BLANK CENTER TEAM
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
As the Executive Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Debi works with students, alumni, and faculty, as well as the broader entrepreneurial community, to accelerate the practice of entrepreneurship. She leads the Blank Center’s strategy, new initiatives, and team to help develop the programs of the Butler Launch Pad and Babson’s highly-rated entrepreneur experiences, such as the B.E.T.A. Challenge and the Summer Venture Program. In addition, she has oversight of three of Babson’s major entrepreneurship academic research initiatives: the BCERC Conference, STEP and GEM.
Before coming to Babson, Debi was the Managing Director and Executive Vice President at Havas Media in Boston. Formerly, she was president of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), and an executive at C-space (formerly Communispace) for five years before its’ sale to Omnicom DAS. She has been an advisor to startups and an advocate for Boston’s innovation community for over 10 years and has mentored entrepreneurs at MassChallenge, Harvard's iLab and TechStars Boston. Earlier in her career, she held marketing leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, Welch’s, and the Coca-Cola Company. Debi has a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Valerie Duffy, Assistant Director of the STEP Project has been at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College since September 2004. She was engaged in several different responsibilities for the Entrepreneurship Division team including administrative assistant, teaching case coordinator, and budget coordinator. In January 2010, she assumed responsibility for the college-wide case-writing/production initiative. As Manager of the Babson Faculty Pedagogical Fund (BFPF) and Babson Teaching Center, she created, developed, implemented, and oversaw all of the operational activities of new initiatives at Babson to encourage and facilitate the development of new pedagogical materials. Val has her undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts.
As Assistant Director of Entrepreneur Programs, Antonette is responsible for designing and implementing Babson's signature entrepreneurship events (Rocket Pitch, B.E.T.A. Challenge, Summer Venture Showcase), marketing, communications and programming for student and alumni entrepreneurs through the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad. Antonette graduated from Babson in December 2006 and was recipient of the Allison Carroll Global Leadership Award in 2006. While studying, Antonette was a student employee for the Blank Center. Prior to returning to Babson, Antonette worked in Shanghai and London managing events.
The John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad
In her current role as Associate Director of the John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad, Cindy manages the mentoring of student entrepreneurs. Cindy joined Babson’s Graduate School Center for Career Development in 2004, most recently working as Associate Director with students interested in technology, life sciences, energy and entrepreneurial careers. Cindy is an MBA from Babson College’s two year MBA program where she went through the Entrepreneurship Intensity Track (EIT) and co-launched AdvantageNet, Inc., a business and career management consulting firm. Prior to Babson, Cindy held several positions of increasing responsibility in the financial services and communications industries. She earned her B.S. in Accounting at University of Delaware, an MBA with honors from Babson College and is a former CPA.
Debbie Kudish is the Program Assistant for the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC). Prior to joining Babson, she supported all aspect of social events at the Helen Keller Elementary school and has a background in marketing events for various tradeshow companies. Debbie holds a BS in Business Management from Roger Williams University.
Administrative Coordinator/Executive Assistant
Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
Nancy provides administrative assistance and facilities management to the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. In her role directly supporting the Executive Director of the Blank Center, she is responsible for providing logistical and budgetary support, and assists in the efficient implementation of the The John E. and Alice L. Butler Launch Pad and other entrepreneurial programs and events.
Before joining the Babson team in the spring of 2015, she worked in interior design and previously was the Director of the Boston University Corporate Education Center. She earned her BS from the State University College at Oneonta, New York, with degrees in Psychology and Business/Economics.
Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference
Georgia has been with Babson College since 1987 and was the Program Coordinator for the Babson Entrepreneurial Exchange and the Administrator for the Babson Entrepreneurial Review until April 2001. From 1991 to 2001, she also coordinated Babson's business plan competitions for both undergraduate and graduate students.
In 2001, Georgia assumed the role of Program Coordinator for the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, (BCERC) and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. BCERC is an annual international conference and premier scholarly forum for entrepreneurial research. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, published every year, contains the proceedings of the conference and is the most comprehensive collection of empirical research papers on entrepreneurship.
Patrick is the Division Coordinator for the Entrepreneurship Division. He joined the team in September 2014. He provides administrative support to the Division Chair and is responsible for the logistics of various faculty, staffing, and scheduling matters.
Patrick is a recent graduate of The Catholic University of America and most recently worked in the Operations Division at Georgetown University.
