Alexander Lorestani, Ph.D. *17 and Nikolay Ouzounov, Ph.D. *15 win Tiger Entrepreneur Award

Grants, Fellowships and Awards
Posted on October 26, 2018

Princeton Entrepreneurship Council congratulates the winners of the Tiger Entrepreneur Award for 2018:

Alexander Lorestani, Ph.D. *17 and Nikolay Ouzounov, Ph.D. *15

The Tiger Entrepreneur Award was designed to celebrate the value of entrepreneurship and innovation across the Princeton community, and to emphasize the University’s commitment to Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way. 

The award will be presented at one of the year’s most prestigious campus events, Celebrate Princeton Innovation, on the evening of November 8, 2018, at Frick Chemistry Laboratory. 

 

Photo of Alex Lorestani and Nick Ouzounov

Photos courtesy of Geltor, Inc.

Alex and Nick are the co-founders of Geltor, Inc., a biotech startup in San Leandro creating lab-grown, animal-free collagen. Both Rutgers graduates, they met in the Molecular Biology department at Princeton. Alex and Nick have already entered into partnerships with large firms such as GELITA, the world’s leading collagen supplier and Archer Daniels Midland, a leading food ingredient manufacturer. They and the Geltor team have secured $23 million in venture capital funding, including an $18 million Series A announced this week. Their bio-designed materials will have a wide range of environmental benefits and is poised to disrupt several important industries, including cosmetics, food, beverages and materials. 

Vaidhy Murti, the co-founder of Friendsy, a social networking app that enabled college students to meet each other, is the third winner. A classic startup that came out of a dorm room, Friendsy grew with the support of the Keller Center eLab Summer Accelerator and the Princeton Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF), gaining 300,000 users and 3 million matches. The economic realities of competing in the difficult social network forced Friendsy to close in 2017, but not without Vaidhy’s funders immediately ready to back his next project: Wit, a new winner-take-all social video app. While building Wit, he also served as CTO of fellow AEF portfolio company DonorUP, a platform for managing donations and discovering your philanthropic identity, and founded a successful product development company to build elite minimum viable products for early-stage startups. Wit is now available in the Apple App Store.

Read more about the Tiger Entrepreneur Award.