Welcome to the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network (DukeGEN)

The goal of this group is to be a sophisticated and active network that helps create debate, dialogue, and productive connections between Duke entrepreneurs.  We are providing the energy and coordination to encourage Duke entrepreneurs, around the globe, to connect and increase their chances of success. Founded in April 2008 by T. Reid Lewis, Howie Rhee and Jon Fjeld, with a connection from Danny Briere.  Michael Cann suggested something similar a couple months prior.

DukeGEN is one of the top organizations supporting entrepreneurship on Duke's campus.  Started in 2008, we run over 30 events a year including the Elevator Pitch Competition, the Duke Start-Up Challenge, the DukeGEN Startup Speaker Series (formerly Entrepreneurship Education Series), the DukeGEN Start-Up Showcase Events, and the multi-city DukeGEN Networking Events. DukeGEN has over 6,000 members from Duke's entrepreneurial community and supports students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of Duke.

Current Co-chairs: 

Photos from our 9th DukeGEN Startup Showcase

posted Jun 25, 2014, 7:33 AM by Howie Rhee

We had a great Startup Showcase event on June 4, 2014.  See the photos from the event and watch the video.

Global Entrepreneurship Panel by the EVCC

posted Dec 3, 2013, 10:23 AM by Howie Rhee

Global Entrepreneurship Panel: 4 experienced VCs and Angel investors discuss early stage investing around the globe

When: Tuesday, December 3. 4:00-5:30pm

Where: Dansby Classroom

Please join us for a dynamic panel discussion with successful angel investors and early stage venture capitalists from around the globe. Learn about different opportunities and challenges across US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Panelists will share their market perspectives followed by an Q&A session.

Bradley B. Furber / Duke Law Alum, Angel, CEO of ShowMeGolfers – Europe 

Josh Felser / Fuqua Alum, Co-founder of Freestyle Capital – North America

Zirui Tian / Fuqua Alum, Partner at WI Harper Group – Asia

Gonzalo Costa / Fuqua Alum, Co-founder of NXTP Labs – South America

Please RSVP Here.

Watch the 7th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event

posted Jun 10, 2013, 11:09 AM by Howie Rhee   [ updated Jun 12, 2013, 2:21 PM ]

- Want to watch the livestream? Watch live on YouTube (the program starts at 7pm PT) or try the Duke Today link

The DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event is a great event for learning about entrepreneurship, seeing the latest Duke startups, and meeting other entrepreneurial Dukies.  We selected seven startups founded by Dukies to pitch to a panel of Duke investors. See our blog posts summarizing past events: 2011 in NYC, 2011 in San Francisco, and 2010 in NYC.
This event will be livestreamed on Wednesday, June 12th from 6:00-9:00pm from Google’s San Francisco Office (345 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105).

The Duke startups that will be pitching are:
  • AnyCloud, Inc. - Personal Meta Cloud 
    • Brian Jenkins, 1991, Palo Alto, CA, bjenkins@anycloud.io 
  • Coursefork - We are Github for courses. 
    • Elliott Hauser, 2005, Durham, NC, eah13@mac.com 
  • Dynamo Micropower - Alternative Energy Genset 
    • Jason Ethier, 2010, Boston, MA, jason@dynamo-micropower.com 
  • Ink* - World's first online tutoring marketplace 
    • Melvin Hines, 2011, Durham, NC, mhinesjr@inkacademics.com 
  • Jobbertunity - Eliminating manual resume drop at career fairs 
    • Ameya Kulkarni, 2013, San Francisco, CA, ak240@duke.edu and Amy Vaduthalakuzhy, 2013, San Francisco, CA, amy.vaduthalakuzhy@fuqua.duke.edu
  • Peer - Connect unacquainted professionals over live video 
    • Ofer Baharav, 2007, San Francisco, CA, ofer.baharav@alumni.duke.edu 
  • Your Perfect Beauty - Yelp for Beauty Products 
    • Daisy Jing, 2010, Los Angeles, daisy@yourperfectbeauty.com 

Our panelists for this year's event include:
- Josh Felser '86 '90, Freestyle Capital 
- Jay Jamison '92, BlueRun
- Jim Scheinman '88, Maven Ventures
- Ash Fortuna, AngelList

Notable past participants include:
Getable (formerly Rentcycle), Tim Hyer
Coverhound, Basil Enan
The Daily Muse, Kathryn Minshew
Hukkster, Katie Finnegan

Prize will include a review of the winning team by Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList

Thank you to our sponsor!

Next steps:
- Want to watch the livestream? Watch live on YouTube  (the program starts at 7pm PT) or try the Duke Today link
- Want to attend?  RSVP on Eventbrite

- Basil Enan '03, Coverhound
- Matt Koidin '05, Pocket
- Shaan Puri '10, Monkey Inferno
- Howie Rhee '04, Duke University
- John Solomon '03, SuperBetter Labs 

Questions?  Email us at dukegen@duke.edu

Apply to present at the 7th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event

posted Apr 15, 2013, 1:27 PM by Howie Rhee

Call for startups! Do you have a startup idea?  Apply to pitch to Duke investors at the 7th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event in San Francisco on June 12th, 2013!
The DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event lets selected Duke startups pitch to a panel of Duke alumni investors. Each event we have dozens of Duke startups apply, both alumni-led and student-led, we select the top 6 teams to present. Come to this great event in San Francisco, network with other Dukies and hear some startup pitches.  
This event will be held on Wednesday, June 12th from 6:00-9:00pm at Google’s San Francisco Office (345 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105).

