Sarah Pomeranz and the Sulis team piloted their water purification system in India.

A student entrepreneur, and a student of entrepreneurship

Stories of resilience, resourcefulness & responsibility

Sarah Pomeranz ('20, RBS/HC/DRC) is majoring in Leadership & Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship and a minor in social justice. Her academic interests and entrepreneurial drive led her to co-found Sulis, a start-up addressing clean water scarcity with their innovative water sterilization technology, alongside team members Anurag Modak ('20, SAS/HC), Ari Mendelow ('18, SOE), and Yuki Osumi ('20, SAS/HC).

“As both a student entrepreneur and a student of entrepreneurship, I have come to understand that to fully embody entrepreneurship is to strive to leave the world better than you found it and to empower those around you to do the same,” Pomeranz said. “As a female entrepreneur, I personally represented Sulis in The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards – a premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. I was selected as the New Jersey regional champion and continued to the national competition where I had the distinct honor to compete as one of the Top 25 U.S. Student Entrepreneurs in America.”

Sulis won the Hult Prize at Rutgers Competition in 2017 and then the Boston regional competition in 2018. That qualified them to attend the Hult Prize 2018 accelerator program in London.


Team Sulis won the Hult Prize Challenge, Boston Regional
Members of team Sulis from left to right: Anurag Modak, Yuki Osumi, Sarah Pomeranz and Ari Mendelow; and Sophia Zhou, campus director of the Hult Prize at Rutgers.

“The fact that Sulis finished the accelerator program in London as the seventh best idea out of the 42 teams was affirming of our technology,” said Pomeranz.  “But more than anything else, our ability to raise $40,000 in order to fund the pilot program in Mumbai and Gujarat, India demonstrated that we possessed the grit necessary to turn this aspirational business concept into a tangible product that saves lives.”  Pomeranz exemplifies the qualities that have become a Rutgers Business School brand: resilient, resourceful and responsible.

“One of our main takeaways from the Hult Accelerator was the importance of timing. Especially when it comes to clean-tech and hardware solutions it can be tempting to allow marketing and business strategy to get ahead of the technical progress of the device,” Pomeranz said. “Making sure that the product we bring to market is of the utmost quality standards has to be our number one priority, which means that in the short term our focus is on research and moving away from my area of focuses: business development, operations, and sales.”  

Pomeranz applies what she learned from the Hult experience to coach this year’s teams who are competing in the Hult Prize Challenge and to her current entrepreneurial projects in the software space. She is currently working at a startup in New Brunswick based around using artificial intelligence to improve auto dealerships' customer service capabilities and is in the early stages of ideating another start-up in blockchain.

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