Babson Graduate Entrepreneur Teams Chosen for the SXSW MBA Pitch Competition
Babson graduate students Adam Martel M’17 and Rich Palmer M’16 of Gravyty, and Kazunori Kawanobe M’16, Abhinav Sureka M’16, and Mayuresh Soni M’16 of Load & Road Inc., will participate in the 3rd annual SXSW MBA Pitch Competition at SXSW Interactive on March 12 in Austin.
Hosted at the University Of Texas McCombs School Of Business, in partnership with the University Of Michigan Ross School Of Business, the competition offers some of the best MBA startups nationwide the chance to compete against each other for bragging rights, a booth at the McCombs Entrepreneurship night, and up to $10,000 in prizes.
The competition, which will be broadcasted via live stream starting at 12:30 p.m. CST, will consist of 15-minute pitch presentations, five-minute Q&A sessions, and five-minute feedback sessions. Judges in attendance will be venture capitalists, angel investors, successful entrepreneurs, Austin incubators, and professors. Four teams will ultimately be selected to compete in the finals.
Twenty-two teams applied for the 2016 competition, and 16 have been chosen. The two Babson College cohorts have been selected alongside MBA entrepreneurs from UT Austin, Michigan, Harvard, MIT, Duke, UNC, Chicago, SMU, and the University of Arizona.
Adam Martel M’17 and Rich Palmer M’16
Gravyty is the first predictive portfolio-management technology specifically created for frontline fundraisers. Its cloud-based software leverages data analytics, predictive modeling, and data visualizations, and has the unique power to predict donations to nonprofit organizations. By combining private data with big public data and behavioral insights, the team has built the first smart dashboard specifically designed to empower professional fundraisers, executive directors, and volunteer fundraisers to be more efficient in their fundraising efforts.
Gravyty’s software enables fundraisers to work with more major donors, solicit donations at the right times, automatically track their annual progress towards revenue, meetings and donor coverage goals, and ultimately raise more money for their organizations. Gravyty is not a replacement for a nonprofit’s CRM, but rather a tool that augments the data in the organization’s CRM, and finally makes that data actionable to help fundraisers solicit donations from the right donors at the right times.
In addition to Gravyty’s initial donation-predicting software, which was built entirely in-house by the founders at Babson, the team has recently built a prototype of an algorithm that leverages big data and can source new donors for nonprofit organizations. These new donors, statistically, have a much higher probability of making major donations to specifically aligned organizations. By empowering nonprofits to compete for donors outside of their current donor pool, the team believes they have the opportunity to fundamentally change the way that all nonprofit organizations and political campaigns raise money.
Load & Road Inc. – the Makers of Teplo
Kazunori Kawanobe M’16, Abhinav Sureka M’16, and Mayuresh Soni M’16
Teplo is a smart bottle that connects with users’ smartphones to brew the best tea consistently, each and every time.
Tea brewing is an extremely complicated process which requires constant monitoring and measuring of the temperature and brewing time. The Teplo team has simplified this process, and with the use of its mobile app, users can easily brew any type of tea without the hassle.
The product itself boasts a sleek and simple design with a bamboo bottom and top, and a glass bottle. It also houses a thermo-sensor, heater, Bluetooth communication module, and two batteries. An internal battery is used to communicate with smart devices, and has an all-day battery life. An external battery is used to maintain the drinking temperature for up to four hours.
In addition to utilizing the mobile app to personalize and maintain a desired drinking temperature, users can also use it to get personalized suggestions for tea purchases, and have them delivered, from all over the world, straight to their doorstep.
Teplo maintains a goal of raising at least $60,000 through its new Kickstarter Campaign to aid in the first mass production of products, and to begin shipments in July.