Notable past participants include:
Getable (formerly Rentcycle), Tim Hyer
Coverhound, Basil Enan
The Daily Muse, Kathryn Minshew
Hukkster, Katie Finnegan

For a sense of what this event will be like, scroll down to view past events.

Next steps:
- Want to pitch your startup?  Apply here by April 25th at 11:59pm PT
- Want to attend?  RSVP on Eventbrite

- Basil Enan '03, Coverhound
- Matt Koidin '05, Pocket
- Shaan Puri '10, Monkey Inferno
- Howie Rhee '04, Duke University
- John Solomon '03, SuperBetter Labs 

Questions?  Email Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu

Congratulations to Matt Pleatman '13 of Refresh Innovations!

posted Apr 15, 2013, 1:26 PM by Howie Rhee

Congratulations to Matt Pleatman '13 and Refresh Innovations, winners of the 14th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge!

And thank you to David Cummings '02 for endowing the Frank Borchardt Undergraduate Prize Fund!

Check out the Round 3 teams in the Duke Start-Up Challenge

posted Mar 28, 2013, 2:52 PM by Howie Rhee

  • Camras Vision - 67 million people worldwide are afflicted with glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness.  The only way to prevent vision loss for the millions of glaucoma sufferers is to lower eye pressure. This is currently treated with drugs and surgical interventions, yet these treatments are unpredictable and have suboptimal success rates. Camras Vision has created a revolutionary device, the Camras Shunt, to treat glaucoma in a safe and effective manner. It has the potential to usurp the drug and surgical markets by being the first glaucoma treatment to provide personalized care that can be adjusted for the lifetime of the patient to predictably and accurately lower eye pressure.     
    • Team Leader: Lucinda Camras, Pratt 2013, lucinda.camras@camrasvision.com 
    • Team:Lucinda Camras, Pratt, 2013, lucinda.camras@duke.edu
  • FishCycle - Recycling fish byproduct and redistributing to places in need.     
    • Team Leader: Albert Hu, Pratt 2014, uhtrebla@gmail.com 
    • Team:Albert Hu, Pratt School of Engineering, 2014, ah196@duke.edu
    • Mike Yuefeng Du, Pratt, 2014, yd27@duke.edu
  • Gopinion - Gopinion is a mobile and web customer relations application that aims to give businesses private, accurate feedback from their customers.     
    • Team Leader: chris muto, Trinity 2013, chris@gopinion.com 
    • Team:Chris Muto, Trinity College, 2013
    • Joe Tagliente, Colby College, 2013
  • Jobbertunity - The job-search process is an overwhelming and often tedious one, especially for students. There are no set paths, no set deadlines, no set destinations, and there is an overwhelming amount of information to manage and track. Currently, there is no single solution to manage all the job-search related information in one place. Job-seekers are forced to maintain company notes, contact lists, emails, task lists, interview preparation materials separately, and information often tends to get lost or misplaced or overlooked. Manually maintaining all this information using existing tools like Excel and Outlook is time consuming and challenging. Jobbertunity (http://www.jobbertunity.com) aims to take the stress and uncertainty out of the job search process by taking care of housekeeping tasks, so that job seekers can focus on the more important things.  Think of it as your own personal assistant for all things related to job-search!  From identifying and unearthing new companies to keeping a track of contacts and jobs, Jobbertunity provides a one-stop location where users can manage their target companies, contacts, notes, tasks, reminders and interview preparation materials.  By integrating with existing tools that job seekers already use such as LinkedIn and indeed.com, we make it easy for our users to get organized and land their dream jobs.     
    • Team Leader: Ameya Kulkarni, Fuqua - Daytime MBA 2013, amey420@gmail.com 
    • Team:Ameya Kulkarni, Fuqua School of Business, Class of 2013, ak240@duke.edu
    • Amy Vaduthalakuzhy, Fuqua School of Business, Class of 2013, av84@duke.edu
    • Judith & James - Judith and James is an apparel company that turns a simple clothing purchase into a visible act of charity. We manufacture our clothing ethically, providing opportunity and stability to vulnerable women in Kenya. We provide manufacturing services for small-scale designers who want to ensure that their products are made ethically and to the highest standards of quality. We work with designers to help them differentiate their products in a competitive market and making manufacturing accessible for new players in the industry. Additionally we will launch our own brand inspired by vibrant African textiles and classic American shapes. As we grow we will be able to employ more and more Kenyan women, widening our impact on development in Kenya. 
      • Team Leader: Sara Adam, Trinity 2013, sara.adam@duke.edu 
      • Team:Sara Adam, Trinity, 2013, sara.adam@duke.edu
      • Anna Taylor, University of Arkansas, 2013, anna@judithandjames.com
    • LuxSano Biomedical - Our product involves the combination of Ultraviolet C radiation with a pulsatile lavage portable device, which is the current standard of care for cleansing larger wounds during surgery.   The innovative use of these two technologies in tandem during surgery is expected have a 99%  efficiency in decreasing bacterial counts at the wound site (as opposed to 89% effectiveness with pulsatile lavage-only treatment). With hospitals facing increasing pressure from insurance companies to eliminate surgical-site infections and subsequent hospital care, this inexpensive and disposable device has the potential to save hospitals millions yearly.  Since the current pulsatile lavage market is highly commoditized, LuxSano has developed an Ultraviolet C attachment that can be added onto any current pulsatile lavage device to enhance the wound decontamination. LuxSano has created strategies for regulatory approval as well as an outsourced device manufacturing and distribution plan for the US. The markets for this UVC-pulsatile lavage will initially consist of orthopedic and trauma surgeries (over 1,000,000 of these are performed yearly in the US alone). With later adjustments to the device to make it more applicable to sensitive tissue treatment, the colorectal and pediatric markets will also be an option for LuxSano's sales.     
      • Team Leader: Jay Wilson, Pratt 2013, jay.wilson@duke.edu 
      • Team:Jack Archer, Trinity, 2013, jack.archer@duke.edu
      • Aimee Raleigh, Pratt, 2013, aimee.raleigh@gmail.com
      • Jay Wilson, Pratt, 2013, jay.wilson@duke.edu
      • Marshall Vingi, Trinity, 2014, marshall.vingi@duke.edu
      • Ringo Yen, Pratt, 2013, ringo.yen@duke.edu
    • Mati (Tea) Inc. - Mati is a delicious, award-winning beverage. As an Honest Tea meets Izze juice, we offer an organic, low calorie, caffeinated, and carbonated tea. Our customers love Mati for its deliciously refreshing, energizing, and healthy qualities. In addition, Mati is eco- and budget- friendly thanks to the packaging.     
      • Team Leader: Tatiana Birgisson, Trinity 2012, tbirgisson@gmail.com 
      • Team:Tatiana Birgisson, Trinity, Dec. 2012, tatiana@matitea.com
