Meet the Top 50 Student-Led Startups from Kairos Society

This weekend at the fifth Kairos Society Global Summit, organizers announced the Kairos 50: 50 innovative companies founded by undergraduate students.

The Kairos Society is a not-for-profit foundation – with branches in over 40 countries – that aims to foster a community where entrepreneurial students can connect, learn, and have a voice. Read more about why they created the Kairos 50 in our interview with their former president, Victoria Schramm.

Below are the 50 companies.


Addy (San Francisco): A way to share your exact GPS location with a simple URL.

Listn (Montreal): A social network where people share music and playlists. Founded by Mike Schmidt (Queen’s University).

ONE (California and Texas): An app where you can explore interests like people, events, media, and products. Founded by Cory Levy (University of Illinois).


BPG Werks (Boston and Ontario): Creators of science fiction-like vehicles, such as the UNO concept bike and the DTV Shredder, which is “part skateboard, part Segway, and park tank.” Founded by Benjamin Gulak (MIT) and Ryan Fairhead.

Kairos 50 BPG Werks

MiniBrake: A remote-controlled brake for children’s bikes. Founded by Marcell Szirtes, Péter Szesztay, and Dániel Bognár

Seat-e: An outdoor bench that has wifi and can charge your electronic devices. Founded by Philipp Naegelein (HEC Paris).

Alcohoot (New York): A breathalyzer for your smartphone. Founded by Jonathan Ofir.


Jon Lou: Creators of fashion accessories that incorporate technology. Founded by Theodora Koullias.

Social Good and Sustainability

Black Silicon Solar (Denmark): Creators of nanotechnology that make solar cells more affordable. Founded by Rasmus Davidsen (Technical University of Denmark) and Hjalmar Nilsonne (Royal Institute of Technology).

Bluerise (Netherlands): Creators of technology that generates energy from the thermal power of the ocean. Founded by Berend Jan Kleute (Delft University of Technology).

Grupo Ecosfera (Brazil): Creators of eco-friendly bricks that are not made in an oven. Founded by Felipe Augusto (Universidade Estacio de Sa).

Sustainable MicroFarms: Develops technology for hydroponic farming that is ten times more efficient. Founded by Sanjay Rajpoot (University of Southern California).

Sword & Plough: Creators of bags made by veterans using recycled military surplus material. They hope to increase veteran employment and the connection between veterans and civilians. Founded by Emily Nunez (Middlebury College).

Whitenife (India): Creators of a material that is 89 percent identical to ivory, designed to reduce ivory trade. Founded by Sonia Agarwal (Babson College).


Pivotal Testing (Blacksburg, VA): An online testing and grading platform for higher education. Founded by Braden Croy (Virginia Tech).

Teach Twice (Nashville, TN): A social venture that allows parents in the developed world to buy books written in the developing world, with profits going to improve education for the latter.

Consumer Health and Sports

ciSports: A database of football players that helps scouts figure out the best athletes. Founded by Giels Brouwer (University of Twente).

Sportaneous (New York City): A marketplace for fitness classes. Founded by Omar Haroun (Oxford University and University of California, Berkeley) and Reuben Doetsch (Columbia University).

Turnyp (California and New York): A community for people on restricted diets to find recipes and restaurants. Founded by Louis-Victor Jadavji (University of Southern California) and Matthew Gu (Claremont McKenna College).

Nightingale (Boston): An app that reminds patients to take their medication and involves doctors in the process. Founded by Delian Asparouhov (MIT).

DiagnosMe (New Hampshire): Technology that monitors biomolecules in sweat, which reflect immune system activity and indicate the onset of diseases. Founded by Riley Ennis (Dartmouth College).

3D Printing and Modeling

Layer by Layer (Los Angeles): A marketplace for 3D designs. Founded by Jonathan Schwartz (Harvey Mudd College).

Dreambox (San Francisco): Creators of a 3D printing vending machine. Founded by Will Drevno (University of California, Berkeley).

VirtualU (Blacksburg, VA): Software that can create 3D models of human bodies and products, particularly useful for designing clothes. Founded by Caroline Pugh and Nicholas Gagianas (both at Virginia Tech).

Health Care

Advocates for World Health (Tampa and Gainesville): They collect extra medical products and redistribute them to areas of need. Founded by Jordan Markel and Ryan Kania.  

M3D: A search engine for medical researchers that can pull data in hours, rather than days. Founded by Georgy Ramonov (University of California, Berkeley).

Mana Health (Brooklyn): Software that crunches patient data and can recommend tests, treatments, and diagnoses. Founded by Christopher Bradley (Rutgers University and NYU-Poly).

MIRA Rehab (London): Helps make physical therapy exercises more fun using gamification. Founded by Cosmin Mihaiuis (Babes-Bolyai University).

Nanoly Bioscience: Created a polymer that allows vaccines to survive without refrigeration. Founded by Nanxi Liu (University of California Berkeley).

NeuroSpire (Durham): Brain imaging technology for businesses to figure out consumers’ subconscious preferences. Founded by Jake Stauch (Duke University).

SOMA Analytics (Germany): A tool for businesses to monitor employee stress and wellbeing. It works on a smartphone and observes stress (through things like typing and talking) and sleep. Founded by Johann Huber (University of St. Gallen).

Tech in the World: Global health fellowships for computer science students. Founded by Brandon Liu (Harvard University).

Wellframe (Cambridge): Mobile technology that helps hospitals monitor patients after procedures like organ transplants, cancer treatment, and heart surgery. Founded by Archit Bhise (MIT).


Infinity Aerospace (Silicon Valley): Creators of ArduLab, an open source science facility that is ready to be taken to space. Founded by Manu Sharma (Stanford University).


Regalii (New York City): A free and easy way for Latin American immigrants to send money back to their families. Founded by Inigo Rumayor (University of Pennsylvania and Universidad Autonoma de Mexico).


Cortex CompositesCreates sustainable construction materials like cortex, which can act like concrete. Founded by Daniel Rudyak (University of Southern California).

EMOVE (Lisbon): Creators of a generator that works with wind turbines and wave energy devices. Founded by Pedro Balas (Instituto Superior Tecnico).

VIRES: Creators of the Virtually Infinite Rotary Exponentiation System, a transmission design that increases efficiency and torque. They have also designed new wings for drones, a plastic recycling machine, and a wind turbine. Founded by Harshil Goel (University of California, Berkeley), Jordan Greene (University of California, Berkeley), and Jason Forslin (University of the Pacific).

B2B and Software 

LoveAppFirstSight (Israel): An app discovery and marketing platform that helps developers find potential users. Founded by Tom Goldberg (IDC Herzlia). (San Francisco): Software that makes it simple to set up a beautiful mobile website. Founded by Teng Bao (University of Chicago).

Stratio: Creators of portable hyper-spectral sensors, which are used in cameras. Founded by Rebecca Hinds (Stanford University).

Big Fish Presentations (Baton Rouge): A studio of designers, writers, and speakers who can help your business with presentations. Founded by Gustavo Murillo (Louisiana State University).

Hexun Science & Technology: An online monitoring system for global agriculture, which tracks problems like droughts, forest fires, and floods. Founded by Yin Mengling (Chinese University of Hong Kong).

Kip Solutions: Helps nonprofits and caused-based organizations identify influential supporters on social media. Founded by Patrick Ip (University of Chicago).

noQ: Technology that lets shoppers simply walk out of a store with items they want and get charged automatically. Founded by Spencer Hewett (Thiel Fellow).

Politify, Inc. (Berkeley): Creators of Outline for government, a simulator that models how policies and budgets will affect citizens. Founded by Nikita Bier (University of California, Berkeley).

Posmetrics (Cambridge) Software for businesses to collect feedback from clients. Founded by Merrill Lutsky (Harvard College).

RepStamp: A universal reputation system for buyers and sellers on ecommerce sites. Founded by Dan Benjamin (Efi Arazi School of Computer Science).

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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