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Ureka Challenge 2021

Final Presentations March 26, 2021 – NEW DATE

Ureka Challenge is a months-long, yearly event designed to promote, develop, and grow Clark’s student ventures. Accepted ventures are awarded  $100 of investment seed money from the Ureka Committee at the start of the Challenge. Over a span of approximately three months, participants are emerged in mentoring from Clark entrepreneurship faculty, as well as, alumni and successful entrepreneurs. At the end of the journey, the Ureka participants present to a judging panel of alumni, staff, faculty, and past Ureka winners, for a chance to be awarded up to an additional $5000!

Ureka Challenge 2021 Judging Panel

Debra Harrsch ’80
Adi Tibrewal  MBA ’05
Vicky Marino ’08
Trevor Tarnowski ’20
Ulysses Youngblood (Adjunct Faculty)
Keith Miller ’88

Ureka Challenge 2021 Participants

Magpies Collect, owner Martina Villanueva ’23
Aims to bring happiness to all, in the form of stylish and affordable fashion accessories.  Instagram

Pennywise PPE Protection, owner Ethan Lutz ’21
Produces a germicidal copper-lined bag that prevents cross-contamination buildup of PPE.  Instagram

Solace Handicrafts, owners Maseeng Masitha ’21 and Maria Masood ’21
Providing art primarily from women in economically-challenged backgrounds. Instagram

No Worries Skincare, owner Julia Dantzler ’24
An affordable way to treat your skin and the environment with the respect they deserve. Instagram

Worcester Free Fridge, founder Lucy Barrett ’21
Community fridges providing channels for fresh, healthy food to our marginalized citizens.  Instagram

Radical in Progress, founder Gari De Ramos ’21
A social enterprise serving as a one-stop-shop for social justice education. Instagram

What We Leave, author Jens Peterson ’24
Environmental issues, their causes, and solutions to be effective caretakers of this planet.  Instagram

Selfcare with Vi, owner Victoria Pastor ’24
Selfcare with Vi produces a natural eyelash serum and self-care boxes.  Instagram

Dough Is Me, owner Madeline Steigman ’24
Homemade high-quality baked goods to homesick college students at an affordable price. Instagram

Charied Away, owner Charisma Nguyen-Lai ’22
Artwork and design produced in the form of stickers and greeting cards. Instagram

The Empower Yoga Project, owner Melanie Adams ’22
Inclusive and trauma-conscious movement for healing, embodiment, and resilience. Instagram

GoRamen, owner Justin Zay ’24
Providing affordable after-hours food options for Clark students. Instagram

Economically Girly,  owner Da’Vyana Williams ’24
Providing gorgeous press-on nails no matter the occasion or budget. Instagram

Tsara & Soa, owners Tsanta Rakotoarisoa ’21 and Wuzhenjun Xue ’21
Provides vanilla from Madagascar that supports sustainable development and climate resilience. Facebook

Generation ZE, founder Jacqueline Ricketts-Hagan ’21
A platform for Generation Z and those who wish to understand them –  blogs and podcasts. Instagram


A special thanks to Samantha Goodman ’11, Michael Goodman, and Swing Issues Media for additional funding.


Past Ureka Challenge Participants

Fifteen student ventures were chosen by Clark’s 2020 Ureka Committee out of a pool of 30 applicants. Each accepted student entrepreneur was awarded $100 of pre-contest seed money to invest in their business or social venture. The student entrepreneurs worked with alumni, faculty, campus resources, and community mentors to grow their venture.

Santander Bank partnered with Ureka Challenge 2020 to provide additional funding for Clark’s first-generation entrepreneurs, as well as, all Ureka participants. This was a one-time initiative from Santander Bank as outreach to supporting young first-generation entrepreneurs.

A new component of Ureka Challenge 2020 was the implementation of mock crowdfunding to award funding for the popular vote. Ureka participants would use the same techniques employed by entrepreneurs using crowdfunding sites. This includes making a sales/promotional video and promoting it to the Clark community. The community member would then log into the platform and vote with $100 of Ureka Bucks, thus, identifying the winner of the community vote and extra funding!