SUMMER VENTURE PROGRAM TEAM
Summer Venture Program
David is an entrepreneur and angel investor and joins Babson as Director of the Summer Venture Program, Babson’s world-renowned 10 week startup accelerator. David is also currently an EiR at Harvard Business School, Executive Chair at Feelter, and Co-founder of PersonalVC. David has held product and marketing roles at five Boston-based startups that were acquired. He previously led the PayPal Boston office and co-founded the Start Tank innovation space. Earlier in his career, he held roles at TripAdvisor (IAC), m-Qube (Verisign), edocs (Siebel), SnapMyLife (Exclaim Mobility), and Goldman Sachs.
As a leader in the entrepreneurship community, he holds several advisor/board memberships and has made 40 angel investments in early-stage startups. Recent awards include Boston Business Journal's Power 50: Most Influential Bostonians, BostInno’s 50 on Fire: Investment Winner / Tech Finalist, and Finalist for NEVY Angel of the Year. David holds a BS with Distinction in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Summer Venture Program
Eric Braun is an entrepreneur, writer and community builder with over 20 years experience founding startups, advising and teaching. He is currently Managing Director for South Shore Innovation, a startup ecosystem South of Boston. His teaching experience includes courses on Entrepreneurship at Tufts University and Quincy College and guest lectures at MIT, BU, Tufts, Quincy College and local high schools. Eric is a frequent blogger and thought leader on entrepreneurship, community, experiential learning, and digital storytelling. As an avid supporter of the arts, where he has volunteered as Board Member, Finance Committee Chair, fundraiser and theatre reviewer.
In his startup roles, Eric has served as CTO, CMO, CEO, Lead Developer, Product Manager and Head of Professional Services. He has led his teams to develop innovative products in healthcare, financial services, education and community, including
- One of the first cost-justified, high volume document imaging systems for claims processing
- The first high volume and adaptable web application for proxy voting
- An award-winning and popular digital storytelling app for more engaged student learning and formative assessment and for teachers to create flipped classroom videos
As a mentor and advisor, Eric has coached 3 first place teams and 1 third place team in the Tufts 100K competition and 1 student team that went on to place 1st in the MIT Clean Energy Prize. As a team leader at 4 hack-a-thon events, his teams have placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
Eric completed a BA in German/English and a partial Masters in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota. He has a certificate in French from the Sorbonne and has studied in Germany and Austria.
Summer Venture Program
Author, consultant, coach, and educator, Beth has spent the last 30 years helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. Through her work as President of Marketing Edge Consulting Group, she shows business owners how to apply customer knowledge to create targeted sales and marketing programs that drive revenue while increasing profitability and customer loyalty. Beth is working on her third book on entrepreneurial marketing for the college market. She has authored two other books on business, The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Toolkit(McGraw-Hill) and Lucky By Design.
Beth teaches entrepreneurship and marketing courses at Babson. Prior to joining the college, Beth spent 13+ years at the Boston University School of Management where she taught entrepreneurial sales & marketing courses, ran their New Venture Competition and served as the Faculty Director for the university’s nationally ranked Online Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship Program.
In addition to her expertise in marketing and sales (with a focus on customer discovery and market research), Beth has expertise in the following sectors/industries: manufacturing/construction, healthcare and medical technology, financial services/banking, social impact and non-profit organizations.
Beth brings extensive practical work experience in marketing and sales to her teaching and her practice at Marketing Edge. She holds an MBA from Boston University and a BA in economics and sociology from Brandeis University. Beth is currently pursuing her doctorate in education from Johns Hopkins University with a specialization in entrepreneurial leadership in education.
Summer Venture Program
David Oksman ‘03 has 15 years of experience working as a Marketing & Ecommerce Executive. He is a proven thought leader and team builder who has developed innovative go to market strategies that have increased top and bottom line performance. David currently serves as Advisor/CMO for Sidekick Home and consults for numerous brands.
David has held many leadership roles at Reebok including GM of US Ecommerce, Head of US Marketing & Head of Media & Strategic Communications. In these roles David was accountable for delivering strategies that ensured Reebok was positioned as THE fitness brand.
Prior to Reebok, David held the roles of Head of Marketing & GM Ecommerce at The Life is good Company, a Boston based lifestyle apparel brand whose mission is to spread the power of optimism and help kids in need. While under his leadership, Life is good developed significant community and consumer growth and was awarded Boston Business Journals Best Brand of 2013 and an MITX award for the Life is good Festival. David was honored to be named a 2011 Social Media Star, as well as being recognized as one of SGB’s “40 under 40” in 2012.
His previous roles include leading cross-divisional search marketing and an online/Cable-on-Demand video platform for GM as an account executive at Digitas. Prior to joining Digitas, he spent three years at Staples, Inc., driving marketing campaigns through numerous online channels. With a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College, David resides in Foxboro with his wife and son.