Two Babson Ventures Named Most Disruptive MBA Startups

Two Babson-born businesses—one a soothing solution for anxious pets, and the other a platform pairing prospective college students with those already on campus—were named to Poets & Quants’ list of Most Disruptive MBA Startups of 2023.

The ventures—PetPax Co., co-founded by Nathan S.K. Ruff MBA’23 and Anthony L. Gatti MBA’24; and TruLeague, founded by Lakshya Daga MBA’23—were included among the 42 MBA ventures because they have “the greatest potential for lasting beyond business school,” wrote Poets & Quants. Babson is one of nine institutions with multiple startups named to the list, which features ventures from students attending 32 graduate schools.

Ruff and Gatti created PetPax Co., a health and wellness company for pets that offers a quick and effective calming solution for dogs. ZenMelts were created using an oral thin film technology, Ruff said, meaning the film is easy to administer and has a higher absorption rate.

Ruff and Gatti, who won the 2023 Babson Acceleration Club’s pitch competition and completed Babson’s Summer Venture Program, also cited Paul T. Babson Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Andrew Corbett as someone who inspired the team and triggered the use of strips for PetPax Co.

“The experience provided was invaluable, giving Anthony and I direction and support, something we had not had access to until then,” Ruff told Poets & Quants about Babson and the Summer Venture Program in particular.

Daga created TruLeague after his own experience seeking opinions and advice from current college students. The software platform he created serves as a bridge between prospective students and the college student body. School administrators are also key stakeholders on the platform.

“The value we saw in the power of student-to-student interactions was immense,” Daga told Poets & Quants. He cited Babson Professors Jay Rao and Andrew Zacharakis, who is also the John H. Muller, Jr. Chair in Entrepreneurship as mentors. Plugging in to Babson’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem through the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad and the Summer Venture Program also helped bring TruLeague to fruition, Daga said.

“The skills and experiences I gained throughout Babson’s program have been immeasurably valuable in my journey to build TruLeague. What stands out the most are the soft skills I honed during my time in the program,” he told Poets & Quants.

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