I spent the afternoon today watching seventeen great student-run start-ups present short pitches about the businesses they're trying to build. This was the first-ever Summer Venture Program Demo Day, organized by Babson College and the Olin College of Engineering.
I'd encountered a few of the student entrepreneurs before, at various networking events. But here are three of the ideas that were brand new to me, and struck me as worth knowing about:
- Top Sprouts. Building greenhouses atop city buildings, growing produce in them, and selling it to urbanites. Alice Leung's company plans to split the resulting revenues among Top Sprouts, the building owner, and also the contractor who builds the greenhouse.
- Diat Concepts. Plans to market Skinii mints, a breath mint that also acts as an appetite suppressant. What's in them? Extracts of green tea, cranberry, and geranium, among other top-secret herbal ingredients.
- Fit in Clouds. Already selling a $19 "foldable flat" shoe for women. The shoe can be easily stored inside a purse. Women would change out of their uncomfortable heels and into these flats after a wedding, formal affair, or a day at work. The founders tell me they've sold more than 500 pairs already, thanks in part to a mention on the style-oriented site Daily Candy Boston.
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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More from Scott
March 3: Web Innovators Group
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April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.