Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Past B.E.T.A. Challenge Finalists: Where Are They Now? (2017 Series: Part 1)

Hanson Grant ’16 presenting at the 2015 B.E.T.A. Challenge

Hanson Grant, Founder of Think Board, graduated from Babson’s undergraduate program in 2016. His ground-breaking company sells dry-erase film that turns any surface into a whiteboard. Hanson’s energy, focus on customer engagement, and passion drove Think Board to win the 2015 undergraduate B.E.T.A. Challenge.

Although the chance to win $20,000 was the main motivation Hanson applied, he also found that winning the B.E.T.A. Challenge helped to validate his business and also led him to win several other titles and competitions. These included being named in BetaBoston’s “25 under 25” list in 2015, as well as winning the 2016 Collegiate Next Great Consumer Brands Competition (from which he received $25,000).

Hanson used the money he won from B.E.T.A. Challenge to grow his business significantly. Before the B.E.T.A. Challenge, Hanson was excited to sell one Think Board a day. Now, their daily average is 25 sales! He addressed this demand by stocking up on inventory and moving fulfillment to an operations facility rather than having interns hand-fill orders. Inventory was also placed for sale on Amazon. In short, he credits the B.E.T.A. Challenge for enabling his company to expand without being limited by a shortage of cash.

If you have a start-up and are thinking of applying to the B.E.T.A. Challenge, Hanson absolutely recommends that you do! To him, the most difficult step of the competition is making it to semifinals because up until then, the only way to communicate the value of your business is through a slide deck and executive summary. Be sure to spend time making sure your message easy to understand and conveys what is special about your product. The judges want to make sure that you are passionate about your idea and will continue to work on it after the B.E.T.A. Challenge is over.

The final tip that Hanson shared? “Have fun with it!”