  • Taalo Co.: Founder Suijhan Ghimire ’23 – is a socially and environmentally aware company established to employ Kamlari (bonded slaves) in rural Nepal, and using scrap textiles to produce accessories. Taalo was awarded $4000 in additional funding.
  • Shunu Co.: Founder Trevor Tarnowski ’20 and Hector Miron ’19 is a drop-off shoe-cleaning service. Shunu was awarded $3000 in additional funding.
  • Back Alley Clothing: Founder Alli Jutras ’20 is an artistically curated vintage, thrifted, and upcycled clothing business. Back Alley Clothing was awarded $2500 in additional funding.
  • Crafted Pulled and Poured: Founder Allison Green ’23 is a handcrafted metalsmithing company providing unique, high-quality jewelry pieces. Crafted Pulled and Poured was awarded $2500 in additional funding.
  • Megan’s Mehendi: Founder Megan Balani ’23 provides custom Mehendi. Megan’s Medendi was awarded $2500 in additional funding.

Additional Funding Winners:

  • Philip Tran Photography: Founder Philip Tran ’23
  • A PLUS Tea: Founder Tommy Li ’21, Michael Lu ’21, Wentao Li ’21
  • Margaretes: Founder Margarita Perez ’22
  • Bralettes by Melanie: Founder Melanie Adams ’22
  • The Eunz Experience: Founder Eunice Dolette ’21
  • Prof Presence: Founder Owen Mortner ’20
  • Unity within the Community: Founder Fido Hernandez ’23
  • Work Flow Coffee: Founder Logan Rosell ’23
  • Sapience News: Founder Mitchell Mondro ’20


Seventeen student ventures entered Clark’s 2019 Ureka  Challenge. Each accepted student entrepreneur was awarded $100 of pre-contest seed money to invest in their venture. The student entrepreneurs worked with alumni, faculty, campus resources, and community mentors to grow their venture.

In the end, the judges chose to give additional funding to five ventures:

  • DZ Marketing: Founder Valerie Diaz ’19 focuses on digital content, graphic design, and social media management. Diaz also is CEO and co-founder of Shirt Shack + Co., an apparel company that spreads good vibes and positivity.
  • Solar for Superheroes: Krissy Truesdale ’19 created her business to identify effective and affordable solar adoption strategies for a wide demographic, including homeowners or renters.
  • Composers Connect: Thomas Mueller ’22 connects film directors with composers who can create original music that syncs perfectly with their film.
  • Kava Kraze: Crysta Spitzfaden ’19 and Co. want to bring the Clark community together through events featuring Kava tea drinks, made from the roots of the Kava shrub of the Pacific Islands. Categorized by the FDA as a supplement, Kava has an effect similar to CBD, relaxing the muscles while causing the drinker to become more talkative and social — without alcohol.
  • TechSmart: Sameen Azad ’20 and Co. created a venture to provide technological solutions for mobile devices and laptops.

Kava Kraze also won the People’s Choice award, and Margaretes, a jewelry company founded by Margarita Perez-Maza ’22, was presented with the Ureka Committee Choice award.

The 2019 judges were:

Daysha Williams ’16, past Ureka Challenge participant
Asanara Holistic Care

Victoria Mariana ’08
Bull Mansion

Amanda Barker, ES&P/M.A. ’11
Cotyledon Vegetable Farm

Rick Treitman ’73
Entrepreneur in Residence at Adobe

First Place

Andres Gvirtz ’18, Compact Copters: Compact Copters produces autonomous drones whose primary purpose is to value solar fields. Their long-term goal is to approach major solar and pipeline produces to showcase how their drone can do the same inspections they need at a fraction of the cost.

First Place

Anika Kreckel ’17 and Max Kreckel, Wholly Cow!: A business that increases the availability of local, responsibly raised beef for restaurants in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Wholly Cow! sources locally raised beef from farmers and sells select cuts or a whole cow to chefs. This concept takes advantage of the rising support for farm-to-table dining.

Second Place

Daysha Williams ’16, AsanaRa: Founded in 2015, AsanaRa is a Sole Proprietorship which provides goods and services to encourage alignment of the mind, body and soul, primarily for the black community. The business sells shea butter-based holistic care products.

Audience Choice Award

Mitchell Mondro ’18 and Lewis Mariano, UMass Lowell, Gains to Go: Gains to Go, a healthy food truck concept that caters to people looking for nutritious, portable food choices after working out.