Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Meet the IAN Global Startup Competition Finalists: Ryan Lupberger & cleancult

This fall, we presented a one-of-a-kind opportunity, the IAN Global Startup Competition, to our community of entrepreneurs. Babson students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents were invited to apply to pitch their startups ready for angel funding to the Indian Angel Network for a $250,000 equity investment. Started in April 2006, the Indian Angel Network is the world’s largest and India’s first business angel network and is comprised of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs eager to invest in early-stage, high potential businesses. IAN, in addition to funding, provides access to high-quality mentoring, vast networks, and input on strategy as well as execution. 

Applications came from startups from around the world and from many different industries. The finale too will be global – The finalists will pitch in a virtual finale on Saturday, December 15, bringing together an audience located in different countries eager to see who secures the investment. We invite you to register now to watch the finale and to get to know each of the finalists and their ventures.

When we connected with Ryan Lupberger ‘18, CEO cleancult, the green cleaning company that he co-founded with CTO Zachary Bedrosian ’18, the team was in Puerto Rico, shooting a video commercial about their story and how they started. What becomes clear in talking with Ryan is how pivotal Babson is in that story. From the Blank Center’s Summer Venture Program to Len Green’s Ultimate Entrepreneurial Challenge to the B.E.T.A. Challenge, Babson has provided opportunities for cleancult every step of the way “from nothing to something” in Ryan’s words. Ryan sees pitching in the IAN Global Startup Competition as the capstone experience in cleancult’s journey with Babson and, along with Zachary, is truly appreciative of Babson’s support.

If cleancult secures an equity investment from IAN, the investment will come at an exciting time for cleancult, as Ryan and Zachary work to close a fundraising round and simultaneously finalize their new packaging. While there are other green cleaners on the market (with varying levels of effectiveness), none have been able to offer both effective, simple, and sustainable cleaning ingredients and landfill free packaging. And that is exactly what cleancult is going to do: “We are going to be the very first cleaning company that gets rids of plastic packaging in its supply chain,” says Ryan. Motivated by customer feedback and enabled by its direct-to-consumer business model, cleancult will send liquid product refills in milk cartons and tablet products in paper kraft mailers. An investment from IAN would be a major part of cleancult’s fundraising round, led by David Heath ‘05 of Bombas Socks, and allow the team to purchase its own milk carton machine.

There is a lot on the horizon for cleancult, as Ryan and Zachary continue to attack the plastic packaging problem and launch their product line in the Container Store as of January 2019. Will there be a new investor as well? Register now to watch Ryan pitch in the IAN Global Startup Competition virtual finale and to find out on Saturday, December 15!