The Garage x Kellogg

The Garage is a community and physical space for every Northwestern student interested in entrepreneurship to learn, iterate, and grow. We offer students resources, programming, and mentorship designed to help build the skills and entrepreneurial mindset they need to succeed in any industry.

Students from across the University bring a wide range of diverse academic and personal experiences that enrich the entrepreneurial environment at The Garage through exposure to new ideas, ways of thinking and skill sets. Kellogg students learn alongside and from the undergraduate community at The Garage, while also enjoying sharing professional knowledge with students. Many Kellogg candidates who incubate their projects at The Garage go on to become Zell Fellows, a point of pride for The Garage.

In the fall quarter of this year, there are over 20 Kellogg students participating in programs at The Garage. Below are a few student stories.

Jake Erichson, Kellogg ’23

Jake, a 22-23 Zell Fellow, is a current Resident at The Garage building his startup, Renota. He has made the most of his time at Northwestern thus far, participating in the Fall 2022 cohort of X-Factor, The Garage’s revolutionary leadership development program for student founders, as well as Jumpstart, The Garage’s pre-accelerator summer program. In fact, he and his team took home second place at the end-of-program Demo Day, securing a $3,000 prize.

Jake Erichson

Project / Company: Renota is building software to help math students receive more high-quality feedback on their work while saving teachers time in the process.

  • Jumpstart helped give us a workspace and take the opportunity to work on Renota full time during the summer, which was awesome. Having a community of students who are all going through the same things was a huge benefit of the program.”

Yesuto Shaw, Kellogg ’23

Yesuto, a 22-23 Zell Fellow, is a member of the Activate program – designed to create an inclusive community and resources for Black Northwestern student founders.

Yesuto Shaw

Project / Company: Opto is a personal finance platform tailored to the specific needs of students.

  • When I found out about the resources The Garage has to offer, it seemed like a no-brainer to get involved to gain support as a founder. I was particularly excited when I heard about the Activate program and the opportunity to get additional mentorship as a founder from a minority background.”

Derek Zhang, Kellogg ’23

Derek is a current member of the Residency program working on his startup, Mediko. He’s also a dedicated member of the Fall 2022 cohort of the X-Factor leadership development program.

Derek Zhang

Project / Company: Mediko provides curated personalized health information for employees.

Sarah Pinner, Kellogg ’22

Sarah participated in multiple programs at The Garage as she built her startup, beni. She participated in Jumpstart, The Garage’s pre-accelerator program, and won second place + $3,000 at the end-of-program Demo Day. Sarah and her team also participated in the Residency program, finishing first in the Consumer Products & Services track and winning second place overall at the VentureCat 2022 Public Showcase, securing a $60,000 prize.

Sarah Pinner

Project / Company: beni is a browser extension that matches an online shopper’s desired clothing purchase with secondhand alternatives.

Since her graduation from Northwestern, Sarah has raised $4M in capital, launched partnerships with eBay and TheRealReal, and kicked off a successful student ambassador program.

Shanna Traphoner-Liu, Kellogg ’22

Shanna, a 21-22 Zell Fellow, enthusiastically participated in multiple programs at The Garage including Residency, Propel, The Garage’s program for female student entrepreneurs, and Jumpstart, The Garage’s summer pre-accelerator program.

Shanna Traphoner-Liu

Project / Company: bekome is a mental health startup democratizing access to daily mental wellness, specifically anxiety relief, through science-backed, natural, and personalized supplements complemented by expert care.

Post-graduation, Shanna joined the Techstars Chicago Accelerator in their Summer 2022 Cohort and is actively building her startup as Co-Founder and CEO.

Raman Malik, Kellogg ’22

Raman was a member of The Garage’s Residency and Jumpstart programs, working on his startup, Rhetoric. During his time at Northwestern, Raman and his team finished second in the Consumer Products & Services track at the VentureCat 2021 Public Showcase, securing a $7,000 total prize. Rhetoric also took home first place at Jumpstart 2021 Demo Day, winning a $4,000 prize.

Raman Malik

Project / Company: Rhetoric combines AI-based coaching with human-based feedback to transform your presentation.

Rhetoric officially launched at the beginning of 2022 with a user base spanning 65+ cities and over 14 countries. In the spring of this year, Rhetoric closed a $3M Seed Round led by Floodgate Capital.

Nicole Cuervo, Kellogg ’22

Nicole was a member of The Garage’s Residency, Propel, and Jumpstart programs during her time at Northwestern, launching her startup, Springrose. She and her team finished second place in the Social Impact & Nonprofit track and won third place overall at the VentureCat 2021 Public Showcase, securing a $32,000 total prize.

Nicole Cuervo

Project / Company: Springrose creates accessible, affordable, and attractive bras for older and mobility-impaired women.

Springrose is currently working towards launch.

Kellogg Students at The Garage

Tinker Program:

Jonathon GeorgeJitesh AggarwalMiguel Caruncho
Miriam ProsnitzKyle McNultyDilara Yusifli
Claudia SteckHeidi DiehlZach Jaffe
Casey NixonJenny WestlundElliot Hall
Bre ThomasAlyssa HopcusHassan Nasri

Residency Program:

Juhi ParekhDerek ZhangJake Erichson
Brent O’Reilly

Jumpstart Program:

Jake ErichsonKatia TamerChristina Allen

X-Factor Program:

Jake ErichsonDerek Zhang

Activate Program:

Yesuto Shaw

The Garage x Kellogg News

Sarah Pinner, Kellogg ’22 of beni takes second place at VentureCat 2022

Kellogg Students win big at Jumpstart Demo Day 2022

Renota Team Spotlight: Featuring Jake Erichson, Kellogg ’23

Shanna Traphoner-Liu, Kellogg ’22 on The Road to the Top Podcast

Springrose founder Nicole Cuervo, Kellogg ’22, talks inspiration, bras


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