When Babson, and Business, Run in the Family

The Tufankjian family

Entrepreneurship runs fluently throughout the Tufankjian household.

The grandson and son of owners of a service station and Oldsmobile franchise, Gregory Tufankjian ’88 also gained experience in the auto industry before he helped establish Tufankjian Auto Group, which runs three car dealerships across the Massachusetts South Shore.

Immersed in their father’s business at a young age, Tufankjian’s two sons, Matthew ’21 and Michael ’23, founded their own companies in high school and are continuing to pursue a business career at Babson, just like their father.

“We explored a lot of different options with both of them,” Gregory Tufankjian said. “The program that Babson has for people that are entrepreneurially minded seems unmatched in the industry today.”

An Entrepreneurial Family

“Growing up in that environment was really thought-provoking and inspiring,” Matthew Tufankjian said. “Being entrepreneurs in high school, there was really no better choice than Babson; to keep it in the family was a bonus.”

“Being entrepreneurs in high school, there was really no better choice than Babson; to keep it in the family was a bonus.”

Matthew Tufankjian, '21

As a sophomore in high school, Matthew Tufankjian founded Sky Vision Marketing, an aerial photography service, which primarily serves real estate and advertising agencies. He’s continued to operate the business while learning as a presidential scholar through his first two years at Babson.

Michael Tufankjian also founded his own business while in high school. At License Plate Designs, he creates artwork through recycled license plate letters and numbers before selling the pieces to boutiques and home décor stores. He will attend Babson starting in the fall.

“Being around campus throughout my whole life, it’s felt like it’s home to me,” Michael Tufankjian said.

Matthew Tufankjian said it was his father’s college education that inspired the brothers to establish their own businesses.

“Seeing him do all of this, wondering where he got it all from, it’s Babson,” he said. “We want to be as prepared as he was to start our own business.”

“Developing that sense of responsibility is a priceless trait that can carry forward to all aspects of their lives,” Gregory Tufankjian said. “The communication, scheduling, billing, meeting the needs of expectations of clients, is something that is a skill set that can be transferred to any type of industry.”

Prepared for Any Opportunity

Ian Lapp, dean of the Undergraduate School, taught Matthew as a student in his first-year seminar and said he was impressed with his entrepreneurial mindset from day one.

“His work ethic is second to none, and his knack for seeing a business opportunity when others do not is rare,” Lapp said. “He comes from a great Babson family, but his love for Babson is unique unto himself.”

Despite having already accomplished what many collegiate entrepreneurs strive for, Matthew Tufankjian hopes to keep his options open in the future.

“I don’t want to lock myself down for anything at such a young age,” he said. “Any opportunity that comes my way, I want to be prepared for it.”

“That exactly what Babson enables me to do. I’m getting the education that it takes to be a leader, someone that’s able to run their own company.”

Posted in Campus & Community, Entrepreneurs of All Kinds

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