Students connect with Northwestern-based startups at The Garage’s Startup Matchmaking Event


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

The Garage’s Startup Matchmaking is a quarterly event that connects Northwestern-based startups planning to grow their teams with students interested in entrepreneurship.

Seren Park, Reporter

Northwestern-based startups pitched their projects to more than 100 participants at The Garage’s virtual Startup Matchmaking event Thursday. 

Startup Matchmaking is a quarterly event that connects NU startups looking to expand with students interested in entrepreneurship, according to Garage Executive Director Mike Raab.

The 28 startups who presented at the event have developed a wide range of products, such as Opto Financial’s personalized money management tool and nomi’s cocktail mixers inspired by Asian experiences and travels. 

Other startups offer services, such as ClubConnect’s platform to enhance extracurricular involvement and WTFcrypto, which offers crypto education.

“Startup Matchmaking is (by far) the number one way that startups at The Garage find new team members, and students looking to get involved with a startup find a team that’s a good fit for them to join,” Raab said. 

During the event, each team described their startup’s mission and the roles they were recruiting for. The startups then dispersed into Zoom breakout rooms, granting students the opportunity to enter the rooms to ask individual questions and share contact information.

Many startups at the event are trying to create solutions to common problems students face.

SESP senior and founder of PrOATein Isabelle Riback said her startup produces high protein overnight oats as accessible nutrient-rich meals for college students.

Riback said she participated in Startup Matchmaking to recruit web designers and students adept in social media. She added that The Garage is a great medium for connecting students with different skill sets. 

Explorate, a platform aiming to increase accessibility to international volunteering, participated in the event to connect people with a passion for social or environmental justice with non-governmental organization volunteering opportunities.

“We want people who work on Explorate to have a mutually beneficial experience, where they contribute to Explorate, but Explorate also contributes to their personal and professional growth,” said Sara Kurniawan, Weinberg sophomore and co-founder of Explorate. 

Another startup, Spherical, aims to help individuals develop stronger connections by providing a centralized source for individuals to manage networks and data. 

Tanjeria Crite, a first-year Kellogg student and Spherical co-founder, said the startup is looking for front- and back-end software developers to produce the product. 

“We decided to join the Startup Matchmaking event because we thought it would be a great opportunity to cast a net into the entire Northwestern community, not solely within Kellogg, for students who are interested in community building,” Crite said. 

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