Summer Catalyst: Week 10
It’s hard to believe that Week 10 was the final week of Summer Catalyst! The 16 Summer Catalyst venture teams achieved major milestones, developed their skills, learned new lessons, and made lasting connections with friends and mentors. They engaged in Hot Seat Sessions, Lunch and Learns, Team Updates, Creative Consultations, and Office Hours. They learned about sales, marketing, pitching, fundraising, finance, legal topics, and more. They overcome obstacles, celebrated wins, and accelerated their startups, all while managing through the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the past 10 weeks, check out these blogs.
A huge round of applause for the 2020 Summer Catalyst venture teams for making it this far and staying focused on their goals!
Here are some highlights from the bittersweet final week:
On Monday, the teams participated in a session with Cindy Klein Marmer to learn some helpful tips for handling the live networking that was scheduled for after the Summer Catalyst Showcase. Prior to the event, she recommended thinking through the following questions: What’s your goal for the networking session? What would make the event a success?
Here are some helpful tips that were discussed:
- Be sure to engage with people who are entering the Zoom call.
- Delegate tasks amongst your team members; one member can engage with the audience, another can take notes, and someone else can message guests who are waiting to speak.
- Afterwards, don’t forget to follow-up with a thank you note for the attendees.
Later in the day, entrepreneurs engaged in a meetup with Adam O’Neill, Co-Founder and CEO of Broga. From Adam, they learned about the best practices for executing a startup social media strategy.
On Wednesday, teams attended their final Lunch & Learn with Summer Catalyst Director Bob Stringer and SVP alumni Meagan Priest MSEL’19, Founder of Dottie, and Richard O’Brien MBA’20, CEO and Founder of Hoamsy. They discussed next steps and ways to leverage the Summer Catalyst experience moving forward. Fortunately, Summer Catalyst entrepreneurs can stay connected with Babson and access additional resources through the Butler Launch Pad.
The SVP alumni recommended staying in touch with peers, mentors, and advisors from Summer Catalyst. A great tip is to send out email updates every couple of months to update your network on your venture’s progress. You can hold virtual Zoom meetings or phone calls or stay in touch on Whatsapp, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Richard also highlighted the importance of being “cheerleaders” for one another. If you see someone reach a milestone or get a win, reach out and congratulate them. If you are having a rough time, ask for help. It’s important to stay connected with the entrepreneurial community and support one another throughout the journey.
On Thursday, the venture teams presented their pitches at the Summer Catalyst Showcase, a culmination of all their hard work, accomplishments, and growth. Although the entrepreneurs could not gather in person, the enthusiastic comments from the audience on Facebook Live embodied a sense of celebration!
The Showcase event also included speeches from Bob Stringer, Debi Kleiman, and an inspirational and empowering fireside chat with Mandy Bowman ’12, CEO and founder of Official Black Wall Street. After the Showcase, the venture teams hosted networking on Zoom.
As the entrepreneurs pursue their ventures, they will have a phenomenal network of peers and mentors to lean on. Although Summer Catalyst has ended, the entrepreneurial journey for each of these teams has only just begun. Be sure to follow each of the teams on their websites and social media accounts to stay tuned on their progress!
‘Til next time!