    • NeuroSpire - Traditional forms of market research are often limited by the extent to which individuals can identify and subsequently communicate their emotions and visceral / biological responses to researchers. Neuromarketing utilizes brain imaging technology to uncover raw, unfiltered reactions without the need for verbalization. Neuromarketing technology eliminates many of the biases and shortcomings typical of market research methods like focus groups and surveys. Our proven brain-wave based measures are validated by decades of neuroscience research and are currently used in marketing studies around the world.     
      • Team Leader: Shilpi Kumar, Trinity 2013, shilpi.lal.kumar@gmail.com 
      • Team:Jake Stauch, Trinity, 2014, jake.stauch@neurospire.com
      • Shilpi Kumar, Trinity, 2013, shilpi.kumar@duke.edu
    • Refrackt - Hydraulic fracturing (colloquially known as fracking) is the process that gas companies have been using to extract oil and natural gas from “tight” reservoirs, and it has been a primary driver of North America’s recent natural gas boom. Despite the boon that hydraulic fracturing technology represents for the US’s slowly recovering economy, there are many opponents to its use. A large point of contention between industry and local communities are the environmental concerns related to water consumption and contamination. The hydro-fracture process is extremely water intensive, consuming up to 5,000,000 gallons of freshwater per well (FracFocus, 2012). On top of that, the gas and oil plays where hydraulic fracturing is used are often in regions already under severe water stress (i.e. the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas). To make matters worse, the water used in fractured wells is mixed with harmful chemicals, which optimize the number of fractures created and held open but present a challenge for disposal. Currently, the options for separating chemicals after the completion of a well can be costly and above-ground storage or transport represents a risk for leaks and spills. Even with the host of challenges and questions that surround water and hydro-fracturing, the industry has been moving forward at a blistering pace. One estimate mentioned that there are roughly 11,400 wells that use hydraulic fracturing each year in the United States (Ehrenberg, 2012). These numbers are likely to rise as states that initially abstained from allowing the process begin to sort out their regulations and join the fray. Each well that is drilled represents a potential for Refrackt to have a positive economic and environmental impact. Refrackt offers a clear solution to many of the water issues that are posed by the oil and gas industry. Using vacuum membrane distillation technology we will be able to safely and economically separate the water from the dissolved solids, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and organic compounds onsite. Our mobile system will provide drillers with the ability to clean their water onsite and either recycle it to cut costs or release it back into the municipal water system.     
      • Team Leader: Daniel Chow, Nicholas School of the Environment 2014, daniel.chow@duke.edu 
      • Team:Judith Winglee, Pratt School of Engineering 2016, judith.winglee@gmail.com
      • Daniel Chow, Nicholas School of the Environment, 2014, daniel.chow@duke.edu
      • Mark Panny, Nicholas School of the Environment, 2014, mark.panny@duke.edu
      • Victor Smith, Nicholas School of the Environment, 2014, victor.smith@duke.edu
    • Refresh Innovations - The Contact Lens Refresh Card is an ultra slim, all-in-one contact lens case and multipurpose solution package. Our patent-pending design is the size of a credit card, disposable and convenient to carry at all times.     
      • Team Leader: Matthew Pleatman, Pratt 2013, mpleatman@gmail.com 
      • Team:Matt Pleatman, Pratt, 2013, matt.pleatman@refreshcards.com
      • Collin Walter, Trinity, 2007, matt.pleatman@refreshcards.com
    • Smart Metals - At Duke, when you throw out trash, there are three types of receptacles in which to deposit it: 1) the garbage dumpster, 2) the paper products bin, and 3) the plastic products container. In April/May of 2012, we noticed an entire category of waste that was being deposited improperly. Numerous computers, microwaves, and refrigerators were tossed in dumpsters or left outside apartments and dormitories. Trashed at semester’s end by students who no longer needed college-sized appliances or wanted to upgrade, Duke is filling landfills with both valuable metals and harmful chemicals. And it is not just Duke—this issue also exists in the Durham community (and even nationally.) We wondered, how can we encourage the Duke community—and eventually Durham—to become more engaged in recycling products containing significant metal contents? Our solution uses an innovative economic model that incentivizes the community to recycle by creating a financial dialogue between local Durham businesses and the individuals that they serve.     
      • Team Leader: Shelly Li, Trinity 2015, shelly.li.sf@gmail.com 
      • Team:Shelly Li, Trinity 2015, shelly.li@duke.edu
      • Ben Schwab, Trinity 2015, benjamin.schwab@duke.edu
    • StumpworX, Inc - StumpworX is devoted to improving prosthetic arm technology NOW—inexpensively, elegantly, and incrementally. We are creating a soft prosthetic socket constructed like today’s most advanced athletic shoes. By responding to the real needs and priorities of amputees, we make prosthetic arms more wearable, functional, and comfortable. The most used prosthetic arm device was 100 years old on October 29, 2012, but that's not the most significant problem in prosthetic arms. Half of patients don’t wear an arm at all, and 90 per cent of them cite fit and comfort as the reason. Even with high tech devices, suspension—how you attach it—is the key, and our soft socket addresses that need. A social enterprise, we engage users in helping shape our vision for the future of prosthetic arms through part ownership shared with all US Military arm amputees.     
      • Team Leader: Jonathan Kuniholm, Pratt 2014, jfk3@duke.edu 
      • Team:Jonathan Kuniholm, Pratt, 2014, jfk3@duke.edu
    • VentureFarming - The Challenge: Our industrial agriculture system has resulted in limited employment opportunities for new farmers. For every six American farmers over the age of 65, there is just one below 35 (Figure 1).  New farmers are not filling this gap because a system of challenges inhibits their success, including: high cost of land, lack of working capital, lack of business planning experience, low access to markets, high living expenses relative to income, volatile cash flows and limited experience. Current support systems such as government loans, technical assistance, and non-profit incubators fail to address the suite of challenges listed above and favor large-scale commodity operators. The Solution: VentureFarming is a scalable farm incubator that employs a risk diversification approach to launch and sustain new organic farmers. The VF model employs a systems framework to aggregate farmers, provide shared resources, and promote best practices in exchange for a lease fee.  Farmers benefit from affordable access to land, flexible rent arrangements, business training, expert agricultural mentorship, sales and marketing support, and inexpensive co-housing.  The supportive environment of a VentureFarm facilitates personal growth and professional success in young farmers, resulting in resilient and prosperous communities that eat healthier, live longer, and preserve the American agricultural tradition.     
      • Team Leader: David Nicola, Fuqua - Daytime MBA 2013, david.nicola@fuqua.duke.edu 
      • Team: Jack Beuttell, Fuqua MBA 2014, Nicholas MEM 2014
      • David Nicola, Fuqua MBA 2013

