Brown CS News

Brown CS Earns Four Honors, Including First And Second Place, At The Brown Venture Prize Entrepreneurship Competition

Click the links that follow for more news about Denizalp Goktas, Amy Greenwald, prior Brown CS winners of the Venture Prize, and other recent accomplishments by our faculty, students, and alums.

Now in its seventh year, the Brown Venture Prize, given by Brown University’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, awards a total of $50,000 to empower the most advanced entrepreneurial ventures by Brown students. It’s intended to help them accelerate and scale their innovations through funding, critical mentorship, and access to leaders in the Brown entrepreneurial community and beyond. This year, four of the eight honorees, including the first place and second place winners, were teams that included Brown CS students, faculty, or alums.


Simulacrum (created by Brown CS PhD student Denizalp (Deni) Goktas, faculty member Amy Greenwald, and collaborator Sadie Zhao of Harvard University) was the first place winner, earning a prize of $25,000. It’s an AI software venture that allows enterprises and institutions to make effective operational decisions in complex markets by providing them with behavioral market models learned from data to accurately predict future economic trends, even under changing market conditions. 

The technology powering Simulacrum’s product was developed as part of Deni’s PhD research. Deni says that Simulacrum is a first step towards accomplishing his dream of building large-scale simulations of societal interactions to improve decision making. “In recent years, AI researchers have made great progress building technologies that improve decision making,” he says, adding, “but AI models still perform poorly when it comes to reasoning about how humans behave, significantly limiting their use in practice. My research and the technology behind Simulacrum provide the necessary tools to overcome these limitations by building AI-powered simulations of human behavior.”


Sift (created by Brown CS student Jialiang Zhou, Brown CS and Economics student David Chu, and collaborator Annabelle Hutchinson of Harvard University) was the second place winner, earning a prize of $15,000. It’s a free Chrome extension that allows users to easily find secondhand deals for a wide range of products, saving them an average of 40%.


GuidedYou (created by Brown University student Renny Jiang and Brown CS alum Matan Gans) was one of eight top finalists. It’s a tool that helps teachers identify and deal with AI plagiarism. With concise student activity reports, GuidedYou can help users keep track of online submissions without worrying about restructuring an entire curriculum or grading messy handwriting.


RecoPT (created by Brown University student Alex Cooper-Hohn, Brown CS alum Greyson Gerhard-Young, and Doctor of Physical Therapy Joseph Kelly) was also one of eight top finalists. It’s a fully integrated electronic medical record for physical therapists with speech-to-text AI notes, billing, scheduling, and treatment plans.

The winners above join Brown CS student Aric Zhuang and teammate Caitlin Pintavorn, who earned second place for the Venture Prize with their startup, CASTYR, in 2021. For a full list of this year’s honorees, click here.

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communications Manager Jesse C. Polhemus.