It is no mystery that Babson College, in Wellesley, MA, is known for entrepreneurship. Since its inception in 1919, it has been a breeding ground for entrepreneurs—producing founders of industry giants Gerber, Home Depot and Zumba, while also inspiring countless other student and alumni ventures of more modest outcomes.
The curriculum and resources offered empower students to think and act entrepreneurially when starting their own company or innovating in the corporate setting. Of all the resources available, there is one resource that has a history of producing successful entrepreneurs/companies—The Babson E-Tower.
The E-Tower is a special interest community dedicated to entrepreneurship. This exclusive dormitory houses 21 student entrepreneurs and is dedicated to fostering a culture of ideation, collaboration, and implementation.
Here are the next startups poised to emerge:
Have you ever forgotten to add money to your Charlie Card, take the chicken out the freezer when your mom told you to or wish your friend a “Happy Birthday”? Well, I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too. This startup is solving this problem through the use of phone call, text, email, and mobile app task reminders.
Hey! HeadsUp is a people reminding people platform founded by Arjun Bhatnagar. The mobile app allows you to set reminders for yourself, or others, by typing up a text or email or vocalizing through a recording and enables you to schedule them to deploy at the optimal time. With the app, reminding someone is a lot simpler than the following picture:
However, if you really like this Xzibit meme, you’re in luck because other than text-based and voice-based reminders, you can send picture-based reminders too!
Other than the variety of reminder options, the app adds a flexibility that other alternatives do not due to its ability to send reminders to any device and any person, regardless if they have the app or not. This is useful if you need to remind older relatives, who are probably still using a flip phone and have never heard of the app store.
Hey! HeadsUp is the productivity tool that is eliminating forgotten tasks and allowing its users and their network to get things done—one call, text or e-mail reminder at a time.
Pitch To Start
It is undeniable that pitching is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. You must be able to clearly communicate your vision and the value that your company provides. This skill will help you inspire others to join your team, persuade customers to buy your product or service, and convince investors to provide the capital necessary to keep your venture alive and allow it to grow. Despite the high importance of pitching for entrepreneurs, there aren’t many entrepreneurs to innovate the process of the pitch. That’s where Alex Grant and Jillian Klinvex come in.
Grant and Klinvex are the founders of mobile app Pitch To Start. Pitch To Start is a platform that allows entrepreneurs to pitch in a low-risk, high-reward environment and receive real-time feedback from investors, judges and audience members. With access to this information, entrepreneurs can accelerate their learning curve and refine their pitch to resonate more strongly with their audience. This can pay dividends in accelerator competitions when the difference between placing and just missing the threshold can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Outside of the potential funding that is at stake, you gather invaluable feedback from the audience—potential consumers—regarding your product or service. This is market research at your fingertips.
For investors, getting to successful startups—and getting there first—is the name of the game. With Pitch To Start, you have access to all the data gathered on the participating startups. With more information on startups and their founders, it will guide investors to make better investment decisions.
Lastly, for audience members who are passionate about startups and fresh ideas, you have the ability to provide instant feedback and influence the founder’s pitch and potentially the direction of the company.
This startup is redefining the pitch and making it more valuable for all parties involved. They provide founders the opportunity to pitch at renowned conferences and are accepting signups for a pitch slot at the Young Entrepreneurs Conference. The YEC will take place on September 25th at Babson Park and features accomplished guests such as Polina Raygorodskaya, Co-founder & CEO of Wanderu and Bloomberg Best Young Entrepreneur, John Goscha.
Hiring a workforce and managing the process is no easy task—it takes lots of time, energy and capital to do so. OnBoardIQ recognized this and is committed to providing solutions to firms that face these issues.
OnBoardIQ is a B2B enterprise software company that provides tools for screening and hiring a workforce. With OnBoardIQ, companies can streamline and automate the process thus freeing up employees from administrative work and allowing their company and employees to be more productive.
The company was founded by Keith Ryu and, former Babson student, Jeremy Cai. Cai, who was living in the aforementioned E-Tower, left school to focus on the venture full-time. This decision, not uncommon among college entrepreneurs, was made easier by being accepted as a 2015 Thiel Fellow. (“Thiel Fellows receive $100,000 and mentorship from the Foundation’s network of founders, investors, and scientists, provided they skip or stop out of college during the two years of the program.”)
Led by Ryu and Cai, this Y-Combinator startup is not going unnoticed. They have been receiving a lot of attention from potential customers, media outlets and investors—so much so, that they have raised $1.65 million in seed funding.
They have already built an impressive list of customers, from the on-demand service industry, such as Shyp, Munchery, SpoonRocket, Aliada, and Eaze. However, the company is not satisfied and has grander plans to do business with industry giants—i.e. McDonald’s, FedEx.
OnBoardIQ—a dedicated team solving a major problem with an adequate solution—is definitely a startup to keep an eye on.
These three startups are set to write the next chapter of Babson entrepreneurship and continue to solidify the legacy laid down by the startups that paved the way before them. Their early success has them well-positioned to impact their respective industries. Will they realize their full potential? Only time will tell. You can get on-board now but if you don’t, don’t be surprised if they do—I gave you the heads up.