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MBA Student Biz Offers Internet Access At Trade Show Booths

Name of business: Trade Show Internet;

Founder/s: Seth Burstein, MBA 2011; and Ian Framson

The beginning: January 2009

Initial Investment: $500

Employees: 2 full time, 3 contractors

Founder’s Past Life: Seth Burstein was living the awe inspiring life of an actuary (statistician for the insurance industry)

Initial Preparation to Germinate Idea: There is a lot of price gouging in the trade show industry.  Few things seemed more absurd than trade show exhibitors being charged $1,200 for three days of internet rental.  As such, a friend and I wanted to start a company to rectify this injustice.  We did our research and realized there was a large opportunity to come in with a new technology to break up the monopoly power wielded by the industry’s dominant player.  After employing the help of friends to put up a website, we were ready to fully launch in April 2009.  To our surprise, within a month of launching, we had a $50M company looking to partner with us. 

Favorite Thing about the Business: My favorite days are when I check my email and have messages from customers saying they loved using our solution.

Worst Thing About the Business: When you’re in class and your business partner is in an all-day meeting, someone has to take the tech support call.

Biggest Challenge: Finding time to do laundry

Lesson Learned: Sometimes things work out even better than you could have expected.  Like Benjamin Franklin said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”