The Garage x Weinberg

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.

In the fall of 2022, there were over 90 Weinberg students participating in programs at The Garage, working on projects spanning an impressive range of industries. Below are a few student stories.

Alex Bahram, Weinberg ’23 & Gleb Blekher, Weinberg ’24

Alex Bahram and Gleb Blekher participated in The Garage’s summer pre-accelerator program, Jumpstart, and are current members of the Residency program. Alex was also a participant in the Fall 2022 cohort of The Garage’s revolutionary leadership development program for student founders, X-Factor.

Alex Bahram

Major: Economics

Project / Company: JupiterDX is building a platform for patients with chronic illnesses to share data with loved ones, care providers, and researchers. 

  • The resources and the community at The Garage have been absolute game-changers for me. Having gone through Residency and Jumpstart, I can confidently say that there is no better place than The Garage to develop as an entrepreneur at Northwestern. 
Gleb Blekher

Major: Economics

Minor: Computer Science & Entrepreneurship

Project / Company: JupiterDX is building a platform for patients with chronic illnesses to share data with loved ones, care providers, and researchers. 

  • The Jumpstart program helped me to develop as a person, learn a lot of crucial insights about the startup world, and build connections. The Garage community itself is a welcoming place which makes you feel at home and makes you want to come back every day.”

Jack Burkhardt, Weinberg ’24

Jack is a member of The Garage’s Residency program, where he and his team are incubating their startup, Overture Games. They also participated in the Jumpstart program and won third place + $2,000 at the end-of-program Demo Day.

Jack Burkhardt

Major: Computer Science

Project / Company: Overture Games develops video games for music students that they play with their instrument.

  • Without the resources provided by the Garage, we would’ve had a lot more difficulty getting our startup off the ground. Whenever we need help or advice, there’s a Garage staff member or another community member who’s been in our shoes and is more than willing to help us out. Plus the relationships we create in the Garage community extend outside of just business — there are family events, outings, beach trips, and more! It’s one of the most memorable parts of being at Northwestern.”

Naomi Aisen, Weinberg ’23

Naomi is a member of the Propel program, The Garage’s program for female student entrepreneurs.

Naomi Aisen

Major: Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS)

Project / Company: Gather is a passion project to empower university students to cook healthy and creative group meals in their college homes by providing a low-commitment meal kit delivery service, catering to college students’ sometimes unpredictable schedules.

  • The Garage’s Propel program has been an amazing experience as it has introduced me to knowledgeable individuals, provided me with constant advice and feedback, and exposed me to a wealth of resources. The Garage has truly been a guiding force as I began my entrepreneurial journey!”

Bella LeSage, Weinberg ’25

Bella is a participant in The Garage’s Residency program, where she is incubating her startup, hostU. She is also a participant in the Fall 2022 cohort of the X-Factor leadership development program.

Bella LeSage

Major: Economics and International Studies

Minor: Entrepreneurship & Business Institutions

Project / Company: hostU is a medium-term shared economy rental platform exclusive to college undergraduates, graduates, and faculty.

  • I am so grateful to be a part of The Garage’s community and entrepreneurial culture. The resources and mentorship I have received have enabled me to take my startup to the next level. The X-Factor program has completely transformed my personal development and leadership skills.”

Sofia Meléndez, Weinberg ’25

Sofia is a member of The Garage’s Residency program, incubating her startup, BearRoom. She and her team also participated in The Garage’s pre-accelerator program, Jumpstart.

Sofia Meléndez

Major: Computer Science

Project / Company: BearRoom is elevating the traditional tabletop experience by creating a space for people to play their favorite board games – transforming their phone into a controller and a tablet, laptop, or TV into the board.

  • The Garage is where all of your ideas come to fruition. With an extensive network of student entrepreneurs, professionals from different fields, and The Garage alumni and staff, The Garage is a space where you and your startup are celebrated in times of success, and elevated in times of failure. Being a part of the Garage as a Resident and through the Jumpstart program have been extremely rewarding experiences that have not only helped me develop my startup, but also evaluate what it means to lead a group of people united under the same goal.”

Weinberg Students at The Garage

Tinker Program:

Yujia XieSahil SethJordan Checkoff
Rohan WedamDora HuLauren McDonnell
Bryden BehrensZahra HussainErica Zhou
Jin De ZhangJacob PomerantzAlex Meza
Vincent YangLaura FélixHannah Zhang
Mikhail MelnichukRoy ZhuNaomi Aisen
Victor RodriguezKellen BryantEmma Drisko
Abigail CoffeyHailee KimVaroon Enjeti
Jacqueline ChuiHeidi HazelrigTony Yang
Tom ChoiSeoRa KimXamantha Laos Cueva
Sara KurniawanJessica LiDhruv Patel
Sarah TalbertIlana FingershIrena Liu
Kang Hyun KiJames CarlinTerry Chen
Adam ValijiEmilio AlvarezAustin Firestone
Jeremy NetoGerardo PerezKiran Moore
Sara BouftasNam VuongThomas Langford
Jack MosesAli LeeAngel Pimentel
Theodore HornAustin ShiColleen Charchut
Dean Uata

Residency Program:

Abhishek ShahAlessandra MarianoAlex Bahram
Bella LeSageBryan SanchezCaitlin Smith
Jack BurkhardtJake ConnellJasmine Javaheri
Lily GlaubingerMaddie MorseMercedes Sandu
Shareef JabbaSofia MeléndezStanley Jia
Will HoffmannZahra HussainHannah Zhang
Arjun KumarAshley GuoAspen Buckingham
Chris ReyesDavid BognerHanjune Lee
Jenna KimJiayan LuoJulia Chu
Minseo KimNoah EdelmanSamar Saleem
Steven JiangTasneem AbdallaVarun Goel

Jumpstart Program:

Ashley GuoAspen BuckinghamGleb Blekher
Minseo KimSofia MeléndezStanley Jia
Jack BurkhardtJake ConnellMercedes Sandu
Steven JiangAlex Bahram

Propel Program:

Nicole MarkusJessica LiSarah Talbert
Abigail CoffeyErica ZhouAlessandra Mariano
Naomi Aisen

X-Factor Program:

Bella LeSageAlex BahramStanley Jia

The Garage x Weinberg News

Weinberg Students win big at Jumpstart Demo Day

Weinberg Students featured in Chicago Inno’s ’25 Under 25′ List

JupiterDX Team Spotlight: Featuring Alex Bahram ’23 & Gleb Blekher ’24

Overture Games Team Spotlight: Featuring Mercedes Sandu ’24, Aspen Buckingham ’23, Jack Burkhardt ’24 & Steven Jiang ’24

BearRoom Team Spotlight: Featuring Sofia Meléndez ’25 & Minseo Kim ’25


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