Summer Venture Showcase Concludes 10-Week Boston Accelerator

Meagan Priest MS'19 and Oscar Flores MS'19 presenting Dottie

According to Arist, learning should be as simple as one text a day.

And Zapp! wants to change the way we look at coins. Pun intended.

What do these startups, and others like Hoamsy and Yad, have in common?

They just concluded a renowned summer accelerator program with Babson’s Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship.

Summer Venture Showcase

Last year, the Blank Center worked with more than 320 entrepreneurs who represent 275 businesses, awarded them with over $120,000 in funding, and held more than 100 resourceful and engaging events.

Continuing with this momentum, the Blank Center recently hosted its Summer Venture Showcase—a signature event at which student startups present their progress after a highly competitive, and intense, 10-week accelerator Summer Venture Program (SVP).

In its 11th iteration, the program welcomed 13 startups, including 26 full-time entrepreneurs. Once again, participants enjoyed the benefits of having the program in Boston—a move that was made three years ago to ensure students were embedded in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem all summer long.

“These entrepreneurs worked incredibly hard, building out their products, talking with customers, and developing their go-to-market strategies,” said Debi Kleiman, executive director of the Blank Center. “The Showcase event is the culmination of all this hard work and their chance to tell their stories of what they accomplished and what they will do next.”

At the kickoff of the event, Kleiman thanked a handful of sponsors, including many alumni and their businesses: Anthony R. Chiasson ’95, Kevin A. Colleran ’03, H’15, the Molson Family Foundation (Geoffrey Molson MBA’96), ACE & Company (Adam Said ’04 and Sherif El-Halwagy ’06), and Chicken & Rice Guys (Ian So ’08 and Jaemin Lee ’08), as well as Citizens Bank, Goodwin, and WeWork.

Unique to sponsorships this year were: the SVP Fellows Program, which, thanks to ACE & Company, allowed four entrepreneurs to be relieved of the stresses of living expenses during the program; a total of 350 meals donated by Chicken & Rice Guys; and dedicated office space at a sought-after WeWork Boston location.

SVP teams also spent many days working out of the unique, first-floor coworking space at Babson Boston.

At the Showcase, Babson’s new director of SVP and founding general partner of Sherbrooke Capital LLC, Bob Stringer, introduced the startups and reminded us of the hard work and passion that goes in to being an entrepreneur.

“Keep in mind the journey that these Babson entrepreneurs have made,” said Stringer. “This is a diverse group of impressive, enthusiastic young professionals who are about to share with you their visions for solving thorny problems and make a dent in the universe in the process.”

Alumnus, serial entrepreneur, and investor Matt Coffin ’90 also joined the event for a fireside chat. There, he advised entrepreneurs on the one characteristic he sees as the most crucial to securing investment: grit.

“I’m looking for a level of grit and determination,” he said. “In the face of tough odds.”

Posted in Community, Entrepreneurial Leadership

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