    And around April 8, we will reveal which three teams will compete for the $50,000 prize.

    In addition, congratulations to these Alumni / Faculty / Staff teams who are eligible for a $10,000 prize. 

    These teams will not present, however, the winner will be announced at the Grand Finale.
    • AnyCloud, Inc. - AnyCloud is an intuitive way to browse, organize, and transfer content across multiple cloud services. AnyCloud was founded to help offset issues that have arisen from two major internet trends. The growth of popular cloud services from major internet brands, coupled with explosive content sharing, has led to a hyper-fragmented market with consumers forced to maintain personal accounts on multiple different services to access content that is interesting and relevant to them. Our first focus has been tackling the fragmented online photo storage/sharing market. There are so many popular services - Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Picasa, Shutterfly, SmugMug, Snapfish, and others - that consumers end up with relevant photos all over the place due to friends and family sharing from their own accounts.    
      • Team Leader: Brian Jenkins, Pratt 1991, bjenkins@anycloud.com 
      • Team:Brian Jenkins, Engineering (computer science and electrical engineering), graduated 1991, brian@jenkinshouse.com
    • Deconstruction Inc. - Deconstruction Inc.  - Deconstruction is bringing the internet of things to construction.  Our wireless sensor and analytics solutions help construction mangers save time and money on projects with real time alerts, advice and predictive analytics. Too much noise and vibration results in numerous bad outcomes for those involved with a construction project.  These include annoying construction site neighbors, damaging reputation, stop work orders, loss of productivity, violation of local ordinances, bad press and litigation. These are problems for contractors, business owners, and the local municipalities where the projects occur.  Similarly, if construction materials are not treated in an appropriate manner for the current environmental conditions (temperature and relative humidity) bad outcomes can occur.  These include low quality construction, rework and structural failures. Our product, mBuilder(TM) performs real time sensing and alerts of temperature, humidity, noise and vibration on construction sites. Once readings are captured in the field, our unique data analytics platform matches sensor readings with other contextual information to deliver relevant, real time alerts, advice and predictive analytics in support of the construction superintendent.  We help construction managers focus on the most critical information at the right time. 
      • Team Leader: Brendan Robinson, Fuqua - EMBA (CC, GEMBA, WEMBA) 2008, brendan@deconstruction.co
      • Team:Brendan Robinson, Fuqua, WEMBA, 2008, brendan@deconstruction.co
      • James Sun, UPENN, Wharton, james@deconstruction.co
    • Seeds - Seeds (Farmville meets Kiva) is a social game and API for mobile-to-mobile microlending, merging two multi-billion dollar industries and improving lives.     
      • Team Leader: Rachel Cook, Trinity 2006, rachel.cook@alumni.duke.edu 
      • Team:Leonard Ng'eno, T'13 (leonard.ngeno@duke.edu)
      • Tori Reynolds T,13 (torireynolds@gmail.com)
      • Ben Mozenter T'13 (mozenterb@gmail.com)
      • Huanbing Xu T'13 (huanbingizzy@gmail.com)
      • Mailande Moran T'06, F'13 (mailande.moran@gmail.com)
      • Helen Zou P'13 (helenzou25@gmail.com)
      • Cody cody Kolodziejzyk P'12 (cody.ko@gmail.com)
      • Kevin Wang P'12 (kevinwang29@gmail.com)
      • Shun Fan P'12 (shun jsf.fan@gmail.com)
      • Sam Baek T'12 (sbaek90@gmail.com)
    • tripchi - tripchi is a mobile app that helps you make the most of your time in the airport. It serves up recommendations of things to do in the airport based on your personality, interests and flight info, and offers exclusive deals on food, drink, and shopping opportunities, the ability to connect with other travelers, as well as detailed content to explore the airport. Sign up for our beta at www.tripchi.com and take our airport survey. Also, check us out on CNBC and Women 2.0. Finally, our pitch deck can be found here: http://therestlessroad.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/tripchi_pitch_final.pdf    
      • Team Leader: Chandra Jacobs, Trinity 2012, cj@tripchi.com 
      • Team:Chandra Jacobs, Trinity, 2004, cj@tripchi.com
      • Vincent Serpico, vincent.serpico@serpicodev.com
      • Kristan Simmonds, kristan.simmonds@serpicodev.com
