Felice Shapiro

Forrest Snowden

Omer Trajman and Lily Trajman

Alexander S. Wulkan

Earle Yaffa and Elizabeth Yaffa

Gold supporters ($1k+)

David J. Beck

Cummings Foundation

John Fan and Stephanie Fan

Kenneth C. Fan

George D. Hawthorne

Samuel M. Kessel

Louis G. Pelosi and Susan Purdy Pelosi

Nicholas K. Pianim and Erica Bruns Pianim

Richard M. Sakakeeny and Karen Sakakeeny

Marilyn C. Salzman, Ph.D. and John J. Salzman

David Solomont and Joan Solomont

Matthew D. Verminski

Josef B. Volman

Friends and family

Kosta E. Alexis


Melissa A. Beede and Marc S. Johannes

Stephen B. Caplow and Jocelyne M. Caplow

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

Walter W. Chan

Sanguan (Sang) Chanyaputhipong

Elaine Chen

John Cosmopoulos

Ashish Datta

Marilyn A. Davison

Carol Denning

Christopher J. Deschenes and Dianne Deschenes

Michael J. Douglas and Sara J. Douglas

Jimmy Edgerton

Olaoluwa P. Faleye

Harold L. Finelt

David A. Folsom, Jr.

Lara S. Fordis

Nadya Ganem

Charles E. Gregg

David A. Harrison

Diane S. Hessan

Alison Trachtman Hill

Yihan (Edith) Hu

Vincent C. Huang

Laurie A. Hurley and John S. Hurley

Margaret O. Kullman

Jade Lu

Camilo Mantilla Villa

Judith T. Maurier

Robert P. Menn

Alp Ogucu

Alan J. Olson

Peter J. Piro

Gregory L. Raiz and Kathryn F. Raiz

Susan E. Redican

Jessica Bussgang Rosenbloom

Emily Denton Sacchetti

Muwaffaq Salti

James M. Sarazen

George Saveriades, Ph.D.

Jonathan B. Siegel

Kiran Singh

Craig L. Slater and Leslie E. Slater

Matthew Z. Small

Brittany H. Sokoloff and William C. Sokoloff

David L. Sollod

Sophia A. Song

Bob Stringer

Fiona X. Wang

Jesse B. Weeks

Ross Wood

44 DEC Report
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