2023 Demo Day

VCU Demo Day

Watch the recording here! 

VCU Demo Day is the da Vinci Center’s annual event showcasing the top talent of the university’s student and alumni entrepreneurship and VCU Pre-X. The event includes pitches, founder Q&A, and networking to meet student and alumni founders and learn more about their growing ventures. Demo Day is an opportunity to highlight and reward the top talent across the university, ranging from medical devices to social and non-profit ideas. 

This year’s event featured four different sessions with 16 different teams pitching their ideas or current ventures to an esteemed panel of judges from the da Vinci Center’s community partners and alumni.

The Ideas Session, where students gave quick pitches about an idea waiting to be made tangible. The Academic Session highlighted pitches that showcase entrepreneurship and innovation in our classrooms throughout VCU. The Alumni Session featured pitches for products and services created by VCU graduates. Lastly, the Featured Session consisted of seven student pitches on their current ventures. After the sessions, 47 participating student, alum, and community teams showcased their ideas and projects in Shift Retail Lab for the reception, and a People’s Choice Award was chosen by attendees.

2023 VCU Demo Day Awardees

Crowd Favorite Awardees:
Ideas Session:
Beddie, The Tall Friend Project
Entrepreneur: Quynh Nguyen
Quynh Nguyen is a grad student in the Master of Product Innovation program and working on a product that helps our tall friends get a good night of sleep.

Academic Session: FirstGFresh
Entrepreneur: Jameira Saylor
Jameira Saylor is a graduate student in the Master of Product Innovation program and is here to share her project in building a platform for high school seniors that will also be first-generation college students.

Alumni Session: Otterwise
Entrepreneur: Aliyah Desautels
Aliyah Desautels is an alum of Shift Retail Lab and Demo Day as well as her degree. She's back on the Demo Day stage to talk about her new venture that aims to make it easier for employers to vet high-quality hires and for candidates to be seen.

Featured Session: TowNinja
Entrepreneur: Jack Oppenheim
Jack Oppenheim is a graduate student in the Master of Product Innovation program who is on a mission to make towing a pleasant experience for all!

People's Choice (reception): Morada Bowls
Entrepreneur: Laila Dajani
Laila Dajani is an undergraduate studying Business Marketing. Her idea is to start a DIY smoothie bowl service.

Other Pitch Teams included: The Math Path, Fusion AI Dynamics, 8Bus, Everything But the Booze (EBTB), Polavizor, Gewd Botanicals, Jawdropper Dental, C'est La Ve Vegan Charcuterie Packs, EmoteIt, Nationz Foundation - CreateAthon, MammoRisk

Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Scenes from Demo Day
Chairs set up with da Vinci Center bags.
Audience of the 2023 Demo Day presentations.
presenting their pitch during 2023 Demo Day.
The audience at 2023 Demo Day.
presenting their pitch for 2023 Demo Day.

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2022 Awardees