by Elizabeth Savin ’25
Each quarter The Garage hosts Startup Matchmaking, an event designed to connect student founders incubating their startups to students looking to become involved in the entrepreneurship community at Northwestern. While some companies are seeking co-founders, others are looking for assistance in web development, graphic design, or marketing. The virtual event works to connect student founders from the Tinker and Residency programs at The Garage with passionate Northwestern students eager to join a startup. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the program no matter what area of study they are pursuing or the level of experience they have.
On October 7, 2021, 27 student-founded startups took 60 seconds each to share more about their company, their goals, and the kinds of students they hope to have join their team. Startups who took part this quarter ranged from companies like Authentic Media Ascentation, a company working to help creators connect with their communities through data, to Mark IV Games, a business working to develop engaging board games.
Startups who pitched at the fall 2021 Startup Matchmaking included:
Acorn Genetics: Acorn Genetics is the first DNA testing company to take genetic testing out of the lab and into people’s homes, giving our customers access to their genetic information in the most private, convenient, and affordable manner.
Explorate: Explorate strives to make international volunteering feel more at home through connecting travelers around the world and sharing transparent information about the programs.
Leva: Leva is a customized mentorship software and service designed to empower women in the workplace and enable strong retention.
Lura: Lura is a company helping small apparel brands access sustainable textiles more easily.
The Walnut Brain: The Walnut Brain leverages a unique learning mechanism to help lifelong learners retain key ideas from their favorite non-fiction books through powerful questions, increased interactivity, and active recall.
Each of the startups who pitched is listed here and you can watch the full event below.
This year’s event was incredibly successful as many entrepreneurs were able to connect with students interested in joining them on their journeys. Katia Tamer, Kellogg ’23, a Tinkerer starting her work on The Connecter, said, “I was able to connect with students from a variety of backgrounds who are interested in joining my startup, and it was great to be able to connect with them live in the breakout rooms.” Kate Fawcett, Medill ’24, the founder of Leva, shared, “Startup matchmaking was a great way to meet new students at NU who are interested in entrepreneurship. I was able to connect with over 10 students and found the experience very rewarding!”
Now, many student founders are having conversations with students they met on the evening of Startup Matchmaking about joining their teams.
Students who join startups at Northwestern receive incredible learning opportunities, access to resources at The Garage, and the chance to get hands-on experience with a startup. Through joining a startup, many students have been inspired to start their own ventures since The Garage is a community that fosters and encourages innovation.
Startup Matchmaking is a quarterly event. While you must be a Tinkerer or Resident at The Garage to pitch during the startup competition, any Northwestern student can attend to learn about the numerous opportunities to get involved with The Garage. If you missed this quarter’s event, be sure to RSVP for the winter 2022 Startup Matchmaking schedule for January 13 here.
Elizabeth Savin ’25 is a Manufacturing and Design Engineering major from Wilmette, IL. She is a student aide at The Garage and is excited to become involved in the programs The Garage offers students. Her favorite thing about The Garage is that students have the opportunity to receive hands-on experience with entrepreneurship.