During last week’s 2016 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition, Tassl was the big winner.
The Dreamit Ventures-based alumni engagement startup, founded by CEO Melissa Schipke, won a total of $60,000 in prize money, taking home both the $20,000 Venture Path prize from the American Public University System and the $40,000 Milken Family Foundation Grand Prize.
“We are very excited about the prizes from the competition and are going to use the money to continue to expand our team here in Philly,” Schipke said. “While very unexpected, it felt great to win both prizes.”
The Penn State graduate also gave advice to aspiring startup founders. “Surround yourself with an amazing network of people to help guide and support you on your startup journey,” said Schipke, the company’s CEO.
— GSE Innovates (@GSE_innovates) May 11, 2016
“I’m very pleased to congratulate co-founders James Maxwell and Melissa Schipke for their innovative technologies, which help universities better measure alumni engagement metrics and alumni to easily engage with their network and resources through a mobile app,” Wallace Boston, American Public University System president and CEO, said in a statement.
A total of $140,000 in prizes were given to 11 entrepreneurial initiatives in the sixth annual edition of the contest, which was open to submissions from all around the world and sponsored by the Milken Family Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
Prizes were awarded in two categories: Ideas, for companies that are getting started; and Ventures, for startups that already have revenue, grants, customers, or investments. A group of some 250 online judges — comprised of entrepreneurs, teachers and investors — chose the winners from a pool of hundreds of submissions.-30-
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