Babson College and Laval University Announce Strategic Collaboration through an Accelerator Program

Laval University also is the first Canadian University to join the Babson Collaborative

Laval University and Babson College From left to right: Elizabeth Coulombe, Mohammed Assafiri, Marie-Christine Guay, Debi Kleiman, Geoffrey Molson MBA'96, Maripier Tremblay, Diana Prescott-Zais, and Yves Bourget

Babson College and Université Laval have announced a strategic collaboration funded by Geoffrey Molson MBA’96 and the Molson Foundation, for a summer venture program for entrepreneurs. Babson’s Summer Venture Program (SVP) through The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship (Blank Center) is in its 10th year of mentoring and fostering startup entrepreneurs. Through this collaboration, the Blank Center team helped facilitate the creation of a similar program at Laval University that is running for the first time this summer.

Geoffrey Molson, who earned his graduate degree at Babson College and a member of the Molson Foundation, was present at the official announcement in front of Babson and Laval graduates and officials, which took place at the Molson brewery in Montreal founded in 1786.

“It’s been wonderful to help Université Laval produce their first summer startup accelerator program,” says Debi Kleiman, executive director of The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. “As a leader in the venture accelerator space, our Summer Venture Program has produced incredible outcomes for entrepreneurs, and we are excited to see how this relationship with Laval will enrich both of our startup ecosystems.”  

Université Laval’s accelerator program will be entitled “PROTO10,” and will run 10 weeks just as Babson’s Summer Venture Program. The two programs will collaborate virtually with pitch practice, peer-to-peer mentoring, and will share speakers and workshops.

Additionally, Université Laval has signed onto the Babson Collaborative for Entrepreneurship Education ®. The Collaborative is an institutional membership organization for colleges and universities seeking to increase capabilities and capacities for developing entrepreneurship education. Laval is the first Canadian university to sign onto the Collaborative.

This collaboration with Babson College speaks to Université Laval’s leadership and its goal of supporting entrepreneurship through support programs and innovative education practices. “Babson College and Université Laval share the same vision of entrepreneurship, so this is a natural partnership. Sharing practices and strengthening relationships will benefit our entire entrepreneurial ecosystem. What’s more, Babson places great importance on the social impact of entrepreneurship, which aligns well with our vision of responsible entrepreneurship,” said Maripier Tremblay, president of Entrepreneuriat Laval and management professor at Université Laval.

“This gift from the Molson Foundation made this promising partnership possible and will allow Université Laval and Babson College to offer an improved and more innovative education and coaching program to our student entrepreneurs. Once more, La Fondation de l’Université Laval is proud to witness the strong impact of philanthropic gestures and the commitment of its graduates toward their alma mater,” said Yves Bourget, president and general manager of La Fondation of Université Laval.

About Babson’s Summer Venture Program

The Summer Venture Program (SVP) is a 10-week intensive experience that builds entrepreneurial skills and accelerates the development of student ventures. Each year, approximately 15 teams are chosen among the most promising graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurs from Babson College, F.W. Olin College of Engineering, and Wellesley College.

Teams receive free housing, 24/7 workspace downtown, dedicated advisors, expert speakers/mentors, and world-class programming that leverages the resources of the Blank Center. As teams work to build their businesses, they make invaluable connections with potential customers, partners, investors, and industry influencers. At the culmination of the program, teams present at the Summer Venture Showcase to an audience of more than 400 members of the Babson and local startup communities. Although the value of a transformative experience on an entrepreneur is priceless, each Babson Summer Venture team receives services with a market value of at least $200K.

The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship accelerates the practice of entrepreneurship by providing Babson’s emerging entrepreneurs with access to events, workshops, mentoring and competitions that enable them to test and refine their founder skills. The Butler Launch Pad is the hub of this entrepreneurial ecosystem, connecting our students and alumni with the broader business and entrepreneurial community through a series of programs and learning experiences that support our entrepreneurs along their journey. Included in these programs are two of Babson’s Signature Events: Rocket Pitch and B.E.T.A. Challenge, as well as the highly regarded Summer Venture Program that accelerates the top 15 student ventures at Babson each year.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial 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 make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

By Shannon Sweeny, ssweeny1@babson.edu, (781) 239-4621 | 6/13/2018 11:00 AM