Babson Boasts Four on BostInno’s 25 Under 25 List
Whether they appeared on a nationally syndicated talk show, cranked out viral videos of junk removal, collected honors from the Massachusetts Asian American & Pacific Islanders Commission (AAPIC), or boosted coverage of Babson startups—these young Babson leaders have made quite an impression.
BostInno named the three Babson students and one alumna to its high-profile, annual 25 Under 25 list. The list recognized Kirk McKinney Jr. ‘26, co-founder of the junk removal service Junk Teens; Jake Ross ‘24, founder of Build You Marketing; Shaleen Sheth ‘20, co-founder of Women Who Win, a site created to amplify the voices of women and minority communities; and Dylan Zajac ‘25, founder of Computers 4 People, a nonprofit that repairs old computers and gives them to organizations and people in under-resourced communities.
“The honorees for BostInno’s 25 Under 25 never get older, but it seems they get more impressive each year,” BostInno wrote before detailing their accomplishments. Members of the Babson community who made the list shared their reactions, discussed their accomplishments, and opened up about what’s next.
Kirk McKinney Jr. ‘26
McKinney Jr. ‘26, co-founder of Junk Teens, started the service with his brother, Jacob, when they were in high school. Both are on BostInno’s list.
McKinney and his brother have steadily built the business, which started in 2021, and it now has two dump trucks, a warehouse in Norwood, and more than 150,000 followers on TikTok. He pointed to a July segment on WBZ CBS News as one of his biggest milestones this year. McKinney kept his thoughts on the future brief.
“The journey is the destination,” McKinney said. However, McKinney has said he’ll continue to employ teens, and he’s considering franchising Junk Teens in the future. He also thanked a fellow Babson student who made BostInno‘s 25 Under 25, Ross, for helping to market Junk Teens.
Jake Ross ‘24
The founder of Build You Marketing tapped Babson‘s endless well of startups for his marketing firm, which currently represents 14 Babson student startups and counting.
“I am humbled to have been part of this list with 24 other impressive young innovators in Boston. My team deserves the real shoutout though,” Ross said. “I could not do any of this without Madison Imoto, Marie-Elena Gerety ‘24, Megan Frongillo, Sarah Camara, and Chris Burroughs.
“Babson has also been instrumental in this success,” he added. “Resources such as my fellow residents in eTower and the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship have really fueled this rapid growth. The Blank team has helped me hone my pitch and learn how to tell my story, which is so valuable. I‘m really thankful for that.”
He also thanked McKinney, one of his early successes, adding that he’s thankful for the Babson community.
“There is something intangibly special about working with a Babson student-founded business,” Ross said. “You really feel like you‘re in it with them and can relate to their grind and passion. How could you not want to be successful with them?”
Shaleen Sheth ‘20
Shaleen Sheth ‘20 said Women Who Win was able to share stories more than 100 stories from women across the world this year.
Sheth works to ensure that women of all races, cultures, and backgrounds are reflected and heard through Women Who Win and other platforms. The Massachusetts AAPIC also honored Sheth as one of their Unsung Heroes during its 15th annual Unity Dinner held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. She appeared on a WCVB Channel 5 News panel to discuss her work in May.
“I learned the powerful impact that intercultural dialogue and fostering global communities can have both in business and our society through my time at Babson, where my classmates came from all over the world,” Sheth said.
“This is something I wanted to continue with the work I do at Women Who Win and other NGOs. To date, we have featured over 500 original stories of women around the world and grown our online community, which now has over 50,000 members across platforms.”
“Going into 2024, I hope to have a role in bringing more diverse representation in the media, and in empowering women around the world. We have a book coming out early next year which will be a collection of 100 of our inspiring stories.”
Dylan Zajac ‘25
The second-year undergraduate founded the non-profit Computers 4 People as a teenager, and recently worked with Babson to rehabilitate and donate some of College’s computers.
“Computers 4 People has seen momentous progress in 2023,” Zajac said. “This year, we have donated 1,200 computers, taught 100-plus computer classes, and enabled access to the internet for hundreds.”
Zajac, who won Babson’s B.E.T.A. Challenge earlier this year, also made the national spotlight, appearing on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” to talk about his company. Computers 4 People originated when Zajac was still in high school and had a hobby of refurbishing old computers.
“The spotlight is a testament to the importance of our work,” Zajac said. “The digital divide and mass pollution of electronic waste will only widen if there aren’t innovative systems in place designed to positively impact society.
“With the support of new corporate computer donors, we can continue making a difference.”
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