      • Hipolyto Obeso, hipolyto.obeso@serpicodev.com
      • Oriol Mendevil, oriol.mendevil@serpicodev.com
    • Urova Medical - Stress urinary incontinence affects up to a third of all women and is one of the most overlooked medical problems that face the world today. The condition is characterized by the involuntary leakage of urine due to normal actions such as walking, sneezing or coughing. In addition, this problem can also severely degrade the woman’s quality of life, potentially causing sexual difficulty and psychosocial distress. Rising trends in risk factors such as obesity, age, and childbirth indicate a growing problem for future generations. Urova Medical is excited to present the Uroguide™, a novel silicone implant that works naturally with the body to effectively, safely, and permanently treat stress urinary incontinence.     
      • Team Leader: Vidhan Agrawal, Pratt '12, vidhan.agrawal@duke.edu
      • Team: Frank Yao, frank.yao@urovamed.com 
      • Richard Lee, Trinity '98, ril9010@med.cornell.edu
    • Wastewater and Sewer Solutions LLC - Although they’re not sexy, sewers are an integral part of the infrastructure in every modern community.  Using sewers to dispose of organic waste and dirty water provides for reduced incidence of disease and illness, a cleaner and more appealing environment, a more productive society, more efficient use of available water supplies, and greater flexibility to use available land. Sewers also come with many challenges, most commonly, lines often become blocked with a buildup of fats, oil, and grease (FOG) that causes pipes to flow less efficiently or to back up and overflow.  This causes problems ranging from unpleasant odors to severe flooding that damages property or cause illness.  Nearly 50% of service calls are due to FOG and overworked crews are often too busy removing blockages and cleaning overflows to perform maintenance inspections on the lines. Most blockages are discovered only after problems appear.  There are over 190 million people in 16,000 municipalities connected to more than 740,000 miles of public sewers in the U.S. alone.  With over 23,000 backups and overflows per year, cleaning up FOG related damage can cost in excess of $170B per year. The products traditionally used to treat and remove FOG pose health risks to maintenance crews, can be harmful to the pipes, and can lead to EPA violations; however, as lines need to be kept clear, many of these detrimental effects are tolerated because the chemicals are effective.  Less dangerous and more environmentally friendly products have produced “greener” solutions that don’t perform as well and end up costing more for both the chemicals as well as the labor needed to apply them correctly. Wastewater and Sewer Solutions LLC has been granted an exclusive license for sewer line cleaning of a patented cleaning mixture that is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, non-corrosive, and biodegradable that not only breaks up and dissolves FOG as well or better than the dangerous traditional cleaning chemicals, but also keeps FOG from reattaching to the lines for months.  This greatly reduces the risk of blockages and overflows, freeing up crews to do inspections and preventative maintenance that will avoid future problems more effectively.  This will ultimately save municipalities money by reducing costs due to overflow cleanup, overtime labor, EPA fines, sick leave due to chemical accidents, pipe and equipment damage due to corrosion, and additional chemicals needed to neutralize the harsh chemicals once they reach the treatment plant.     
      • Team Leader: John Thrush, Fuqua - EMBA (CC, GEMBA, WEMBA) 2009, john.thrush@fuqua.duke.edu
      • Team:John Thrush, Fuqua School of Business, Alumni Class of 2009, john.thrush@fuqua.duke.edu
      • Robert Ross, Fuqua School of Business, Alumni Class of 2009, robert.ross@fuqua.duke.edu
      • Nicolai Tvermoes, Fuqua School of Business, Alumni Class of 2010, nicolai.tvermoes@fuqua.duke.edu
    • WaterTop Communities, LLC - WaterTop Communities, LLC  was formed in January 2011 to partner with marina ownership entities and other ownership entities to develop, market, and sell waterfront properties. With over 60 years combined experience and over 25 residential communities developed throughout the southeast, the principals of WaterTop have earned their outstanding reputation for successfully developing, marketing and selling resort residential real estate.     
      • Team Leader: Dan Shiels, Fuqua - Daytime MBA 1986, dukedms@aol.com 
      • Team:Richard McWhorter, Dan Shiels (Fuqua, 1986), Terry Aff

