Babson Graduate Team Wins Somerville Social Impact Competition 

A team of Babson graduate students came out on top in a social impact competition in partnership with the City of Somerville and the Brazilian Community Heritage Foundation. Antar Jimenez ’22, MSBA’24, Geeth Devara MSBA’24, and Mahek Sandhu MSF’24 won first place in the Somerville SME Accelerator Program, beating out competitors from 11 universities from around the world, including Yale, UCLA, Hult International Business School, and Suffolk University.  

Each participating team provided solutions and created new offering ideas for a local Somerville business. The Babson team was paired with Yoshi’s, a local dining establishment in Somerville serving Japanese and Korean cuisine. 

The team of Babson Master of Science graduates earned the top spot for best solution to fix core, and best solution to grow more: 

  • Fix Core: Showcased the most scalable, user-friendly, and cost-effective technologies to enhance current business operations for the business throughout the program 
  • Grow More: Prepared the most actionable, high-impact, and cost-effective go-to-market action plans for the business throughout the program 

The competition, funded by the American Rescue Plan and powered by the IXL Center, aimed to strengthen underrepresented businesses in Somerville and revitalize plans for neighborhoods Magoun Square and Winter Hill. 

Brought together by a common interest in applying their skills in a real-world business context, the winning Babson team leveraged their entrepreneurial thinking skills and their extensive experience with real-world learning at Babson to earn first place. 

“The education we received was instrumental in equipping us with the necessary technical and soft skills to analyze business problems, develop unique strategic solutions, and work effectively under competitive conditions,” Sandhu said. 

As a result, the group provided Yoshi’s with several attainable strategies and solutions, including a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and the implementation of new operational tools, including an advanced reservation system and a new point-of-sale system to streamline restaurant operations. Their strategies were designed to enhance Yoshi’s customer service, expand their customer base, and ensure sustainable growth in the future. 

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