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One Year Later: Updates from the Winners of CBE Ventures 2019

As we prepare for the 2020 competition, the CBE Ventures team has reconnected with our 2019 winners and their progress since Pitch Day almost one year ago. Starting from our own student community, these entrepreneurs have made incredible strides to revolutionize their industries, and CBE is proud to support their work towards a better and more sustainable future.

Grand Prize Winner: ShelfLife

For craft food and beverage producers, ShelfLife’s ordering platform and vendor network provide volume discounts on common packaging materials and services.

Since our competition last year, ShelfLife has raised $325K in pre-seed funding from NextView Ventures, MBA Fund, Rough Draft Ventures, Dorm Room Fund, Switch Ventures, HBS Rock Center, and Harvard Undergraduate Capital Partners. ShelfLife has piloted its product with Lamplighter Brewing Co., generating purchase orders for $10,000-$12,000 in raw materials per week. Currently, they are in the process of launching packaging resources and automating purchase orders. ShelfLife is on its way towards its goal of becoming the go-to, managed marketplace for food and beverage primary packaging in the US.

Runner-Up: Debate Spaces

Debate Spaces is an education non-profit that uses debate to foster activism and connect middle school students from around the Greater Boston area.

This past year, Debate Spaces has raised $20K in its first seed funding round and expanded its reach by adding a community organizer and teacher to their team. While the shift to online learning has affected the delivery of education around the world, Debate Spaces has shifted its in-person programming to remote offerings so its students can continue to build their core skills of debate, engage with current events, and meet new friends from their homes. Debate Spaces is also committed to making racial justice a central focus of its curriculum, holding an emergency session to discuss police brutality and systemic racism, as well as raising additional funds to ensure that its services are accessible to students to process and create change regarding racism in our communities.

Sustainability Prize: Troav

Troav offers a monthly subscription membership, allowing users to access a large inventory of physical goods quickly and easily. 

For the past few months, the Troav team has been building out a local instant delivery service for the past few months, partnering with gig drivers and suppliers to enhance their reach. They have worked on adapting their model to navigate the pandemic, spending the summer in Boston to build their service for its users.

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