Patch Wins the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition

Patch, BX Coding’s programming platform for middle school students, won $12,000 and first place in the Social Impact track of the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition this month. Hosted annually by Tufts University’s Derby Entrepreneurship Center, the $100k New Ventures Competition is Tufts’ flagship venture competition.

Patch aims to support young computer science students by giving them more agency and creative freedom as they learn text-based programming for the first time. By leveraging students’ experience with block-based programming, Patch creates a manageable and engaging introduction to text-based programming. To maximize accessibility, Patch is free and open-source. Learn more about Patch here.

To reach the competition’s finals in the Social Impact track, the Patch team of Duncan Johnson, Elliot Roe, and Ava Wandersleben first submitted a written application to join the competition and then Duncan, a second-year student at Tufts, gave a 10-minute presentation at the semi-finals on March 15th. Of the ten semi-finalist teams in each track, five teams moved onto the finals, including Patch. During the finals on April 5th, Duncan pitched to a panel of judges nationally-renowned in the social impact space, who awarded Patch first place. 

Duncan presenting at the finals of the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition

The funding and coaching support from Tufts University as part of the $100k New Ventures Competition furthers the strong connection between Patch and Tufts. In the summer of 2023, Duncan led a research project advised by Tufts professor Dr. Ethan Danahy of the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, where Duncan built and tested a creativity-focused middle-school curriculum for Patch. 

The BX Coding team will use the prize money to improve Patch prior to in-school pilot programs of Patch planned for fall 2024. Educators interested in bringing Patch to their students are encouraged to email for more information.

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