Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

SVP Weeks 6+7: The Crossroads Between Customers and Culture

As startup companies prepare to launch, they are presented with an opportunity to make a great first impression which defines their brand for years to come. A startup’s culture is important because it lays the groundwork for future organizational success. The businesses in our Summer Venture Program are learning how to navigate this crossroads of customers and culture, refining their messaging and developing positive cultures.

Monday, June 24th

Meagan Priest of Dottie discusses takeaways and feedback with her SVP peers and advisors following Dottie’s Hot Seat presentation.
  • Every week at SVP begins with Team Updates, an accountability exercise where the venture teams inform each other of their accomplishments since the previous week and their goals for the next week. 
  • Dottie entered the Hot Seat to pitch their business’s technology which helps people experiencing memory loss retain their sense of independence, giving their caregivers peace of mind. The SVP cohort viewed the pitch from the perspective of caregivers, offering feedback on the presentation style and explanations of the technology.
  • SVP teams preparing to apply for Babson ePitch: Second Century Challenge had the opportunity to ask questions about the challenge and brainstorm their application videos in a session led by the Blank Center’s Antonette Ho and eTower’s James Truslow.

Tuesday, June 25th

Branding expert Doug Fox offers his definition of brand as he teaches the SVP teams to become more cognizant of their ventures’ brands.
  • Doug Fox, branding expert and MassChallenge mentor, visited the Babson Boston campus for a Lunch & Learn session on how to better position your brand to connect and convert. Doug demonstrated the importance of branding for startups looking to make their mark in the marketplace, explaining the origins of branding and showing examples of successful branding.
    • Did you know that we live-tweet the key insights from each week’s Lunch & Learn event? Follow @babsoneship and #babsonsvp on Twitter for a glimpse into these lunches!
  • Dr. Andy Tollison of the Babson Speech Center held the latest session of his ongoing office hours at WeWork for ventures preparing for future pitches and presentations.
  • Sarah Timmings, an Associate Director on the Customer Strategy and Experience team at C Space, held office hours for SVP teams looking to hone in on their customer strategy. 
At Babson Boston, Babson SVP teams participate in a mixer with entrepreneurs from UMass to gain insights based on shared successes and struggles.

Wednesday, June 26th

  • Babson’s SVP hosted the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Summer Venture Program for an afternoon of brainstorming and feedback between student entrepreneurs at Babson Boston. Babson startup teams partnered with UMass startup teams to share stories of successes and setbacks, providing each other with fresh perspectives and new insights.

Thursday, June 27th

  • Lucas Lee-Tyson of Growth Cave was in the Hot Seat on Thursday to practice his presentation for the Summer Venture Showcase. His SVP peers and advisors offered feedback about presentation style and honing in on the needs of the audience.

Monday, July 1st

Lucas Lee-Tyson of GrowthCave and Wendi Kan of Integrate each pitched their ventures in the Hot Seat.
  • The week at SVP started off with Team Updates, and the ventures were briefed about how they can best prepare for presenting and networking at our upcoming Summer Venture Showcase.
  • Monday’s Lunch and Learn was an informative session from the Summer Venture Program’s director Bob Stringer, angel investor and author of How the Best Startups Make it Happen. Bob outlined his four key to-do’s for creating and curating a successful startup culture, citing counter-examples of toxic startup environments.  Based on the findings of Noam Wasserman’s The Founder’s Dilemma, Bob led a fun exercise which put ventures on the spot to decide whether wealth or control is more important for the future of their business.
SVP director Bob Stringer offers his four “to do’s” for developing a healthy startup culture during his Lunch & Learn.

Tuesday, July 2nd

  • SVP venture Integrate practiced their showcase presentation in the Hot Seat on Tuesday. Founder Wendi Kan explained how Integrate helps Chinese students successfully adapt to American culture, and received valuable presentation feedback from her peers and advisors.

Following a relaxing holiday weekend, next week the SVP ventures will be visited by experts in angel investing, startup banking, and entrepreneurial resilience. Stay up to date with the latest SVP happenings in real time by following @babsoneship and #babsonsvp on Twitter and Instagram.

Want to meet all of the Summer Venture businesses and learn more about their progress? You can now RSVP for our Summer Venture Showcase at The event will be held on Thursday, July 25th at the Federal Reserve Building in Boston, and we hope to see you there!