October 19-21, 2012 was Family and Friends weekend at Babson College. Alumni and friends and family of current students met on-campus to celebrate this weekend and relive their Babson days. As part of the celebration two alumni, Jeff Brown’86 and Alberto Perlman’98, were inducted into the prestigious Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame for their incredible achievements in the field of entrepreneurship.

The evening was kick started by a welcome speech by President Len Schlesinger who emphatically announced that “Entrepreneurship is a six letter word” (hint: Babson is a six letter word too!). His welcome speech was warm and welcoming and introduced Jeff and Alberto to the audience.

Even though the main attractions of the evening were Jeff and Alberto, there were 6 other Rising Stars who were honored for the incredible starts they had made in the field of entrepreneurship. All less than 30 years old had companies selling innovative products and growing at a very fast pace. They exhibited their businesses and products before the start of the event and seeing their strong beliefs in their businesses, one could not help but imagine them being inducted into the Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame soon.

After honoring the Rising Stars, it was the turn of Jeff Brown, the honoree to the hall of fame, to talk about his experiences and how he got where he is today. Jeff runs a supermarket business, Brown Super Stores Inc., which revolutionized the sector by selling fresh products. He has been so successful that he was invited to the White House by President Obama to help re-create his business model throughout the states. Right now he runs 10 Super Stores and plans to expand. Jeff became an entrepreneur when he was still a teenager and was actively involved in his family business by the time he came to Babson. He credits Babson College fully for his success as an entrepreneur. He wouldn’t have been as successful as he is right now if he had not attended Babson College. He gained critical skills like writing business models which impressed every investor, his ability to think entrepreneurially and how to run a small business effectively, which he could not possibly have learnt at any other school. It was really exciting to hear about his experiences and how he became who he is now.

After Jeff, Alberto Perlman, the second honoree, was up next but due to the birth of his third child he could not make it to the event so interacted with us through video. Alberto runs a fitness business called Zumba Fitness LLC. Zumba is one of the most upcoming fitness businesses and has been used and recommended by numerous celebrities. It’s already a well-established brand in the fitness industry and according to analysts, is only touching upon the tip of the iceberg right now. Alberto talked about how his mother and Babson College played an important role in him becoming an entrepreneur. He especially mentioned that even today after being highly successful his skill of thinking entrepreneurially that he picked up while at Babson is helping him convert problems into opportunities. One example that he gave was particularly interesting. He talked about how he converted the problem of piracy of CD’s in Mexico into an opportunity to market his business. He started adding advertisements for other Zumba Classes and so when these CD’s were pirated, they now contained the advertisements and people started joining the advertised classes because they obviously liked the video CD’s. This just proves why he is getting inducted into the Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Alberto’s and Jeff’s stories were educational and showed how Babson’s resources can be used to the fullest and how, if used fully, Babson can change your ordinary life to that of an exciting entrepreneur. Well, Entrepreneurship may in fact be a six letter word!!