What Happens Next: Advice from SVP Alumni
For our last Lunch & Learn of Summer Catalyst, Richard O’Brien MBA’20 and Meagan Priest MSEL’19 joined us to share what they’ve been working on since participating in the 2019 Summer Venture Program and their tips for building upon the experience.
Meagan has pivoted the technology she was working on to serve a new need that she identified during the COVID-19 pandemic. In SVP, she was working on Dottie, a tracking technology to help those experiencing memory loss and to support their caregivers. She is applying the same technology to a new industry – doggie day cares and dog walkers – and calling it Spottie.
As the Summer Catalyst entrepreneurs build their businesses, Meagan suggested maintaining a list of contacts and sending regular updates. Her list is diverse, including her SVP peers, Babson professors, and connections she made through the WIN Lab. She has continued to send updates, even if it is just to say she has been making progress and to communicate a small ask. (For how-to tips on building your contact list and writing great update emails, check out Blank Center Executive Director Debi Kleiman’s latest LinkedIn post.)
Meagan also realized how helpful it is to continue meeting with advisors. She suggested that the Summer Catalyst entrepreneurs reach out to their advisors and ask if they can continue to meet.
For Richard, SVP helped him to define the problem that he was trying to solve with Hoamsy, a platform that matches young professionals moving to a new city with apartments and roommates. Since SVP, he participated in the Fast Track Cohort program, competed in the B.E.T.A. Challenge, and applied to several accelerators. When applying, he used SVP as a “stamp of approval” and mentioned it in interviews.
Richard encouraged staying connected to the cohort. He actually reached out to the Arist team for advice when he was beginning to think about fundraising. As well, he’s found that the SVP community can be a great cheerleader. That goes both ways, of course: Richard said, “If you see someone gets a win, actively reach out and congratulate them, and be their cheerleader.”
Summer Catalyst Director Bob Stringer closed with a final piece of advice: Reach out and ask for help. Support from the Summer Catalyst community doesn’t end when the accelerator ends!
The good news is that the Butler Launch Pad is here to support all Babson entrepreneurs. This coming fall, the Butler Launch Pad will offer expert advising, weekly workshops, online communities, and much more. For more information, check out this short video from the Butler Launch Pad: