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Seven with Northwestern Ties Featured in Chicago Inno’s 2020 ‘25 Under 25’

The entrepreneurs and technologists are “contributing to Chicago's tech and startup industry in impactful ways”

Chicago Inno has released its 2020 ‘25 Under 25’ list of rising innovators, and Northwestern students and alumni, many with connections to the Farley Center, lead the way.

The annual list features seven visionaries with Northwestern ties—by far the most of any university—who are Chicago-area entrepreneurs and technologists age 25 or younger and “contributing to Chicago's tech and startup industry in impactful ways.”

The members of the Northwestern community featured include:

Ana Cornell

McCormick School of Engineering ’22

Acorn Genetics

Cornell, who took Engineering Entrepreneurship 225 through the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, developed GenomeLock, a system that uses a simple cheek swab and a three-part test kit to provide users with insightful genetic data using DNA that never leaves their home. In addition to applying for a patent and launching a company website, Cornell also hopes to network with potential investors and manufacturing partners to learn how to eventually produce GenomeLock through her company Acorn Genetics at scale and bring it to the marketplace.

Lilliana de Souza

McCormick School of Engineering ’21

Northwestern EPIC, Techstars Chicago

de Souza, working toward a minor in entrepreneurship through the Farley Center, is the president of Northwestern EPIC, the University’s student entrepreneurship club. In 2019, de Souza won the annual Improve NU Challenge for her idea NPowerU, a campus safety initiative for personal security. She was also named a 2020 STEM Scholar by The Alumnae of Northwestern University, and is the youngest associate at Techstars Chicago, which works with startups to help grow their ideas, where she helps choose projects the accelerator will support financially. She has also served as a teaching assistant in ENTREP 325: Engineering Entrepreneurship.

Caleb Holland

School of Education and Social Policy ’21

Innovestments

Holland, who is minoring in entrepreneurship through the Farley Center, cofounded Innovestments, which works to make real estate and home ownership accessible by reducing risk and helping potential homeowners. The company model accomplishes three goals: increase access, increase ownership, and get returns. He has also served as a teaching assistant in ENTREP 225: Principles of Entrepreneurship.

 

Garrett Jochnau

Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications ’18

Kivvit

Jochnau develops analytics as innovations and insights associate for Kivvit, a public relations firm that specializes in tech and startup companies, serving as an entrepreneur within the agency. He developed the Kivvit impact report, which combines more than 15 different data visualizations and sources to provide a comprehensive view of a news story’s trajectory, and ways to trace misinformation.

Justin Reimonenq

McCormick School of Engineering ’22

Common

Currently working toward a master’s degree in engineering design innovation, Reimonenq launched Common, a company that enables the digital management of in-person interactions for organizations and their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform also helps to insulate users from the risk of COVID-19 transmission by notifying them when they've been in contact with other users that have developed symptoms. Additionally, Reimonenq, who is enrolled in four EDI courses, has joined Chicago startup incubator 1871 to help develop Common.

Drew Wandzilak

School of Education and Social Policy ‘22

RollCall.vote, Masteri

Wandzilak, working toward a minor in entrepreneurship through the Farley Center, is the cofounder and head of growth at RollCall.vote, an app which allows voters to track their mail-in ballots. The platform also provides information on filing deadlines while encouraging members of the community to vote. In addition, he is also founder and CEO of Masteri, an independent learning platform that tailors education plans for any subject. He has also served as a teaching assistant in ENTREP 331: Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing.

Michael Zhou

Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications ‘21

Mock On

Zhou is cofounder and CEO of Mock On, an online mock trial trainer for high school students. The president of Northwestern’s Mock Trial team, Zhou launched the product in May and has since held two online Zoom camps. More than 50 students have signed up.

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