Babson alumni businesses Grasshopper and Gemvara are among Inc magazine’s 30 Under 30 2011 honorees.
Babson alumni businesses Grasshopper and Gemvara are among Inc magazine’s 30 Under 30 2011 honorees. According to Inc, “They’re among the most intriguing young business owners in America – and they’ve barely gotten started.”
Founded by two entrepreneurs, Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser, Grasshopper has been making it easier to start and grow a small business since 2003. Back then, we started as just two guys with a dream and to date have served over 100,000 entrepreneurs (and we're still growing).
The Grasshopper virtual phone system helps entrepreneurs sound more professional and stay connected from anywhere. Features include toll free and local numbers, custom greetings, multiple extensions for employees, call forwarding to any phone anywhere in the world, voicemail to email, and much more. Unlike a traditional phone system, Grasshopper is managed all online and in the cloud - there's no hardware to purchase and no software to install.
Today our commitment to helping entrepreneurs is stronger than ever, and we continue to develop new and innovative tools to help them change the world.
While still an undergrad at Babson College, Matt Lauzon and a fellow classmate Jason Reuben co-founded Paragon Lake, a web-based B2B platform developed to streamline the manufacturing process for independent retail jewelry stores across the country. Paragon Lake launched in 2006; the company installed computer kiosks inside retail stores so customers could virtually create tailored pieces otherwise not kept in stock by the retailer. Paragon Lake then hand-crafted each design, purchasing locally-sourced material on a need-only basis, and shipped the finished product to the jeweler.
Realizing a niche in the jewelry industry at the intersection of eCommerce and mass customization, Matt transformed Paragon Lake into what Gemvara is today; a direct-to-consumer, online retailer of customizable fine jewelry. His "meCommerce" vision provides everyone with a seamless online shopping experience to discover the perfect piece of jewelry. Taking notes from how Dell transformed PC customization, Zappos revolutionized online customer service and Netflix simplified movie rentals, Matt is changing the way jewelry is bought and sold, leading Gemvara to becoming the world's fastest growing online jeweler. Gemvara was officially launched in March 2010 and already, Matt has secured three rounds of funding totaling over $25M in financing from Highland Capital Partners, Canaan Partners and Balderton Capital. He is one of the only company founders in the New England area, under age 30, to obtain VC funding in the past five years.