Blockchain’s Manifest Wins U of Chicago Polsky Center Competition

Education, Event, Innovation | June 5, 2018 By:

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago has given the top prize in its 22nd annual Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge to Manifest, a distributed ledger solution that will standardize 401(k) transfers.

The honor comes with $315,000, including $150,000 from the Rattan L. Khosa First-Place Prize, $120,000 from individual distinguished judges, $25,000 from The Caruso Foundation and $20,000 for their acceptance into the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows Program this summer.

Manifest, which is a member of the Polsky Incubator, is creating a network between 401(k) providers and streamlining the process to help eliminate the estimated $2.5B that providers lose each year due to these inefficiencies.

 Eleven finalists shared in a $700,000 cash prize pool—the highest ever given at the New Venture Challenge, surpassing last year’s prize pool of $400,000.

“Every team that presented in today’s finals is a real and operational company that can grow beyond this program,” said Starr Marcello, executive director of the Polsky Center and adjunct professor. “We are proud of all the teams that presented to our investors today, and those that took part in the 22nd year of the NVC. We are excited to see them grow.”

Finalists presented to 27 distinguished judges—including Dan Caruso, MBA’90, founder and CEO of Zayo Group; Immanuel Thangaraj, MBA’93, managing director of Essex Woodlands Health Ventures; and Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Capital and U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Barack Obama, among others.

Winners of the 2018 NVC include: