Past B.E.T.A. Challenge Finalists: Where Are They Now? (Series: Part I)
Sending money overseas is not an easy task. Money transfer through Western Union requires up to 14% in fees. For Latin Americans who work hard in the United States to take care their family back home, money transfer is always a concern. Matias Sevi’12 of MandaSeguro, founded an online portal that allows transfer money in the form of Electronic gift certificates from individuals living in the US to aid their loved ones consumption at pre-designated businesses in LATAM, safely and efficiently. An individual can transfer up to $250 per day and $500 per month.
Graduating from Babson in May 2012, Sevi started the Summer Venture Program just a few days after commencement. Up to that point, his business was not even launched. He and his partners tried fostering the idea thinking of humble and hardworking workers. A few months after SVP, he signed a few contracts and had two trips to Dominican Republic which was his initial target market.
When he first heard of the B.E.T.A. Challenge, Sevi thought it would be hard to get to the semifinals. However, MandaSeguro was selected as one of semifinalists. Sevi remembers being nervous at the Venture Expo (B.E.T.A. Challenge semifinals). His uneasiness was not because of the way his booth was set up or lack of preparation, but because he had to give presentation to people all around him. While doing his 60 second pitch on stage, Sevi remembers rotating around while giving his speech. In the end, Sevi won the inaugural alumni B.E.T.A. Challenge “making it all worth it.” The $20,000 he received from winning the competition allowed him to help fund marketing expenses and promotion.
Ever since winning the competition, things have changed for Sevi. MandaSeguro officially launched and is continuously expanding its market through Latin America. Looking back on his B.E.T.A. Challenge experience, Sevi highlighted that participating in such a big competition gave him a chance to step back and analyze his venture from A to Z. Each time he presents to audience of his venture, it re-energizes his passion and drive. Sevi encourages any entrepreneurs that if you have a good idea, don’t be afraid to present.
Hear from this year’s B.E.T.A. Challenge finalists at the B.E.T.A. Challenge finals on Thursday, April 10 and check back for more posts from our “Past B.E.T.A. Challenge Finalists: Where Are They Now?” series.