MIT scholars venture into entrepreneurship with new scholarship opportunity

Two brilliant scholars from MIT, both driven by entrepreneurial ambitions, have been honored with the prestigious 2024 Kavanaugh Fellowship awards, marking a significant milestone in their journey to transform cutting-edge research into profitable business ventures.

The Kavanaugh Translational Fellows Program equips scholars with the necessary skills to spearhead organizations that will bring their research innovations to the market. This year’s recipients are Grant Knappe and Arjav Shah, both PhD candidates at MIT. Knappe’s focus lies in developing a novel drug delivery platform for nucleic acid therapeutics, a burgeoning category of medications. On the other hand, Shah is pioneering the use of hydrogel microparticles to tackle water contamination caused by heavy metals and other pollutants.

Embarking on the fellowship, Knappe and Shah bring years of entrepreneurial experience gained through MIT’s innovation ecosystem, including the Sandbox, the Legatum Center, the Venture Mentoring Service, the NSF’s I-Corps Program, and Blueprint by The Engine. The year-long fellowship will provide them with dedicated time to refine their business strategies, test their ideas, and enhance their judgment skills under the mentorship of MIT experts, crucial for the success of their future startups.

“The evolution and maturation of their entrepreneurial aspirations are a testament to the unwavering support and guidance they have received from the MIT community,” says Michael J. Cima, the program director for the Kavanaugh program and the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

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