Slater Technology Fund and Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship Announce the 2019 Brown Venture Founders

The Slater Technology Fund, Rhode Island’s oldest and most active seed-stage investment fund, and the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, the developer and coordinator of programs and activities relating to entrepreneurship across Brown University, today announced that Kevin Eve ’18, co-founder of Uproot andRishabh Singh ‘17, the founder of Gradly, have been named the 2019 Brown Venture Founders.

Now in its second year, the Brown Venture Founders is an award designed to empower the most advanced entrepreneurial ventures by recent Brown graduates and young alumni entrepreneurs. A partnership between the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship and the Slater Technology Fund, the initiative offers Brown startup founders grants of up to $50,000, dedicated mentorship, co-working space for their ventures, and other resources for growing their companies in Rhode Island. The award is part of Brown University’s strategic action plan that calls for the University, in collaboration with community leaders and experts, to maximize its impact on innovation, entrepreneurship and job growth. The Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, along with the Slater Technology Fund are strategic partners in this effort.

Eve co-founded Uproot to make healthy, sustainable plant-based milks accessible to everyone. Its first products allow cafeterias to efficiently serve a variety of plant-based milks from a single unit for the first time. The Brown Venture Founders resource will be instrumental in allowing Uproot to transition from a student venture idea into a sustainable startup.

“The Brown Venture Founder Prize has given me the support and confidence to launch Uproot in Rhode Island,” said Eve. “The backing has been crucial as we scale production, build a team and seek investment. Launching an early-stage venture has been an incredibly challenging and exciting experience. I am grateful to have the support of Brown University and the Slater Technology Fund.”

Gradly, a software concierge that assists students moving to the U.S., was founded to solve the complications that millions of other international students experience when studying abroad. In effect, Gradly digitizes the immigration and relocation process by working with banks, insurance companies, real estate firms and others so that their users don’t have to. The company was named one of RI Inno’s Fifty on Fire innovation award winners in 2019.

“The significance of Brown and the Nelson Center in my journey cannot be overstated,” said Singh. “As I work to expand Gradly, I am excited to continue to be a part of the Rhode Island tech ecosystem which, in my experience, has time and again proven to be uniquely positioned to support early-stage companies and emerging founders like me.”

“Students in our universities will solve the great problems of our time – environmental, medical, societal,” said Thorne Sparkman, managing director of the Slater Fund. “Through the Nelson Center, Brown University is at the forefront of preparing its students for these challenges with entrepreneurship courses, programs, and venture support resources. We are proud to work alongside the university to support its efforts, and to invest in the next generation of Rhode Island’s entrepreneurial leaders emerging from Brown.”

About Slater Technology Fund

The Slater Technology Fund is an evergreen not-for-profit seed fund dedicated to supporting new venture development in Rhode Island. More than two decades ago, Slater launched a platform for seed-stage investing in Rhode Island; today, the organization remains the most active seed-stage investor in the state. Slater has invested in hundreds of technology ventures in the region, achieving multiple exits while also generating economic impact returns in the form of high-wage jobs.  For more information, visit

About Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship

The Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship is the central hub for entrepreneurship at Brown, designed to foster the creation of solutions with impact. It provides students, faculty, staff, and alumni with a strong academic grounding in the process of entrepreneurship, coupled with rigorous programming and robust venture support. For more information please visit:

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Laura Nelson
SVM Public Relations