Babson Entrepreneurs Sweep Boston Titles

Deborah Cohen

Boston competitions – BostInno’s 50 On Fire and 25 Under 25, the Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and the MassChallenge Boston Top 20 finalists cohort – have honored many Babson student and alumni entrepreneurs this fall.

Under 25

Deborah Cohen ’19, founder and CEO of Yad, and Ryan Laverty ’20, co-founder and COO of Arist, are leading the Boston pack, earning spots on BostInno’s 25 Under 25.

At the same time Cohen is also a finalist in this year’s MassChallenge Boston cohort.

Yad is a social enterprise that aims to empower people with disabilities by giving them a vehicle to express themselves through art and to profit from their work. It manufactures unique home decor products featuring artwork created by people with intellectual disabilities. “Artwork, for me, it brings life,” Cohen told BostInno. “It’s a great medium for people to express themselves.” Yad is also winner of the 2019 Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (B.E.T.A.) undergraduate challenge.

BostInno shares that Laverty, in his junior year at Babson, and his team of co-founders, Michael Ioffe ’21, Maxine Anderson ’22, and Joe Passanante, “stumbled upon research that proved text messages are an effective learning method. Now a senior, Laverty runs Arist, a successful text message learning service that partners with companies to create corporate learning programs.”

Arist participated in The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship’s 2019 Summer Venture Program, and Laverty recently pitched Arist at the Babson ePitch: Second Century Challenge, where only three finalists earned the chance to win personal investment and $100,000 in funding.

On Fire

This fall, BostInno additionally honored five Babson startups with recognition on its 2019 50 On Fire list of “the 50 people and companies that are heating up Boston’s ecosystem.” They include Ambi, Examity, Forefront, Unruly Studios, and Wanderful.

Ambi, co-founded by Soham Khaitan ’16 and Saad El Yamani ‘16, is a learner engagement platform with $6.4 million in funding, designed for students first and creating a more engaged, involved, and immersive learning experience for everyone.

Examity, led by CEO and founder Michael London ’92, is the world leader in learning validation and online proctoring, and has raised $121 million in funding.

Forefront, co-founded by Josuel Plasencia ’17 and Yulkendy Valdez ’17, is a digital platform to learn about a new culture. It is a recipient of the $10,000 B.E.T.A. Challenge Social Impact Award, announced at this year’s B.E.T.A. Challenge finale.

Unruly Studios, founded by Bryanne Leeming MBA’16, empowers students to learn critical STEM skills through active, social, recess-style play. It has raised $1.8 million and was a finalist in BostInno’s 2019 Tech Madness competition. Leeming is one of the Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees.

Beth Santos, an alumna of Babson’s Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab®, is founder and CEO of Wanderful, the world’s homesharing network and travel community for women. Wanderful is the creator of the annual Women in Travel Summit, a leading B2B event for 500 female travel influencers and industry members, now in its fifth year, and is also creator of Wanderfest, an annual retreat to celebrate global connectedness and sisterhood.

Under 40

Bryanne Leeming MBA’16 and Unruly Studios join John Goscha ’06 and Rich Palmer MBA’16 on Boston Business Journal’s 2019 40 Under 40 list – “an impressive group of burgeoning leaders making an impact on Massachusetts’ industries.”

John Goscha is founder and chairman of Lucidity Lights, which develops home lighting systems, intended to create high-quality and energy-efficient bulbs.

Rich Palmer is co-founder and CTO of Gravyty, the first and leading artificial intelligence company focused solely on social good.

Posted in Community, Entrepreneurial Leadership

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