Babson Miami MBA Candidates to Compete at eMerge Americas

Overview of a reception lit in purple

The Babson Blended Learning MBA Miami program will be well represented in its backyard at eMerge Americas, the largest tech and entrepreneurial conference in Miami.

Six Babson Miami MBA students representing four ventures, alongside two other Babson-founded companies, will compete April 20-21 in the Startup Showcase x Showdown, an international startup competition awarding more than $420,000 in investments and prizes.

The Babson students and alumnus participating at eMerge include:

  • Jacques Benchimol MBA’23 of LUVLY*U, a 3D scanning app for bra-retailers to reduce returns by bringing fitting rooms to the comfort of women’s homes
  • Andres Sarasua MBA’23 of BILU, an app that allows you to search, book, order, and pay at restaurants, clubs, and other entertainment establishments
  • Paola Tabachnik MBA’23 of Passwork, a B2B membership that provides access to more than 300 co-working spaces in Mexico
  • Oscar Vargas Sanchez MBA’23, Sabrina Fernandez Marino MBA’23, and Rodrigo Custodio MBA’23, all of Cemaphoro, an online community that helps facilitate people’s purchases of electric vehicles by blending traditional lending with crowdfunding
  • Mati Amin MSF’20 of Lit, an input-based, language-acquisition tool for students and teachers
  • Swarna Shiv ’23 of Unsmudgeable, a permanent anti-smudge eyewear lens coating applied for a lifetime of clear vision

Last year, two Babson alumni were part of the winning team at the Startup Showcase x Showdown. Chief revenue officer Dexter Bachelder ’93 and marketing specialist Gisela Hackmann ’12 were part of Togal.AI, an artificial intelligence construction company, which won the grand prize.

The Babson students and alumnus will arrive at the Miami Beach Convention Center not only to pitch their venture to renowned judges but also to network and learn from some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and changemakers at eMerge Americas, including political leaders Daniella Levine Cava and Francis Suarez, gender economist Katica Roy, and keynote speaker and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.

Three of the Babson Miami students shared their perspectives on what this opportunity means for them and how Babson helped them prepare for the event.

How important is it to have an event like eMerge to accelerate and promote your venture?

Benchimol: “An event like this is the best opportunity I could have asked for. From the exposure benefits to the networking opportunities and the mentorship sessions, everything about this program made me feel even prouder to be at Babson, and I am so grateful for being lucky enough to be a part of such a unique community.”

Tabachnik: “I’ve been to Proptech events, but nothing like this. I’m very excited to be participating in a pitch competition. This kind of event gets you prepared for what you are going to do as a founder all the time—sometimes you only have 10 seconds to get someone’s attention. This experience helps you synthesize and sell a compelling story and showcase opportunity.”

Vargas Sanchez: “We have never taken part in an event like this before. We consider this a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to showcase our startup to a live audience, as well as potential customers and investors. It arrives just in time for Babson’s two-year master’s program to end, enabling us to put an excellent cap on all that we’ve learned.”

“From the exposure benefits to the networking opportunities and the mentorship sessions, everything about this program made me feel even prouder to be at Babson.”
Jacques Benchimol MBA’23 of LUVLY*U

How has Babson’s MBA program in Miami prepared you for eMerge, and your future overall?

Benchimol: “The Babson MBA has prepared me thanks to the valuable classes we have been taking, such as finance, accounting, strategy, and leadership. Also, our final deliverable for the MBA, our capstone project, is very beneficial because it gives you the opportunity to think about the market research and market validation of the ideas you want to launch, and it gives you the chance to practice presenting in front of the cohort, as well as in front of a jury as part of the final presentation. Gustavo (Trindade MBA’17, director of Babson College Miami) truly loves what he does; he is always supportive and willing to give you a push and help you go to the next step.”

Tabachnik: “We are doing our capstone project parallel to eMerge, so we have been perfecting our pitches and our projects. Overall, I think this is an amazing way to finish our MBA program and have us transform our knowledge from our classes to our personal projects.”

Vargas Sanchez: “It has not only provided us with excellent knowledge and resources for future ventures, but it has also given us a sense of belonging and a powerful network of amazing individuals that, to us, are far more valuable than anything else.”

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