As another sign that entrepreneurship is booming at Princeton University, the Slavin Family Foundation awarded undergraduates Matthew Marquardt, a chemistry major in the Class of 2021, and Rohan Shah, a molecular biology major in the Class of 2020, with Slavin Fellowships for their work in entrepreneurship on campus and beyond. They are among 26 global recipients of the Slavin Fellowships.
“We are so pleased and honored to have two of our amazing undergraduate students accepted into the prestigious Slavin Fellowship program,” said Anne-Marie Maman, executive director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. “Princeton already provides students and alumni with mentors, connections and resources. The Slavin Fellowship program will be a great complement and another exceptional source of support.”
The Slavin Fellowship offers mentorship, support and a grant to a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing entrepreneurial projects. “Fellows span fields from tech to life science and materials science to fashion and the arts, and now include Thiel Fellows, Schwarzman Scholars, and winners of other international awards and competitions,” said Nick Slavin, chairman of the Slavin Family Foundation.
Marquardt helped launch Andluca Technologies, a Princeton spinout led by Lynn Loo, director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Theodora D. ’78 and William H. Walton III ’74 Professor in Engineering. He also led the pilot project installation of Andluca’s smart windows on the Princeton campus.
Marquardt, who was on the varsity swim team, is also a member of Invictis Technologies, a medical device startup currently in the Keller Center eLab Summer Accelerator and in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Summer 2019 cohort.
“I am extremely grateful for the support that I have received from Professor Lynn Loo and Andluca’s Nick Davy along the way,” Marquardt said. “This fellowship would not have been possible without their mentorship and guidance.”
Shah is a co-founder of Alimtas BioVentures, a student organization working with the University’s Office of Technology Licensing to spin out new life science ventures. A Novartis Science Scholar at Princeton, he is currently conducting his thesis research in the laboratory of Ralph Kleiner, assistant professor of chemistry. He previously interned at Alector, an immuno-neurology biotechnology company focused on Alzheimer's disease. Read about Shah's work with Alimtas BioVentures.
“I sincerely thank the Slavin Foundation for this prestigious award,” Shah said. “I am truly humbled by the opportunity to be part of this amazing organization and exceptional cohort of students. Significantly, I am very thankful to Anne-Marie for believing in me, the idea for Alimtas and nominating me for this fellowship.”
Keller Center executive director Cornelia Huellstrunk said: “We are delighted to see that two Princeton undergraduates were recognized with this prestigious award. Both Matt and Rohan immersed themselves deeply in their respective fields of study but also made time to pursue their entrepreneurial passions. The Keller Center is thrilled to see that these students who leveraged many of the center’s curricular and co-curricular programs are this year’s recipients of the Slavin Fellowship.”
Fittingly, Shah and Marquardt are already close. “I am incredibly excited and honored to be named one of Princeton’s first Slavin Fellows along with my friend and classmate Rohan Shah,” said Marquardt.
Shah added: “Matt and I are both earning the entrepreneurship certificate [through the Keller Center] at Princeton and we have had many classes together throughout the years. He has told me extensively about Andluca and has been a great sounding board for Alimtas as well.”
The students said they are eager to learn from their experiences as Slavin fellows.
“I am ecstatic to grow and develop both Alimtas and my personal career under the guidance of the Slavin Family Foundation. By learning from the entire Slavin Fellowship network, I imagine Alimtas and actually, myself over a career, can deliver orders of magnitude more value to this field I so care about,” Shah said.
“The Slavin Fellowship’s goal of creating a close-knit network of students and mentors from around the world and across many different disciplines who can learn from one another and work together was one of the main reasons why I was drawn to the fellowship,” Marquardt said.
Slavin said he looks forward to working with Shah and Marquardt too.
“I've spoken with each of Rohan and Matthew,” said Slavin. “What's next is continuing our conversations, making some new connections, and being on call for whenever they need help.”
Along with the Invictis team, Marquardt will present at the Keller Center’s eLab Demo Days on Aug. 13-14 and conclude his summer internship with I-Corps later in August. Shah will conclude his summer internship with venture capital firm Polaris Partners and then return to campus for his senior year and to continue his work with Alimtas BioVentures.
“We look forward to watching as Rohan and Matthew continue their entrepreneurial paths,” said Maman. “They will be alumni to keep an eye on!”