    RSVP now for the 11th DukeGEN Multi-city Networking Event on Nov 15th

    posted Oct 10, 2012, 6:17 AM by Howie Rhee   [ updated Nov 15, 2012, 12:08 PM by Matt Koidin ]

    Get out your business cards! On November 15th, 2012, we'll be hosting the 11th DukeGEN Multi-city Networking Event.  The DukeGEN Networking Events provide a chance for entrepreneurial-minded Duke alumni to meet one another.  They happen three times a year, and are voluntarily organized by Duke alumni, for Duke alumni, students, faculty and staff. 

    If you have any questions, contact Nancy White at ngump@duke.edu and Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu
    Interested in hosting in your city in March 2013?  Contact Nancy White at ngump@duke.edu and Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu

    Updates from Duke startups August 2012

    posted Aug 27, 2012, 12:09 PM by Howie Rhee

    The following are updates from Duke alumni-led startups as of August 2012.  The alumni listed here have volunteered to give updates.  If you have an update, email hwr2@duke.edu

    Aaron Aycock, 2005
    Email:    aaron@cubevibe.com
    Startup Name: CubeVibe
    Location: Atlanta
    StartupRiot Finalist
    TAG Top 40 Most Innovative Companies
    Enterprise 2.0 People's Choice
    HR Technology Conference "Awesome New Tech"
    We've launched our product and we're currently implementing a big new customer this month!
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Adding 1-2 advisors from HR Tech Space

    Rachel Cook, 2006
    Email:    rachel.cook@alumni.duke.edu
    Startup Name: Seeds
    Location: New York, NY and Nairobi, Kenya
    We were recently approved by the App Store, and disbursed our first loan in Nairobi with the help of a team of Duke students and alums.  We will be taking Seeds on a 50+ stop University Tour beginning this fall at Duke, in conjunction with screenings of The Microlending Film Project, my global documentary exploring the impact of microloans on women.  Partners joining us on the University Tour include ACCION, Women's World Banking, and Investours.
    Next Milestone:
    Finding a co-founder, Raising money

    Scott Dacko, 1993
    Email:    scott@flicmob.com
    Startup Name: Flicmob
    Location: New York City
    Flicmob.com is in limited public beta. We have 100+ filmmakers signed up to help test & refine the product.
    There are two TV pilots shooting in Los Angeles & New Orleans that are launching on the platform in October. We'll make a big public push around those projects & our new original content product.
    Actively looking for content to help launch - working with indie film producers, TV documentarians, web series producers, etc. Also looking for co-founders for the platform - technical & business development.
    Next Milestone:

    Jason Ethier, 2010
    Email:    jason@dynamo-micropower.com
    Startup Name: Dynamo Micropower
    Location: Boston
    Proofs of concept completed under NSF SBIR Phase I grant
    Won Best pitch at New Energy Symposium in NYC
    Semifinalist in Mass Challenge & CTO
    Full scale prototype to be completed soon
    VP of Engineering to be hired in soon  (Keep an eye out for a job listing soon)
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Developing a prototype

    Katie Finnegan, 2010
    Email:    katie.finnegan@hukkster.com
    Startup Name: Hukkster
    Location: New York, NY
    The start-up is currently in private beta (launched May 2012) and we are in the process of preparing for a public launch in September!  The site will be completely re branded and have a lot of new functionality, just in time for Christmas shopping!
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Expanding

    Michael Gagliardi, 1989
    Email:    mgagliardi@austin.rr.com
    Startup Name: Jackson Electronics, LLC
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    We have been shipping our first product, iRoc for iPhone, since August 2011.  We are working on several development projects including a Double DIN version of iRoc, an iPad attachment, and a telematics capability.  We are currently looking for investors to expand our distribution channel and complete developments through manufacturing.  For more information, please visit www.iRoconline.com.
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Expanding

    Daisy Jing, 2010
    Email:    daiserz@gmail.com
    Startup Name: Perfect Beauty
    Location: Los Angeles, California
    Private beta, raising money
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money

    Anne Kallus, 2007
    Email:    akallus@gmail.com
    Startup Name: GearListed
    Location: SUNNYVALE
    We're planning a beta launch 9/6. Feedback is welcome. We're also looking for sports & outdoor enthusiasts to help out with engineering & community management.

