Week 5: Summer Venture Program 2018
Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway done with the Summer Venture Program. Week 5 of SVP has been nothing less than productive for our entrepreneurs.
We began the week jumping straight into our lunch and learn lead by one of the advisors of the program, Beth Goldstein. She taught our startups the importance of making a great first impression by perfecting their pitch. One key takeaway from the session is that the secret to giving an amazing pitch is practicing it. Beth had our startups define their ideal customer and then practice their pitch given various scenarios. Everyone had a lot of fun and gained invaluable knowledge about how to make a lasting impression.
The following day, Chao Li, a student photographer, came into Workbar to take professional head shots for our startups as well as a few group photos. These pictures have already been put to good use as Jake Maude (BikeLord) submitted one of them for an article he was featured in! Later in the day, Ralph Haddad pitched his business TastePal during our infamous Hot Seat exercise. Shaymaa Gaafar (Shay Jaffar), William Tanadi (William Palmer Eyewear), Sali Bangoura (Nanny A La Carte), and Maya Mutalik (Hope Sews) worked with Ralph to further improve his pitch. Some of our other entrepreneurs met with John Grayson, a Blank Center Advisory Board member, to discuss product innovations and growth in today’s digital economy. John provided helpful feedback for our ventures.
Wednesday was the busiest day of the week, as there were various sessions for our startups to connect with a multitude of people in the Boston entrepreneurship ecosystem. Rajat Bharkhri, the CEO and Founder of Aeturnum, hosted an open Q&A to answer questions about software engineering and development. Rajat specializes in early stage technology products and companies; his insight into the world of engineering helped focus our startups. Shortly after the session, Collen Leung (Gaido), Molly Plunkett (Wish Route), Hari Mahesh (Exclusive), and William met with two SVP alum, Derek Tu and Bryanne Leeming. In this session, Derek and Bryanne gave advice on how to best maximize your network to make new connections. It was nice to watch our current startups learn from some of our wonderful alum.
While some of our startups met with past SVP participants, others met with Dustin Bonnin, Ned Daubney, and Ed Brzychcy of Babson Alumni Supporting Entrepreneurs (BASE). The BASE consultants have a variety of expertise and access to a nationwide network; some of what they helped our businesses with regarded technology, product development, customer research, business strategy, and leadership development. To end the day, our entrepreneurs met with Craig Dubitksy, the founder of Hello and one of Babson’s Entrepreneurs in Residence. With his experience in design and transforming brands, he advised six of our startups in their marketing and branding strategies.
To wrap up the week, a few of our teams grabbed lunch with David Chang at a local restaurant before heading on over to Babson Boston for the hot seat activity. Brett Wagner of Waec pitched his business and with the help of Dillon Galinsky and Leny Prog (Smask), April Chen (Gentle), and Ralph he was able to reconstruct his pitch to make it even more powerful.
This week was an eventful one to say the least. Our entrepreneurs were busy connecting with each other and with others throughout the Boston area. I can’t wait to see what the second half of this program brings for our startups! Keep up to date with all they are doing by following us on all of our social medias.
Register now for our Summer Venture Showcase on Thursday July 26. Follow all SVP happenings on Twitter and Instagram with #babsonsvp!