Putting the Spotlight on Our Global Entrepreneurs
Global Entrepreneurship Week is an opportunity to celebrate and connect with entrepreneurs and innovators around the world – and here at Babson too.
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we are highlighting four international entrepreneurs who are part of Babson’s network, thanks to the Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) program. The GEIR program enables international entrepreneurs who are well underway in setting up a business to qualify for an H-1B visa, which allows them to stay in the United States and continue to work on their companies. They work in the co-working spaces at Babson’s Wellesley and Boston campuses and access resources for their businesses through the Blank Center. In turn, they contribute to Babson’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem by mentoring and guiding student and alumni entrepreneurs, speaking at events and in classes, and supporting academic and research initiatives.
Jamie Steenbakkers ’18, Busy Beauty
As a first year student at Babson trying to juggle classes, sports, part-time jobs, and friends, Jamie realized that she needed beauty products that would help her cut down her get-ready time. Leveraging the resources of the Butler Launch Pad and the intensive Summer Venture and WIN Lab programs, Jamie and her co-founder Michael Leahy ’18 perfected a prototype and launched the Busy Beauty brand. Today, Busy Beauty helps women get ready faster with its line of showerless beauty products, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, American Eagle, Amazon, and many other retailers. As a GEIR, Jamie works with Babson’s student and alumni entrepreneurs in office hours and will lead a session on manufacturing products on Tuesday, 11/19 as part of the Blank Center’s How 2 Tuesday series.
Mayuresh Soni MBA’16, Teplo
As a MBA student, Mayuresh was a member of the IoT club and was working on a smart daily device that paired with a mobile app. He realized this sort of pairing could be applied to other use cases. Mayuresh and co-founder Kazunori Kawanobe MBA’16 decided to apply the technology to tea, since the cultural experience of drinking tea is important to both of them. Their product Teplo is a smart tea kettle which allows tea drinkers to brew a truly unique cup of tea. The team recently raised $650,000 at a pre-money $5 million valuation. This followed several successful Kickstarters.
Joe Zhou, FirstBlood
Joe is the CEO and Founder of FirstBlood, bringing together blockchain and gaming in an e-sports startup. As a finance student, he was involved in digital currency as early as 2013, and he became fascinated by how the technology could go way beyond currency. Joe was actually Babson’s first Global Entrepreneur in Residence and he is grateful to the GEIR program for the opportunity to obtain his H-1B visa and to continue to build his business here in the US. As a GEIR, he has mentored entrepreneurs in the Babson ecosystem and led How 2 Tuesday sessions.
Akhil Suresh Nair MBA’18, Parzenn Partners
Akhil co-founded business advisory firm Parzenn Partners with fellow Babson alum Danny Shah, also MBA’18. Akhil and Danny were members of the Butler Launch Pad cohort, through which they received valuable feedback and support. Today, Parzenn Partners works with small and medium size businesses on issues such as business process and data analytics. The team works out of the Blank Center co-working space, so Akhil is a well-known face. He frequently works with entrepreneurs in and out of office hours, encouraging them to take action against their entrepreneurial goals, and recently presented How 2 Grow Your Services Business, sharing his insights and experiences building important relationships for his business.
Interested in learning more about Global Entrepreneurship Week? Check out the full schedule of events and activities at www.babson.edu/gew, and follow the Blank Center on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.