Babson Teams Winners Of EDENS Retail Challenge

Babson Teams Aroma and FOLLIAN win EDENS Retail Challenge

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Babson College student businesses Aroma and FOLLIAN are both winners of this year’s EDENS Retail Challenge. The EDENS Retail Challenge, sponsored in conjunction with smART: The Art of Retail Conference, is a nationwide competition seeking the most innovative entrepreneurs and the next, best retail concept.

The competition usually only allows for one winner, but this year due to quality of both Babson businesses Aroma and FOLLIAN, the judges announced that this year they would make an exception and award both teams with a grand prize of $10,000 as well as the chance to bring their retail concept to life.

Both Babson Businesses beat out the other competing finalist from George Washington University, as well as other top-tier colleges such as MIT, Harvard, Yale, and Johns Hopkins.

Babson Business Winners:

Aroma (Babson College, Boston) – a specialty retailer of premium live roast, whole-bean coffee, which will be roasted in-store, live in front of the consumer. An educational, in-person coffee experience, which will include home brewing equipment and wares, limited prepared coffee beverages and gift merchandise.

The Aroma team is comprised of first year Babson MBA students: James Gutierrez, Alex Lowe and Elvis Lieban in the graduating class of 2014.

FOLLAIN (Babson College, Boston) – a skincare retail concept, the first and only brick-and-mortar source for healthy, effective and local skincare. FOLLAIN is a place to bring together communities in order to experience and learn about products that are healthy for us, our families, and our environment.

The FOLLIAN team is comprised of second year MBA students Babson students: Tara O’Connor, Mariana Robina, and Tyler Metcalf.

"We could not have won the first two rounds of the EDENS competition without the incredible entrepreneurial resources that Babson has to offer, especially our faculty advisors Professor Richard Bliss, Professor Michael Mozill”, said members of the AROMA team.

EDEN, one of the nation's largest retail real estate developers, focuses on innovative development and redevelopment together with key acquisitions in urban areas.

The smART: The Art Of Retail Conference brings together a host of influencers in the retail world, and was created as a vehicle by which small business owners from around the country could learn from some of the most innovative, creative and successful business minds in the industry today.

For more information on the EDENS Retail Challenge, please visit:

For more information on EDENS, please visit:


About EDENS:

EDENS develops, owns and operates community building centers in primary markets throughout the East Coast. Focusing on innovative development and redevelopment together with key acquisitions in urban areas, the Company has built an institutional-quality portfolio of 111 retail centers. EDENS has Regional Headquarters inBoston, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Miami and Columbia, SC. For additional information about the Company and its retail real estate portfolio, please visit

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, visit the Babson College Website.


By Hilary Katulak,, 781-239-4623 | 02/05/2013 07:35