Summer Catalyst Program WEEK3: Aldo Carrascoso M’08 + Elvis Lieban M’14 + Uber VP Product Design
It was another eventful week @Babson San Francisco where our Summer Catalyst teams participated in a hands-on workshop, met with industry experts and incredible Babson alumni!
Our first speaker was Aldo Carrascoso M’08, serial entrepreneur and founder of several successful ventures across many industries including media, fin-tech, and health. He launched Jukin Media, a company that rewards video content creators by helping monetize their videos and reach a larger audience. After, Aldo saw an opportunity in blockchain technology and formed Veem- a global payment provider that enabled businesses to quickly and securely send and receive payments in local currency. Most recently, Aldo is working on Stealth Health, the world’s first digital radar for health monitoring.
Soon after, the participants met with their mentors to check in about their progress. Each week, the mentors play an important role in helping our entrepreneurs reach their next milestone. We have already seen the teams make several improvements in their weekly deliverable by utilizing their mentor’s advice.
Later in the week, the Director of Babson San Francisco, Lynn Santopietro ‘96, led a fast-paced exercise that enabled each participants to practice their pitches in real-world scenarios. This included an elevator pitch (where participants actually went into an elevator to make their pitch), a phone call with a potential customer/client, and a networking event with “influencers”/bloggers/media outlets. Many participants noted that the activity pushed them out of their comfort zone because they had to tailor their pitches and know their audience.
We also had the opportunity to meet with Elvis Lieban M’14, the Product Marketing Manager @NetBase Solutions and previously the co-founder of Artis Coffee. In order to identify the value proposition, Elvis recalled the importance of having a point of differentiation. Although the Bay Area is the toughest location from a marketing perspective to start a coffee brand, Elvis said it was ideal from a logistical standpoint. The key to success was understanding their target consumer: individuals who appreciated freshly grounded coffee. At the same time, Elvis emphasized the value of making time for yourself. Being a founding member of a startup or working in an early stage venture is all-consuming so Elvis advised that we carve out time for family, friends, and hobbies.
At the end of the week, we listened to a presentation by Michael Gough, VP of Product Design at Uber. Michael shared lessons that he’s learned while working for design-centric companies and highlighted the benefits of applying human-centered design to your venture. Michael advised that everyone should draw more. Drawing, whether it is simply doodling or creating an artistic masterpiece, is one of the best mechanisms to understanding concepts. So the next time you are trying to learn from a lecture, try doodling out your thoughts!
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.