Creating Social Value Blog / Food

How Gail Simmons Came to Babson

Late last summer, as Food Sol was busily organizing 2nd annual Food Days, Babson Entrepreneur in Residence Andrew Zimmern copied us on an email to his buddy Gail Simmons.

Photo Credit: Babson College

Photo Credit: Babson College

Gail lives in New York, but we had heard that she was coming to Boston to host an event downtown on October 23rd, the first of our Food Days.  A piece of Andrew’s email to Gail (we don’t think he’ll mind):

You will be absolutely amazed at what is happening at Babson… The interface with the young leadership of tomorrow is inspiring and actionable.  If you can’t make it on first day, please come out as my guest on day two, even for an hour…  I guarantee you will be overwhelmed by what the smartest young people in America are thinking and DOING about food issues.

Gail took Andrew up on his offer.  On our first call with Gail to share the agenda, she said, “I haven’t been on a college campus in a really long time, but – I’m just a little confused…  What do you mean by ‘student businesses’?  Are these like class projects?” When we clarified that no, we mean actual businesses and that Babson students – from freshmen right up through Fast Track MBAs – are actively entrepreneur-ing in the food industry, she was completely intrigued.

Last Food Days, Gail Simmons spent four hours on our campus.  She hung out with her buddy Andrew at the Market of Great Food + Ideas and served as a guest expert at the Quick Service Incubator.

As we escorted her to her car afterwards, she said “How can I be an Entrepreneur in Residence here too?”  We thought she was just being kind, but she called us up the next week:  “What your food-entrepreneur community is doing is just incredible.  I would really love to be a part of it and support however I can.  Please tell me what I can do.”

Next week, we look forward to welcoming both our outstanding Entrepreneurs in Residence and food heroes to campus for 3rd annual Food Days – to help us celebrate and activate food entrepreneurship of all kinds right here at Babson.   Don’t forget to register!  At