Silicon Valley Immersion
Undergraduate students participated in the first Farley Bay Area Quarter, a new program offered by Northwestern’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that provides classes in tech ethics, product management and venture fundraising, as well as an experiential seminar that includes externships at a range of tech companies.
The Plug Drink
After a decade researching the role of liver health, Justin Kim ’15 and his brother, Ray, launched The Plug Drink, an herbal beverage backed by athletes and celebrities.
A Pen for Parkinson’s Patients
Parkinson’s disease often causes hand tremors and muscle rigidity, making it difficult to write by hand. After her grandpa was diagnosed with the disease and could no longer write, journalism major Izzy Mokotoff teamed up with biomedical engineering major Alexis Chan to develop SteadyScrib, a special pen and clipboard system that helps counteract Parkinson’s symptoms.
After taking Engineering Entrepreneurship, Ryan Teo launched Minimal Snacks with the goal of revolutionizing snack foods. Teo and his team created an air-dried snack made from beef, shiitake mushrooms, red wine vinegar and salt.
Engineering student Charlotte Oxnam started Cue the Curves as a fashion blog to improve the shopping experience and create a supportive environment for plus-size people. Her mission resonated with many — and got a boost in March 2022, when Oxnam appeared in an international ad campaign for Microsoft Windows 11.
After learning how to bake alongside a Parisian chef during her study abroad year, Melanie Moss launched Mini Melanie, a direct-to-consumer bakery in New York City delivering custom cakes, cake pops, brownies, truffles and more nationwide. Since then, Moss has appeared on popular Food Network shows Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay — and she’s not stopping there.
Grace Lightner ’13 was cleaning out her grandmother’s house in Ohio with her mother, Lorraine Stewart ’80, ’81 MS, when she stumbled upon a box of preserved wedding dresses belonging to Stewart and her sister. Stewart immediately teared up, and in that moment, inspiration struck.
An Ecosystem of Innovation
University-wide research institutes and centers (URICs) are a fundamentally important and vibrant nexus of innovation and discovery at Northwestern. Continued investments in these hubs have strengthened the work of faculty and students who seek to benefit humankind through advancements in fields ranging from medicine and engineering to nanotechnology and materials science.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many small businesses, including those owned by Northwestern alumni, have faced challenging circumstances and uncertain futures. In June 2020 the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) launched the Northwestern Alumni-Owned Small Business Directory to help connect and support fellow Wildcats.
A Better Cranial Drill
At just 22 years old, Casey Grage ’19 became CEO of Hubly Surgical, a startup set on revolutionizing neurosurgery. Hubly invented a lightweight neurosurgical drill that Grage says offers key advantages over conventional drills used to access to the brain in cases of stroke, aneurysm, trauma or other emergencies.