A loyalty app working with small businesses in Brazil. A sustainable apparel brand finding new uses for deadstock material. A platform applying machine learning to revolutionize how sports highlights are made.
Ventures as varied as these, seeking to address different problems around the world and applying unique approaches, need an accelerator experience that will meet them where they are, especially in a remote learning and working environment.
This summer, 15 Babson College undergraduate and graduate teams will develop their ventures and their entrepreneurial leadership skills in Summer Catalyst, the accelerator program produced by The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship.
Accelerating Ventures Online
Based on the award-winning Summer Venture Program, the Summer Catalyst program debuted online last summer in response to the pandemic. To leverage the opportunities of an online program, the Blank Center team has since further adapted the program, evolving content, adding new elements, and shifting some parts to asynchronous learning.
This year’s Summer Catalyst program will be directed by David Chang, an experienced angel investor and entrepreneur. Most recently, he was the CEO of Gradifi, which was acquired by E*TRADE, and he served as the director of the Summer Venture Program in 2017 and 2018.
“In a short 10 weeks, Summer Catalyst builds founders’ entrepreneurial leadership skills, greatly accelerates their ventures, and forges connections among peers and with industry influencers,” Chang said. “The impact of the program is dramatic and lasts a lifetime for these promising entrepreneurs.”
Both the Summer Catalyst and the Summer Venture Program provide opportunities to develop skills and knowledge through one-one-one advising, access to industry experts and entrepreneurs, and interactive workshops.
Chang is joined by Beth Goldstein, a Babson adjunct lecturer of entrepreneurship and marketing consultant; Bob Stringer, an angel investor, leadership coach, and author; and Monica Wheat, executive director and co-founder of Venture Catalysts, an ecosystem development group supporting entrepreneurs with programming, funding, strategy, and business development. Goldstein, Stringer, and Wheat will work one on one with the venture teams as advisors throughout the 10-week program.
Meet the 2021 Ventures
The 2021 Summer Catalyst venture teams span industries from fintech to food and beverage, work in international ecosystems as diverse from each other as Mexico and India, and draw from Babson undergraduate, MBA, MSEL, and MSAEL programs.
The cohort includes a 2021 B.E.T.A. Challenge winner, a Weissman Foundry scout, a team from F.W. Olin College of Engineering, a Lewis Institute fellow, the president of Babson CODE, many members of Babson’s remarkable graduating Class of 2021, and more. The ventures are:
- Diva Wallet — Cynthia Magaletta MS’23, Natalia Parker MS’23, Judithe Registre MS’23, and Satta Wahab MS’23
- Ele Exchange — Neha Aggarwal MBA’21, Rohan Bahri MBA’22, and Siddharth Siddharth MBA’22
- Fro the App — Trae James ’23, Mikea Bodden ’23, and Gibson Njine ’24
- High Time Foods — Aakash Shah MBA’21 and Vandana Jain
- LEAF Systems — Jonathan Kelley Olin ’22
- Nurturer’Studio — Shashwat Agarwal ’22, Avni Dixit, and Sarita Sanghai
- pigEbank — Kate Kohl MS’21 and Matt Kowalewski MS’21
- RST — Nathalya Mamane MBA’21 and Olivia Mamane
- SanitAid — Juan Felipe Pereira ’22 and Hans Baumgartner ’22
- SOLO — Esther Greene MBA’21 and Padraig Duna MBA’21
- Spoten — Ivan Sene MBA’21, Mohammed Alnaimi MBA’21, Joao Alves MS’20, Leonardo Kim ’20, Thiago Ferreira, Fernando Lucena, and Danilo Sene
- Sustainably Mauve — Maeve Rabbitt MS’21, Nadianita Audiantary MS’21, Sarah Katz MS’21, and Miguel Ramirez MS’21
- Verve Energy — Carlo Demesa ’23
- Wright One — Justin McAfee MBA’21, Nikhil Mohan MBA’21, and Lance Andrus
- XHighlight — Alvie Stoddard ’21