Student Led Startups Funded Fall 2022

The Moral Family Fund for Innovation Award, created by WSU alumni Bryce and Mandy Morals, provides innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders seed money to get their startups off the ground.

The award dispersed fall of 2022 went to two student led ventures.


Manoj Krishnamaraja against a grey background.

Manoj Krishnamaraja 


While studying for his Master’s in Business Administration, Manoj pursued his startup: Taram.

Manoj’s idea for Taram came as he was pursuing a different business venture and experienced problems with shipping items from abroad. “It was then that I realized that there were inefficiencies in trade finance for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), a lack of secure cross border transactions, and a lack of fluidity in cross border trade.” Through his startup Taram, Manoj intends to provide SMEs with a platform that facilitates easier, cheaper, and more secure international trade.

With the awarded funds, Manoj aims to “…fine tune the minimum viable product…” and pursue patents. “The award acts as a positive affirmation that I and the startup are going in the right direction.”

Mathew Tucker posed in front of a blackboard filled with equations.

Mathew Tucker

Piano Obscura

Amid striving to obtain his master’s in applied mathematics, Mathew Tucker found inspiration to make the Piano Obscura, an “…application that allows musicians to play their instruments using image recognition.”

The path to creating the Piano Obscura was not straight forward. Inspiration for the application came originally from a different project in which he “…turned a living bamboo plant into an electronic musical instrument.” From there, the project evolved into “…a program that can turn any environment into a piano…” With the suggestion that the program could have therapeutic applications, Tucker pivoted once more and began to consider how the program might be used to benefit people with disabilities or neurodegenerative diseases, like his grandmother. 

To bring Piano Obscura to Market, Mathew plans to use the fund to “…start the process of hiring the help needed to build the app; and, in doing so, I can start building the team needed to make my med-tech startup successful.”

The people involved in these ventures addressed very different market pains, and we look forward to seeing where their venture goes moving forward!