    Next Milestone:
    Finding a co-founder, improving engagement & monetization

    Matt Koidin, 2005
    Email:    mkoidin@gmail.com
    Startup Name: Pocket
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    We closed our Series B of $5M last month with lead investor Foundation Capital along with Google Ventures and Baseline Ventures.
    We're actively hiring developers and an analytics lead. See here for details: http://getpocket.com/jobs
    Next Milestone:

    Jason Langheier, 2009
    Email:    j@zipongo.com
    Startup Name: Zipongo, Inc
    Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
    VP Engineering
    VP Product
    UX & Visual Design
    Account & Project Management
    Operations Manager

    Next Milestone:
    Expanding, Talent recruitment, National product launch, Sales to health payors and retailers

    Yoav Lurie, 2005
    Email:    yoav@simpleenergy.com
    Startup Name: Simple Energy
    Location: Boulder, CO
    We're live in over 550,000 homes with two of the biggest utilities in the country (SDG&E and Pepco) and have over $1mm in YTD bookings.
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money

    Kathryn Minshew, 2008
    Email:    kmminshew@gmail.com
    Startup Name: The Daily Muse
    Location: New York, NY
    Great - we've blown past 1M users and are moving the HQ back to New York at the end of August!
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Expanding

    Colin Mutchler, 1999
    Email:    colin@loudsauce.com
    Startup Name: LoudSauce
    Location: San Francisco
    We recently reached a milestone: our crowdfunded ads have now reached over 30 million (from the $130k pledged on our platform). http://visual.ly/crowdfunded-advertising-people
    After exploring the crowdfunding of ads across many media, our upcoming beta platform will be exclusively focused on collaborative video buying. We've learned that video is the sweet spot of being both emotionally compelling to funders, and operationally effective (and scalable) from the targeting and buying side.
    We're raising an angel round this fall to roll out the platform and expand beyond political advocacy to include passionate supporters of film, music and maker culture.
    We have a strong small team including a solid Rails developer, and would benefit from a senior product focused CTO and a social video guru with video buying experience who wants to deeply disrupt the advertising industry.
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Expanding

    Griff Parker,
    Email:    griffparker@gmail.com
    Startup Name: WellAlly, Inc.
    Location: Wayne
    Today’s employer offered health improvement benefits are inefficient and outdated. Traditional programming, consisting of pre-selected workplace-centric supplier combinations, does little to change unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. 
    WellAlly’s is being developed to work differently. Our web-based systems enable promoting healthier lifestyle choices by Individually Designed Activity Selections  (i.e., Use 3rd party resources and integrated performance-based incentives).
    We are building the team, web-based knowledge-center, analytic capabilities and delivery systems to lead a new era of delivery individualization. We are looking for IT talent to help design is how it works.

    Next Milestone:
    Finding a co-founder, Raising money, Developing a prototype

    Dan Pollard, 1992
    Email:    dan@mydrugcosts.com
    Startup Name: myDrugCosts, Inc.
    Location: Research Triangle Park, NC
    1. Growth funding
    2. A strong sales and business development executive with experience selling prescription drug benefits to large employers and partners.
    Here are some of our most recent wins in the market:
    1. SEANC Selects myDrugCosts to Lower Prescription Drug Costs
    RALEIGH, NC, August 15, 2012 -- The State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) has selected myDrugCosts, a mobile software service which helps individuals save money on prescription drugs, to provide service to SEANC’s 55,000 members.
    Read more http://mydrugcosts.com/2012/seanc-selects-mydrugcosts-to-lower-prescription-drug-costs/
    2. myDrugCosts Selected for CED Tech Venture Conference 2012
    Durham, NC CED, the Southeast’s largest entrepreneurial support organization, announced the second group of companies selected to participate in the Demo Showcase at the CED Tech Venture Conference 2012 on Sept. 11-12 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
    Read more: http://mydrugcosts.com/2012/mydrugcosts-selected-for-ced-tech-venture-conference-2012/
    3. Employees report saving money on prescription drugs using tool from myDrugCosts in the June 15, 2012 issue of Employee Benefit News
    The preliminary results of a pilot project involving a large, self-funded employer and a new mobile application, myDrugCosts, show that 42% of employees who used the voluntary benefit reported saving money on their prescription drug costs.
    Read the full article: http://ebn.benefitnews.com/news/mydrugcosts-wwl-pharmacy-costs-drugs-generics-smartphone-2725099-1.html
    4. myDrugCosts Wins Best Consumer App at 2012 Health Datapalooza
    WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2012 – myDrugCosts was awarded First Place in the Consumer App category by the Health Data Initiative at its third annual Forum, The Health Datapalooza.  myDrugCosts, and its best-in-class transparency and comparison solution for lowering prescription drug costs, was presented the award by Howard Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    Read more: http://mydrugcosts.com/2012/mydrugcosts-wins-best-consumer-app-at-2012-health-datapalooza/
    See the presentation: http://vimeo.com/44461066

    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Expanding

    Jason Sender, 1997
    Email:    jason.sender@gmail.com
    Startup Name: Innovation Logistics
    We are finding it very difficult to raise funds.
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money

    Brandon Warner, 2008
    Email:    brandon@simpleregistry.com
    Startup Name: SimpleRegistry
    Location: Durham, NC and Cincinnati, OH
    Raised a seed round in 2012 with CinciTech
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money, Expanding

    Crick Waters, 1983, 1992
    Email:    crick@alumni.duke.dedu
    Startup Name: Conga
    Location: Palo Alto, CA
    Conga Beta is Open! 
    I welcome all DukeGEN'ers to sign up and try our Social Discovery tool.
    Here's a direct link with invitation code:
    About:  Conga is a social relevance platform.  We apply sophisticated algorithms to the connection data from your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other profiles.  We create a mathematical expression of you that lets us determine how well anyone might fit with you.
    Do a search in Conga and we'll tell you who is likely to be the best fit for you and why.
    Give it a whirl.  It works.  And there is much more to come.
    Next Milestone:
    Raising money

    Join the Startup Matchmaker Directory; Summer Updates from Duke

    posted Aug 15, 2012, 7:25 AM by Howie Rhee   [ updated Aug 15, 2012, 7:27 AM ]

    Free T-Shirt! Join the Startup Matchmaker Directory


    Want to match with a Duke-led startup?  Or do you have a startup idea and want to find Duke co-founders and talent?
    Join over 500 other Dukie's in the DukeGEN Startup Matchmaker Directory, for students, alumni, and the entire Duke community.
    We'll give free Duke Start-Up Challenge t-shirts to those of you that have signed up by September 13th, 2012, on a first come, first served basis)
    Joining the Startup Matchmaker Directory is a great first step towards forming a team for the Duke Start-Up Challenge.

