The first semester of 88 acres
Launching a company while in business school is an awesome idea – don’t wait to do it after you graduate. The resources that have been at our disposal are nothing short of extraordinary – professors have been genuinely interested and willing to help, class projects have allowed us to fine tune our business plan, presentations have become practice for our business plan pitch, and industry experts have been far more willing to speak with a student who is starting a business than just someone starting a business.
My fiancé, Nicole Ledoux, and I are in the process of bringing our company 88 acres (88-acres.com) to market. 88 acres will manufacture organic snack food products in a dedicated nut free environment. We are planning to launch with 2 or 3 flavors of granola bars and 2 or 3 flavors of granola – all of which will be organic, nut free, gluten free, vegan and free of GMOs (genetically modified foods). Each product will only have between 8 – 10 ingredients and our product design is a back-to-basics approach to food.
Over the fall semester we hired a food scientist and consultant to help with commercialization, established a partnership with Youth Trade, distributed thousands of sample products to build brand awareness and support while getting valuable product feedback, begun to establish channel partnerships in the Boston area with specialty retailers, and have finalized our go-to-market strategy. The community at Babson has been hugely helpful over the past few months – a few big thanks to Tara & Rachel at Food Sol, the students of the part-time MBA program, all the faculty who have offered introductions & feedback on our business plan, Cindy & Antonette at the Accelerator, and everyone who stopped by our table at Food Days!
-Rob & Nicole