Babson BETA Competition Winner 88 acres To Launch On September 22, 2013

Allergen-free snacks designed for all to enjoy offer “Good Food for Every Body”

Babson College student business and 2013 MBA BETA Challenge Winner, 88 acres, is officially going to market and launching their Kickstarter crowd funding campaign at 12 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, 2013. 88 acres creates healthy, allergen-free snacks, crafted with simple ingredients and designed for all to enjoy. The company is looking to raise at minimum $20,000 through the Kickstarter platform to fund the initial production run of their first product, a line of granola bars. Started by Babson MBA student Rob Dalton and Harvard MBA graduate Nicole Ledoux, 88 acres is launching with three flavors of granola bars that are free of the top eight food allergens (peanut, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy, gluten, fish and shellfish). The bars are also vegan & GMO free.

A living example of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action, the concept for 88 acres was formed after the pair’s fourth date, when Rob, who is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, was hospitalized after his meal was cross-contaminated with nuts. Following this near-death experience, the couple began to learn more about food allergy trends and allergy-free snack options. They learned, through Food Allergy Research & Education, that food allergies affect 15 million people in the U.S. and that eight foods account for 90% of all food-related allergic reactions. They also found a lack of safely manufactured snack foods free of the top eight food allergens. Last year, the couple started tinkering in their kitchen with granola bar recipes. Since then, they have sampled thousands of bars, honing in on the right recipes for their initial granola bar line. Ledoux, who was raised on an 88-acre farm in central MA, and Dalton, were married this past July, and are immediately moving from one major life event to another with the official launch of their company.

Earlier this year, 88 acres won Babson College's B.E.T.A Challenge and was awarded $20,000. The company has also won several other grants and awards through similar venture accelerator programs. This summer, 88 acres participated in the MassChallenge accelerator as a finalist, leveraging the resources provided by MassChallenge to get their venture off the ground. With a host of distribution channels and corporate partners interested, 88 acres is set to officially launch on September 22, 2013 and will have products on store shelves by early 2014. The couple hopes to create a company that will continue to expand and fuel job growth within their home state of Massachusetts.

To find out more about Nicole and Rob’s story and their company, 88 acres, please visit or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.


About the Babson College B.E.T.A. Challenge

The Blank Center's B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®) Challenge recognizes major milestones Babson businesses have achieved by taking action. Winners of the graduate, undergraduate and alumni B.E.T.A. Challenge each win a grand prize of $20,000 in cash plus "services in kind" donations from corporate sponsors. In addition, $2,500 is awarded to the two other finalist ventures in each of the three competitions. Applicants compete for prizes by demonstrating success in achieving major milestones by taking action.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society -- while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. For information,

By Hilary Katulak;; 781-239-4623 | 9/18/2013 10:00 AM