MEDICAL AND FASHION ACCESSORIES STARTUP MIGHTY WELL™ WINS BABSON BREAKAWAY CHALLENGE $250,000 INVESTMENT
Babson College alumni Emily Levy ’16, Maria Del Mar Gomez ’16, and Yousef Al-Humaidhi ’15, lead Mighty Well—the first one-stop shop for medical and fashion accessories. The team met at Babson, and cultivated the business through Levy's participation with Babson's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadershipand its Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab®, as well as the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and its Summer Venture Program.
With Levy’s personal experience in battling chronic Lyme disease, the team is pioneering the “wellness wear” industry by creating products designed for patients, by patients. Mighty Well's mission is to add confidence to the lives of those dealing with chronic illness through medical accessories that bring them comfort and mobility. They have successfully gone to market with their first product, the PICCPerfect PICC Line Cover, and are currently working on two additional product lines to help patients dealing with other medical treatments or setbacks.
Mighty Well will receive a $250,000 investment, the largest funding amount ever awarded in a women specific business competition, as well as a custom brand identity platform with Breakaway, a Comcast ad campaign, and additional in-kind prizing to continue to grow their business and empower patients dealing with chronic illness.
The Babson Breakaway Challenge was launched in 2015 by Susan Duffy, executive director at Babson’s Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership, and alumnus John BurnsMBA'05, president of Breakaway Ventures, in direct response to Babson’s Diana Project report,Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital(pdf). The research revealed that while women entrepreneurs are majority owners of nearly 36 percent of all U.S. businesses, they receive only 2.7 percent of all venture capital funding.
Since its inception, the challenge received over 400 applications. Twenty high-potential, women-led semifinalist teams were selected to pitch in front of a panel of judges and the Boston community on September 23. The top five were named finalists and went on to compete for the ultimate Babson Breakaway Challenge grand prize as part of the HUBweek Finale on September 30.
At the event, Babson College and Breakaway celebrated the talented judges, special guest speakers, and sponsors for helping to support women entrepreneurs, and raise awareness of gender parity in the venture capital industry.
- John Burns MBA'05, President of Breakaway Ventures
- Linda Pizzuti Henry ‘00, HUBweek Chair
- Scott Griffith, Former Chairman and CEO of Zipcar, Inc.,
- Nicole M. Stata, Managing Director of Boston Seed Capital, LLC
- Alicia Syrett, Founder and CEO of Pantegrion Capital
- C.A. Webb, Co-Founder and Partner of _Underscore.VC
- Jody Rose, Executive Director at New England Venture Capital Association
- Rob Go, Co-Founder and Partner at NextView Ventures
- Smaiyra Million, Partner with Highland Consumer Partners
Special Guest Speakers
- Kerry Healey, Babson College President
- Sue Siegel, GE Ventures CEO
- Eliza Dushku, actress, activist, producer, and entrepreneur
- The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
- Gesmer Updegrove
- Babson College Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL)
- The Diana Project
- Babson Executive and Enterprise Education
- $250,000 in funding plus marketing services, including the creation of a customized brand identity platform from Breakaway;
- In-kind prizing from Comcast including a three-month advertising campaign in the Boston DMA; production of one thirty-second commercial; and more;
- $6,000 in email delivery and management services from SendGrid for the winner; $3,000 for each semi-finalist;
- $1,000 in MOO print and design products for the winner, plus $250 for each runner-up;
- Complimentary legal automation services for the winner from Shoobx;
- Free seat at The Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp: A Deep Dive for New Ventures at Babson Executive and Enterprise Education in January 2017;
- Use of shared workspace at WeWork for finalists to prepare for the Finale; and
- Bombas merchandise.
Breakaway is a brand and venture capital firm that invents, reinvents, and reinvigorates brands. Our unique platform of strategy, creative, activation, venture investment, and talent placement builds brands, accelerates growth, and creates meaningful value for companies big and small. We invest our time, money, heart, soul, minds, lives, and futures into it day in and day out. We are believers in brand. We are investors in brand. We are brand capitalists.
About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College
Founded in 2000, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College fulfills and extends Babson’s mission by educating, inspiring, and empowering women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society. The Center does this through innovative education programs, events, and by supporting and widely disseminating research about the unique skills and experiences of women entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, CWEL supports and advances gender equality as a growth strategy for individuals and for organizations of all sizes, everywhere in the world.
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.