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Launch

Introducing Solugen

This is the third post of our new interview series to introduce our eight finalists in the week leading up to the Launch finals. To see Solugen and other teams pitching on the big stage, come to the Launch finals at Kresge Auditorium on May 11!

Register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mit-100k-launch-finale-2016-tickets-24292254788?

Join the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/592551840898846/

Stay posted by following us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mit100k


Team Name: Solugen

Team Members: Gaurab Chakrabarti, Sean Hunt, Zachary Moore

Q: Give us a 1-sentence pitch of your idea!

A: We use enzyme engineering to convert CO2 into high value chemicals.

Q: Can you tell us about your 'aha' moment?

A: It was literally in the shower.

Q: Why did you decide to apply to the 100K?

A: It’s a chance to demonstrate our technology and business plans to a passionate and inquisitive group.

Q: If you could be part of the founding team of any innovation from the past 100 years, what would it be and why?

A: The discovery, production and distribution of the Salk vaccine that eradicated polio. Imagine the era, 1952, and the first batch of polio vaccines are being distributed, but it turns out it would require a few more years of subsequent testing to perfect, all the while receiving backlash from everyone in the country. But Salk pushed past the naysayers and in 1954 a perfected version of the vaccine would go on to eradicate one of the deadliest diseases known to man. That is a team we would want to be on.

Q: What’s been your biggest accomplishment in this process so far?

A: Finding out that our first patent received favorable reviews!

Q: What are you most looking forward to for the Launch finals?

A: Meeting the other teams, discussing execution strategies and road blocks!

Introducing Lux Labs

This is the first post of our new interview series to introduce our eight finalists in the week leading up to the Launch finals. To see Lux Labs and other teams pitching on the big stage, come to the Launch finals at Kresge Auditorium on May 11!

Register on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mit-100k-launch-finale-2016-tickets-24292254788?

Join the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/592551840898846/

Stay posted by following us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mit100k


Team Name: Lux Labs

Team Members: Yichen Shen, Spencer Powers

Q: Give us a 1-sentence pitch of your idea!

A: We use advanced optical nanomaterials to control light, improve optics, and reduce energy consumption.


Q: Can you tell us about your 'aha' moment?

A: I [Yichen] was working on my laptop on a train to NYC, and I forgot to bring the charger with me, and suddenly my battery sent me an alarm that it got low. At the same time, since I’m working on a confidential project, I have to sit in an awkward way to prevent the passenger sitting besides me to see what is on my screen. At that moment, I thought: it would be really nice if I can push a button, and the light that goes to his direction can instead come to me, which will allow me to lower the display brightness and save my laptop’s battery. Then I realized that I actually just invented such a material that can do this in my lab!


Q: Why did you decide to apply to the 100K?

A: The MIT 100K is a great opportunity to help us form our business plan and go-to-market strategy. Mentors and judges ask tough questions which force us to re-evaluate our assumptions.


Q: What is the biggest misconception you've discovered about entrepreneurship?

A: That there are ping pong tables. We don’t play ping pong.


Q: So, how does your team blow off steam and relax?

A: We go to the Muddy and drink a few beers until we can’t recite pi...


Q: What are you most looking forward to for the Launch finals?

A: Meeting other people also passionate about startups, getting feedback from judges to help us move faster forward, and most importantly, just enjoying the big stage and the show!