Babson’s Susan Duffy and alumnus John Burns M’05 also convened women-led businesses eager to apply for inaugural Babson Breakaway Challenge and chance at $250,000 in funding

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The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership(CWEL) at Babson College co-sponsored the latest Mass Innovation Night (MIN)– MI​N #79 - utilizing the popular product launch event to showcase its own Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab businesses and encourage prospective Babson Breakaway Challenge applicants.

The Babson Breakaway Challenge is a one-of-a-kind competition and mentoring program that promotes gender parity while championing women entrepreneurs and aspiring venture capitalists. Applications for are currently being accepted through January 5, 2016. The winning entrepreneur team will receive $250,000 for their business, as well as marketing services, including the creation of a customized brand identity platform. The challenge is also looking for applicants that are aspiring women venture capital apprentices (VCAs). Six VCA nominees will work alongside the entrepreneur teams and mentors to help refine the business pitch for the March gala. The highest-performing VCA will receive an internship at Breakaway to continue their career in their field.

At the event, Babson Breakaway co-founders Susan Duffy, CWEL’s Executive Director, and John Burns M’05, Chief Investment Officer at Breakaway, announced the exciting opportunity, and invited participants to be one of the first to apply for the competition.

MIN #79 was a key Women’s Entrepreneurship Boston (WE BOS) event featuring products from companies with women founders and co-founders. It was also co-located with a new event presented by Innovation Women, the Women Entrepreneurs Evening, an opportunity to introduce women entrepreneurs to supporting organizations.

MIN #79 Win Lab Spotlight

Green Piñata Toys 
Shiva Kashalker M’11, Founder and CEO

Green Piñata Toy Share is an online toy rental subscription service that offers toxin-free, fun, and educational toys for children under five-years-old. Every month, toys are recommended based on proprietary toy curriculum and are shipped right to the customer's door. It makes parents’ lives easier while keeping their little ones safe as they play, learn, and grow.

Marie Zemler Wu, Co-Founder, Women on Main Fellow 
Sierra Rothberg, Co-Founder, Women on Main Fellow

Lusterity is a one-stop workshop for socially-conscious celebration. With its party and entertaining supplies, creative services, and DIY classes, modern hosts can design gorgeous gatherings that support diversity, sustainability, makers, local, and giving back.

Additional Babson Businesses Featured at the Event

Bryanne Leeming M’16 

JumpSmart combines learning engineering concepts and coding with physical activity for kids ages eight to 12 by utilizing a programmable mat that allows kids to create their own interactive games and experience the process of invention first-hand.

Cintell LLC​ 
Apparao Karri M’12

Cintell is a cloud-based customer intelligence platform that enables companies to better understand their buyers and make stronger, more customer-centric decisions.

About Mass Innovation Nights (MIN)

Mass Innovation Nights (MIN), the popular local product launch party and networking event, regularly draws attendees from all over the region. In the past six years, MIN has launched more than 800 products which have collectively received more than $1 billion in funding. Free and open to the public, MIN features experts, networking, tabletop presentations from new local products, and presentations from the winners of online voting.

About Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL)    

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 and Action​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. ​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​

By Brianna DiPietro,, (781) 239-4548 | 10/15/2015 05:27