Summer Catalyst: Week 4
Within a cohort environment like Babson’s Summer Catalyst, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to learn and grow collaboratively. Starting a venture is by no means an easy endeavor, but working alongside a group of supportive peers and mentors and asking for help can alleviate challenges as they arise. Summer Catalyst emphasizes the theme of community and reinforces the idea that no one has to embark on the entrepreneurial journey alone!
During Week 4, teams continued to collaborate and support one another while learning about finances, branding, intellectual property law, and pitching.
Here are some of the highlights:
During Monday’s Team Updates session, Summer Catalyst participants presented their “asks” and received instant feedback from the group. They helped each other by making connections, reviewing content, providing resources, and offering assistance. A warm sense of community, mentorship, and peer-to-peer support always permeates throughout these sessions!
Next, teams entered a Pro Forma workshop and learned about finance with Babson Professor Angelo Santinelli. While working through a specific example, teams learned about different financial statements in addition to strategies for research, forecasting, and analysis. When performing research and building assumptions, it is imperative not to underestimate the power of observational data. It is also important to be realistic when it comes to predicting revenue and costs.
Afterwards, Summer Catalyst participants had the opportunity to attend an Intellectual Property (IP) “Ask Me Anything” with Aaron Enatsky. This lively and informative session let teams explore IP topics and learn a bit more about copyright, trademarks, patents, and contracts.
Andi Deng ’20 was in the Hot Seat pitching Idle System, a venture focused on tax documentation. Afterwards, he entered a rebuild session to get additional feedback from peers and mentors.
Teams also engaged in a captivating book talk with Blank Center Executive Director Debi Kleiman. In her book, First Pitch: Winning Money, Mentors, and More for Your Startup, Debi explores specific examples and offers strategies to develop a compelling pitch. During the discussion, teams learned about the importance of telling stories, building relationships, knowing your audience, and using the 4H framework. Debi also provided some helpful tips on pitching virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, Summer Catalyst participants signed up for office hours with attorney Daniel Pierce and Priya Iyer, Vee24 CEO and Babson Entrepreneur in Residence. Later, teams engaged in a coffee meetup with Summer Catalyst Director Bob Stringer. These coffee meetups provide an opportunity for teams to connect, chat, and collaborate in a casual setting.
The entrepreneurs also delved into brand building during a lively and interactive session with Doug Fox. Teams learned about branding strategies and key mistakes to avoid, while participating in a customer-centric positioning workshop. When building a brand, it is important to maintain a focus, develop a solid understanding of your audience, and connect on an emotional level.
On Thursday, Juan Leon MBA’20 entered the Hot Seat and pitched Leue Home. Afterwards, teams engaged in a rebuild session and another coffee meet up with Bob.
What’s in store for next week?
Week 5 marks the halfway point for Summer Catalyst! Teams will have an opportunity to participate in Sales Training with Kate Merritt, additional Hot Seat sessions, a Lunch & Learn with Joe Caruso, Office Hours with Alexa Pozniak, and an SEO for Beginners session with Noam Rifikind. Stay tuned!