2024 Student Startup Residents Announced

May 7, 2024
Student startup residents at FORGE at Roy Place

FORGE mentor in residence John Achoukian welcomes the 2024 student startup resident cohort to FORGE at Roy Place

At the heart of the University of Arizona's entrepreneurial ecosystem are talented student innovators working to shape the future through new ideas and dedication. FORGE extends our warmest congratulations to the twenty-four remarkable students selected as the 2024 Student Startup Residents

Starting May 13th, these students will begin an intensive 8-week program with regular director check-ins, mentor sessions, weekly guest speakers, industry talks, and regular team meetings. The students receive stipends upon completing milestones, and the program culminates in a live pitch to a panel of angel investors and V.C.s, where they will gain insights and experiences.

Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset is not just a goal; it enables students to define purpose, create possibilities, and transform their ideas into impactful ventures. The Student Startup Residency program provides aspiring student entrepreneurs with the support needed to navigate the complexities of startup development. These students were accepted into the program based on well-thought-out venture concepts in the areas of biomedical, semiconductor, and artificial intelligence.  

Congratulations 2024 Student Startup Residents

Ray Lee is an MBA student at the Eller College of Management who began his academic career as an undergraduate studying biochemistry and molecular cellular biology.   As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to become a founding member of a biotechnology startup. The experience inspired him to pursue an MBA.  In addition to working on his startup concept, Ray Lee will be working to help guide fellow students in a program coordinator role for the Student Startup Residency.

"I appreciate the way that FORGE approached the program," said Lee. It's not just biomedical. It's A.I. It's semiconductor.  We have students so interested, and associated with A.I. learning. They'll be able to bring that fresh perspective."

Alongside Ray Lee, Eller MBA student Vyshnavi Vanamala will also assist the program to help fellow students develop their venture concepts.

The 2024 cohort showcases diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas. From technologies to healthcare solutions, the breadth of concepts demonstrated by the Student Startup Residents is impressive.  The cohort includes:

  • Akshat Kumar Singh, College of Science
  • Ali Taha Habiboglu, College of Science, Graduate College
  • Bryan Lomeli, R Ken Coit College of Pharmacy
  • Ali Elbekov, College of Science
  • Garegin Mazmanyan, College of Science
  • Gaurvendra Pratap Singh Pundhir, College of Science
  • Ibrahim Rafiq, iSchool
  • Jackson Grove, iSchool, W.A. Franke Honors College
  • Kartik Bihani, College of Science, Eller College of Management
  • Shreyas Mani Tripathi, Eller College of Management
  • Mehri Aghdamigargari, College of Engineering
  • Melisa Kafali, College of Engineering
  • Yash Nileshkumar Mirani, Eller College of Management
  • Neeraj Shiledar, Eller College of Management
  • Ny'Kol Turner, R Ken Coit College of Pharmacy
  • Noor Shaheen, College of Engineering, College of Science
  • Ray Lee, Eller College of Management
  • Ritul Banerjee, College of Science
  • Gorantla Sai Laasya, iSchool
  • Sameeka Maroli, College of Science
  • Sarthak Hajirnis, College of Science
  • Sara Sheikhlary, College of Engineering, R Ken Coit College of Pharmacy
  • Varun Soni, iSchool
  • Vyshnavi Vanamala, Eller College of Management

Learn more about these remarkable students here. Their stories embody entrepreneurial spirit and underscore the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of the University of Arizona community.   Behind each student startup concept is a journey of challenges, successes, and lessons to learn.  These students are prepared to navigate that journey with resilience and determination. As we celebrate their journeys, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurial mindset.