Skip to content

Ureka Challenge Finals Finish with Flair

Student entrepreneurs make final pitches for prizes

The 2021 Ureka Challenge may have felt a bit different this year, with all judges and several of the student entrepreneurs participating remotely, but it was nonetheless exciting.

Organized by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program in the School of Management, the Ureka Challenge is a month-long event that develops, promotes, and helps to grow Clark’s student ventures. Ventures accepted into the Challenge could be of any size, and each were awarded $100 of investment seed money at the start of the competition. Over a span of approximately three months, participants were mentored by Clark entrepreneurship faculty, alumni, and successful entrepreneurs, receiving one-on-one help outside of the classroom as well. Other activities included campus popups, the Student Run Ventures course, mock crowdfunding, and business pitching practice.

On March 26, the students made their final presentations to the judges, all livestreamed on the Student Ventures web site, with awards announced at at the end of the day.

ureka awards photo

“Nothing deterred these students – whether it was COVID, winter weather, or any other obstacle.  I’ve watched in amazement how their skill sets in all facets of business have grown. I couldn’t be more proud of each of them,” stated Teresa Quinn, manager of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated and those fortunate to win one of the generous prizes awarded. And, a very special thank you to our donors, Samantha Goodman ’11 of Swing Issues Media and Michael Goodman.

Judge’s Awards

Ethan Lutz photo
Ethan Lutz, 1st place winner, Judge’s Award

Ethan Lutz, Penny Wise PPE Protection – 1st place Judge’s Award $4000
Gari De Ramos, Radical in Progress – 2nd place Judge’s Award $3000
Julia Dantzler, No Worries Skincare- 3rd place Judge’s Award, $2500
Martina Villanueva, Magpies Collect – $1700 from judges
Victoria Pastor, Self-Care with Vi – $1500 from judges
Lucy Barrett, Worcester Free Fridge – $1000 from judges
Charisma Nguyen-Lai, Charied Away – $1000 from judges
Melanie Adams, Empower Yoga Project – $800 from judges
Da’Vyana Williams, Economically Girly – $500 from judges

Ureka Committee Favorite Awards

Martina Villanueva, Magpies Collect – $500
Madeline Steigman, Dough is Me  –$500

Crowd Funding Awards

Jens Peterson, What We Leave – 1st place $1500
Tsanta Rakotoarisoa & Wuzhenjun Xue, Tsara & Soa – $1000 2nd place
Madeline Steigman, Dough is Me – 3rd place $500

Thank you to the following people who helped make
Ureka 2021 possible:

Generous Funding DonorsSamantha Goodman ‘11 and Michael Goodman

Ureka Challenge 2021 Judging Panel

Debra Harrsch ’80
Adi Tibrewal MBA ’05
Vicky Marino ’08
Trevor Tarnowski ’20, MBA 21
Ulysses Youngblood, Adjunct Faculty
Keith Miller ’88
Nathalya Castro Argueta ’18, MBA ’19

Guest Speakers ENT260 Student Run Ventures

Marketing – Debra Ann Harrsch, alumni, President and CEO of Brandwidth Solutions
Video Production – Mark Aiello, Mark Aiello Films
Pitch and Innovation – Lawrence Norman, ’94, MBA ‘95
Social Innovation and Active Citizenship – Samantha Goodman, ‘11, Swing Issues Media, and Michael Goodman, Ureka Funding Donor
Website design – Joelle Berbano,, Academic Partnership Manager NYC
Small business accounting and QuickBooks – Nancy Burgess, Burgess Consulting
Tax information – Robin Overweg, accounting professor University of Alaska
Legal and insurance – Steven Kennedy, Senior Staff Attorney for Hartford, Adjunct Professor at Clark

Ureka Challenge 2021 Committee

Teresa Quinn, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager
Dr. John Dobson, Professor of Practice
Jennifer Plante, Associate Dean of Academic Services
Julie Bolduc, Director of Career Operations and On-Campus Student Employment
Laurie Cormier, University Advancement
Crysta Spitzfaden, ’19 alumni
Jillian Skulsky, ’21, student

Other Key Players

Alexander Dursin ’23, Judge MC
Alec Tarnowski ’23, Participant MC
Philip Tran ’22, Official Photographer
Jack Rogerson, Rockstar Technical Wizard, live streaming

E&I Student Team

Jillian Skulsky, Program Lead
Fiona Scharff, Program Assistant
Martina Villanueva, Clark Collective Social Media Marketer
Dilasha Shrestha, Digital Manager
Sonny Siemenski, Clark Collective Coordinator
Greer McCarty, Community Thrift Store Coordinator

School of Management Leadership

Alan Eisner, Dean, School of Management
Andrea Aiello, Associate Dean, School of Management

~ Submitted by Meredith Galena
SOM Communications Specialist