2021 Winning Pitches

First Place - ReneCycle

Using proprietary smart-lock technology, ReneCycle transforms everyday bikes into easily manageable dockless bikeshare. Their fleet management system's integrated hardware and software creates bikeshare that is secure, accessible, and cost-efficient.

Hunter Lee

Mina Liang

Henry Lei

David Chang

Ian Gordon

What competing in the PCV Prize was like?

"Competing in the PCV competition was one of the most memorable experiences in my start-up journey so far. The competition was extremely professional without sacrificing the inspirational and collaborative atmosphere that makes startup work so meaningful. The judges asked sharp and insightful questions, and the organizers of the event made every transition so smooth. Even though we felt the adrenaline of presenting first of all the teams, the excitement never left us for the entire competition as we were hooked by the amazing ideas from all the other teams and the fantastic fireside chat with Dennis Woodside. Announcing the results live at the end of the competition was a thriller, and it was surreal when ReneCycle was announced first. I feel proud to have participated in such a great event and feel immense gratitude towards all the organizers, mentors, judges, and participants who made this event possible. A huge shoutout to our PCV assigned mentor Nicholas Yiu for giving us such valuable insights." -- Henry

Future Plans?

"ReneCycle is looking forward to using the funding from PCV to invest further into the product development of our smart bike lock! We are looking into partnering with new corporate campuses and municipal districts this Summer, and will be posting new updates on our website, LinkedIn, and instagram accounts. We've had an exciting product launch at Swarthmore College this Spring and will be soon providing new content on bike usage, product resilience, and footage of real student experiences. Stay tuned for exciting content and insights from the ReneCycle team!" -- Mina

Second Place - Folia

Folia is a B2B Philadelphia-based company dedicated to diverting all food waste from the landfill. Through an online platform, they ensure quality matches between producers of food waste and food upcycling companies.

What competing in the PCV Prize was like?

"As a team, we're really glad to participate in the movement to bring more environmental innovation to campus. Speaking to other innovators and funders in the sustainability space was a rewarding experience, especially since our entire team was brand new to environmental entrepreneurship."

Future Plans?

"Over the summer, Folia is looking for web developers and other help to build out our online platform and get a pilot program running by the fall. We'd encourage all like-minded, passionate students to reach out!"

Third Place - Team Chaeto

Team Chaeto.jpeg

Christopher and Nicholas Kwok

Team Chaeto pioneers an ecological, sustainable, and feasible solution to the existential crisis of ocean acidification. By modifying the activity of hydrogenase and carbonic anhydrase enzymes in chaetomorpha, the team invented chaeto biofilters to implement their novel strain of algae in marine ecosystems.

What competing in the PCV Prize was like?

"Competing in the Penn Climate Venture Prize was an eye-opening experience! Meeting the collegiate and high school teams with their startups was inspirational. As high school students, the competition was an opportunity to navigate entrepreneurship with incredible mentors."
Find Team Chaeto on Instagram:

Future Plans?

"In the near future, Team Chaeto plans to continue research and development with their chaeto biofilters as an economically viable solution to ocean acidification. Furthermore, the company seeks numerous grants to raise capital and scale production. Eventually, Team Chaeto will pursue government contracts and partnerships with environmental agencies to market their solution globally."

Honorable Mention - NASADYA

NASADYA solves the growing problem of variability management in the energy grid for power plants by converting a money-losing by-product (excess energy) into valuable co-products (green hydrogen & oxygen).

Chaitanya Gulati

Praneeth Nagarjuna

Devansh Sethia

Khadeeja Malik

Dan Duffy

The 2021 PCV Prize drew 87 competing teams from Penn, Stanford, Columbia, UC Berkeley, U of Illinois, WashU, UTA, UChicago, UToronto, Cornell, UCSB, Princeton, Yale, Rice, and more.

Winning pitches were chosen from 10 finalist teams at our virtual pitch event by judges from Fifty Years, Next47, Energy Impact Partners, and Generate Capital:

Waste and Circularity

Happy Earth Company

College Thrifts

Energy and Transportation Renecycle


Food and Agriculture



Wild Card

Beyond Capacity


High School

Team Chaeto

Promethean Energy