Having the opportunity to work with the Butler Venture Accelerator and Summer Venture Program (SVP) this year opened my eyes to the severely challenging yet incredibly rewarding reality of entrepreneurship. Despite frequent challenges, the entrepreneurs I worked with always maintained hope. This appears to be a common thread between successful business people- having the confidence that they will not only move past the obstacle, but also grow from the experience.
Several of the SVP teams went through major pivots throughout the 10-week program. I saw firsthand their processes of critically evaluating the product, company name, value proposition, and just about everything else. Then, they took the courageous step to completely alter their current brand. This can be an intimidating process, especially if the company is already making sales, but the SVP businesses handled it gracefully and came out better for having done it.
It was great to be part of such a supportive environment. When a team in the program would receive media coverage, the other teams would share the article or video on their own social media accounts. When a team needed assistance with technology or operations or anything else, other teams would help in any way they could. When a team launched their website, many other teams helped them with beta testing. Everyone here could empathize with one another, allowing for a community unlike any I’ve seen before.
I can’t help but admire how much Babson does to support and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. Each team in the SVP 2016 cohort will undoubtedly go on to do great things- just you watch.