This is Cy Schroeder, Harry Kainen, and Kat Krieger, and we are the managing directors for this year’s MIT $100K Competition. We wanted to take a minute to introduce ourselves and share our vision for Accelerate in 2019!
Our first decision as managing directors of the MIT $100K was to reexamine the goal and value of the Accelerate competition. Traditionally, the Accelerate competition served to provide funding and mentorship for startups at MIT to create minimum viable products and test product-market fit. While Accelerate was originally the only MIT accelerator offered during IAP, the resources for MIT startups have grown considerably since the competition’s inception. With groups like Fuse, StartMIT, Sandbox, Legatum, and countless others, entrepreneurs at MIT are now provided with a multitude of programs to help start and scale their ventures. With the evolution of the entrepreneurial resources available at MIT, we wanted to modify Accelerate to better complement these other MIT programs.
For Accelerate 2019, we have therefore decided to replace the traditional competition structure with a showcase format that will highlight the progress made by startups at MIT throughout the year and during IAP. Approximately thirty teams will have the opportunity to set up booths at MIT’s Media Lab on Tuesday, February 12th, where they can introduce their businesses to students, professionals, local entrepreneurs, and potential investors. Ten teams will also have the chance to present onstage (either a product demonstration or an overview of the growth their startup has achieved) to all attendees. In addition, there will be a $10,000 audience choice award, and the three teams receiving the most audience votes will be automatically fast-tracked to the Semi-Finals for the $100K Launch competition. Teams participating in Accelerate will also be offered funding, mentorship, and graphic design assistance as needed leading up to the event. This is a unique occasion to learn about the successes of MIT’s wonderful entrepreneurial ecosystem and engage directly with MIT’s strongest entrepreneurs - we encourage all MIT-affiliated startups to apply and everyone in the MIT community to attend!
Your $100K Managing Directors
Cy, Harry, and Kat
Cy Schroeder is originally from Winston-Salem, NC. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Cy most recently worked as an Associate Director for Barings, an institutional asset management firm, in London. Prior to that he spent several years in Charlotte, NC, helping the firm invest in technology, media, and telecom companies. Cy joined the $100K Competition to gain more exposure to early stage companies and the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem at MIT.
Harry Kainen is originally from New York City but has lived in Cambridge since 2015. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Harry most recently worked as a Business Consultant for a startup healthcare consulting firm in Kendall Square, where he was first introduced to Cambridge’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. He joined the $100K Competition in order to continue supporting the growing community of entrepreneurs at MIT and in the greater Boston area.
Kat Krieger is originally from Westport, CT. After graduating from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, Kat worked as a Technology Analyst at Goldman Sachs, working in the Cloud Platforms team on remote access and public cloud projects. Kat joined the $100K Competition to further explore the entrepreneurial community at MIT and support students pursuing their own ventures.