Summer Catalyst Program: WEEK1: Andreessen Horowitz, Hustle Fund, +Blank Center
In the first week of Babson’s Summer Catalyst Program, participants worked on perfecting their pitches, met with their mentors for the first time, and had the opportunity to hear from some amazing guest speakers.
Debi Kleiman, the Executive Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College, visited the Babson San Francisco campus to give a presentation on ideal business pitches. Prior to Babson, Debi was the Managing Director and Executive Vice President at Havas Media and, in 2013, was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Boston’s Tech and Innovation Community by VentureFizz. Debi’s entrepreneurial experience was instantly recognized by the Summer Catalyst participants as she presented key insights to mastering a rocket pitch.
After an intense workshop on developing effective business pitches, the Summer Catalyst participants were first introduced to their mentors. Each individual business venture is paired with a mentor who can provide industry guidance, startup advice and connections to the San Francisco entrepreneurial ecosystem. Check out a list of our incredible mentors here.
On Thursday, the participants engaged in a weekly Hot Seat presentation by Rachel Pardue ’19 of LOU, a web assistant that teaches while you work. Hot Seat is an opportunity for a team to present their pitch, receive constructive feedback, rebuild, and re-pitch to the community.
In the evening, Babson San Francisco welcomed guest speakers Elizabeth Yin and Eric Bahn, partners at the Hustle Fund. The Hustle Fund is a pre-seed investment firm that invests in early hustlers. Elizabeth and Eric both gave an informational demonstration on how to sell a business idea before actually making the product or service. This method is a cost-effective way for early stage ventures to ensure the success of a business before investing too much time and/or money.
Later that day, participants also met Andrew Chen, a partner at Andreessen-Horowitz. Andreessen Horowitz is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm with $2.7 billion under management, specializing in investing in the social media businesses and within the tech industry. Prior to Andreesen-Horowitz, Andrew was the Head of Growth for Uber. Andrew talked about his path to becoming a partner for Andreesen-Horowitz and gave some advice as to how one can make an impact within Silicon Valley. When it came to his career successes, Andrew gave credit to his blogs. He believed that publicly voicing his opinions about startups and having an active online presence gave him strong, positive attention.
The participants of the Summer Catalyst Program are pumped to see what’s in store for Week Two!
Stay tuned via instagram @babsonsf to see the latest events at our San Francisco campus and save the date for our Summer Catalyst Showcase on August 2, 2018.