    Vote for Bryan Silverman


    Current Duke undergraduate student Bryan Silverman has a chance to win Entrepreneur Magazine's College Entrepreneur of 2012 award, with his startup, Star Toilet Paper.  
    Check out his startup and vote here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/e2012college#696
    Voting ends September 17th, 2012.


    Duke programs in Silicon Valley


    Congratulations to the ten Duke students who participated in this summer's Duke programs in Silicon Valley.  Five worked at Duke-led startups, and five worked on starting their own companies at DogPatch Labs.
    500 attendees at 10th DukeGEN Networking Event


    Over 500 Dukies RSVP'ed to attend our multi-city networking events in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, LA, NYC, Research Triangle (Durham), San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
    Our next event will be on November 15th.  Want to host one in your city?  Contact Nancy White at ngump@duke.edu and Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu



    Congratulations to Corengi, Winners of the Angel Pitch Event


    We held our 5th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event (sponsored by Freestyle Capital and SVB), in front of a packed audience of Duke alumni.  Congratulations to Ryan Luce and his startup Corengi, for taking the top prize from the panel of judges.
    Check out our blog post summarizing the event. The next DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event is scheduled for October 2012.
    Thanks to our event sponsor:



    Join AngelList


    For those of you who don't know, AngelList has become one of the top destinations for startups and angel investors to meet one another. There are 107 Duke startups and 164 Duke alumni who are members of the site already, but we think that more of you could (and possibly should) take advantage of AngelList.
    See the rankings of colleges on AngelList (http://angel.co/colleges)
    We encourage you to sign up for AngelList and get familiar with it. Who knows, it may lead to your next investment!  Visit AngelList


    Congratulations and Updates!

    Recent entrepreneurship milestones from the Duke community.

    Notable event?  Email Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu

    Read interviews with Duke entrepreneurs

    We've interviewed dozens of Duke entrepreneurs and investors.  Get inspired!  Read them here.




    About DukeGEN

    The goal of this group is to be a sophisticated and active network that helps create debate, dialogue, and productive connections between Duke entrepreneurs.  We are providing the energy and coordination to encourage Duke entrepreneurs, around the globe, to connect and increase their chances of success.



    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook


    Want to stay informed of the latest happenings?  Follow us:

    5th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event a Success!

    posted Jul 18, 2012, 7:20 AM by Howie Rhee

    We held our 5th DukeGEN Angel Event last night, awarding a $10,000 prize from Freestyle Capital. The event was held in San Francisco (our 3rd event here) at RocketSpace and sponsored by SVB (thanks to Carrie Walsh).

    The full set of pictures can be found here:https://picasaweb.google.com/112782475170951809220/5thDukeGENAngelPitchEvent

    A video recording can be found here:

    Attendance was outstanding.  We had over 210 RSVPs on our event page, up from 150 last year.

    A nice "surprise" visit from President Richard Brodhead.

    The full set of pictures can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/112782475170951809220/5thDukeGENAngelPitchEvent

    A video recording can be found here:

    Here's who pitched:
    • Corengi, Inc. - Humanize and Accelerate Clinical Trials. Ryan Luce 1994
    • Flicmob - integrate social media & media production. Scott Dacko 1993
    • GearListed.com - Social Gear & Adventure Directory. Anne Kallus 2007
    • Hukkster - Online personal shopping concierge. Katie Finnegan 2010
    • Pixton Comics - The social gamification of comics. Geoff Archer 1995 
    Here's who was on the panel:
    • Josh Felser Trinity '86, Fuqua '90 of Freestyle Capital
    • Ryan Spoon Trinity '03 of Polaris Ventures
    • Justin Caldbeck Trinity '99 of LightSpeed Venture Partners
    • Jay Jamison Trinity '92 of Blue Run Ventures
    • Shea DiDonna Fuqua '10

    And here's who attended: http://linkd.in/ybjfvH

    After the pitches, the judges convened, and the audience had a Q&A with the teams.

    Then, the audience voted:

    Audience Choice Winner: Pixton - 56 votes
    Audience Choice Runner Up: Hukkster - 41 votes

    Then, the judges came back, gave feedback to each team (in front of the audience), and then announced their results.

    Judges Choice Winner: Corengi ($10,000 prize from Freestyle Capital)
    Judges Choice Runner Up: Pixton

    Congrats to Ryan Luce of Corengi, and to everyone who made it a great night!

    Presented by:
    ■ Matt Koidin B '05
    ■ Basil Enan T '03
    ■ Howie Rhee B '04

    Thanks again to SVB for sponsoring!

    Posted by Howie Rhee '04, Co-chair of DukeGEN

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