Week 4: Summer Venture Program 2018
Week 4 of the Summer Venture Program focused on marketing, branding, and positioning. Our entrepreneurs participated in workshops, met with various industry experts, and delved into perfecting their brand.
We began the week with our usual team updates. While our teams shared the progress they’ve made the past week, our entrepreneurs munched on some delicious Mediterranean food. David Oksman, a Babson alum and an advisor of this year’s Summer Venture Program, then lead his lunch and learn about the importance of creating and maintaining an authentic brand (blog post soon to come). David spoke about his experience at companies like Life is Good and Reebok to teach our entrepreneurs about unconventional ways of marketing. A key takeaway from the session is that every aspect of one’s company should align with its core values. In other words, “live your brand throughout your company.”
After the productive and insightful workshop, our entrepreneurs took part in a Q&A all about how to approach investors. We thought this would be relevant to our teams as later on in the week our startups had a chance to meet with various investor groups. On Wednesday, a few of our entrepreneurs met with the Launchpad Venture Group back at the Babson Wellesley campus. The next day, some other teams sat in on a Boston Harbor Angels meeting. One of our entrepreneurs explained that just witnessing these investor groups in action was truly inspiring and will be helpful for when they start seeking out investors.
As usual we had two Hot Seat sessions this week. During our Tuesday Hot Seat, Leny Prog and Dillon Galynsky of Smask pitched a cannabis educational piece to prepare for a meeting with a director of the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission. Jake Maude (BikeLord), Colleen Leung (Gaido), Georgia Gabriela (ignitED), and Brett Wagner (Waec) helped breakdown Smask’s pitch into something simpler and more applicable for this meeting. On Thursday, Emily Cronin of Frostbite Face-Off practiced a sponsorship pitch as one of her goals is to form connections with companies that would sponsor her event. During her rebuild session, we focused on perfecting her hook as well as developing a more conversational way of approaching sponsors. Georgia, April Chen (Gentle), and Felipe Acosta (Dondoctor) listened to Emily’s repitch and gave useful feedback to further improve her presentation.
Our entrepreneurs met with multiple industry experts throughout the week. Doug Fox lead a positioning workshop aimed at our ventures who are focused on business development and business to business sales. The first thirty minutes of the workshop provided a basic overview of positioning, and the remaining time was spent on their specific venture’s brand and positioning. Furthermore, some of our teams met with Keith Hopper, a previous SVP advisor, to gain insight into the world of product innovation. On top of this, other teams met with Jonathan Marchetti of Contrary Capital to learn more about investing and fundraising from a student venture fund. At SVP our goal is to connect our startups with a variety of people from different backgrounds to give them a holistic learning experience. Hosting these office hours provide a way for our startups to interact with industry experts that will be useful to their venture.
Towards the end of the week, ten of our entrepreneurs attended the Midwest Corporate Venture and Innovation Dinner where they developed relationships with potential customers and partners (along with enjoying a fabulous dinner of course). David Chang, the director of SVP, actually spoke at the dinner about the world of entrepreneurship at a collegiate level.
After working hard all week long, our SVP cohort gathered together for a lovely weekend BBQ and to enjoy some music from talented Ralph Haddad (TastePal). It is nice to see our entrepreneurs bonding in and outside of Workbar. I can’t wait to see what next week brings for our 15 startups.
Register now for our Summer Venture Showcase on Thursday July 26. Follow all SVP happenings on Twitter and Instagram with #babsonsvp!