Tandon Student Triumphs at NYU-Yale Startup Pitchoff

Six Teams from NYU and Yale Accelerator Programs compete at Annual Competition

Winners of the NYU-Yale Pitchoff Anthony Oganov (third from left) and Amar Seoparson (holding trophy) flanked by competing participants of the Summer Launchpad program.

Six promising ventures led by students from New York University and Yale University took the stage at the Kimmel Center last week to pitch their startups at the fourth annual NYU-Yale Pitchoff. Levitas, a startup founded by NYU Tandon senior Amar Seoparson and Anthony Oganov from NYU College of Arts and Sciences, came out victorious as the judges selected the team as the evening’s best pitch. The friendly competition highlights the unique ideas emerging from the summer accelerator programs at NYU and Yale that foster entrepreneurship and support seed-stage startups founded by students.

Levitas was among three startups currently participating in the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute’s Summer Launchpad that vied for the competition’s trophy, as well as three teams from Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Summer Fellowship. They showcased their ventures in five minute pitches to a panel of judges that included Alon Bonder, Vice President of Venrock; Brittany Laughlin, Partner at Lattice Ventures; Jay D. Kranzler, MD, PhD, CEO of Regenovation; Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels; and Brad Hargreaves, founder and CEO of Common.

Levitas' mission to help keep hospital patients safe and secure embodies Tandon's motto to use technology in service to society. The team is creating a wearable patient monitor to aid nurses in better tracking their patients’ movements to prevent injuries and accidents due to falls. As falling is a major challenge for hospitals and for individuals over 65, Levitas aims to provide a preventative solution to falling and reduce the nurse fatigue that results from false alarms set off by bed pressure monitors. (During their pitch, Oganov stated that the monitors on a typical hospital bed go off approximately 400 times per day, with the majority of those being false alarms that decrease productivity and proper attention to patients.)

Amar Seoparson
“The classes and professors at Tandon nurture a hands-on, applications-based approach to education that fosters innovation and creativity. I’ve worked on many projects throughout my time at Tandon, and it’s the skills I’ve acquired from coursework and my extracurricular activities that provided the basis for my entrepreneurship.”

— Amar Seoparson

Frank Rimalovski, executive director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and managing director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, expressed Levitas’ potential to benefit the healthcare industry and how collaboration across NYU and industries can impact society through effective, technological solutions. "The winner of the night, Levitas, is a great example of a multidisciplinary team who took advantage of every resource NYU offers to transform their ideas into helping solve a real-world problem in health care,” Rimalovski said.

After meeting and forming Levitas at the 2016 NYU Healthcare Makerthon, Seoparson and Oganov are currently using the support from the Summer Launchpad to explore the product’s value to nurses and hospitals through pilot programs.

Seoparson, who will graduate this fall in electrical and computer engineering, served on the Student Council his freshman year and also worked on simulation and autonomy for the NYU Robotic Design Team’s Mars mining rover. Seoparson shared how his experiences and education at Tandon shaped the foundation of Levitas. “The classes and professors at Tandon nurture a hands-on, applications-based approach to education that fosters innovation and creativity. I’ve worked on many projects throughout my time at Tandon, and it’s the skills I’ve acquired from coursework and my extracurricular activities that provided the basis for my entrepreneurship,” Seoparson said.

Visit the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute to get help transforming your ideas into successful businesses. 

Camila Ryder
Graduate School of Arts and Science
Master of Arts in English Literature, Class of 2018