Founders Summit 2019

Founders Summit

Register now for The Founders Summit, created by the Blank Center in honor of Babson’s Centennial.

On April 11, 2019, the Founders Summit will present an afternoon of ideas and inspiration for founders and builders of all kinds of companies at Olin Hall.

The Founders Summit will feature opportunities to connect, learn, and network with fellow Babson entrepreneurs.

After the summit, please join us for the finale of the B.E.T.A. Challenge, our premier new venture competition, where Babson entrepreneurs will pitch to win more than $300,000 in cash and prizes.

1–1:30 p.m. Registration and Welcoming Remarks
1:30–2 p.m. Mega Mentoring Session I
2:15–2:45 p.m. Mega Mentoring Session II
3–3:40 p.m. Lightning Talks I
  • Passing the Torch: When Entrepreneurship Becomes a Family Value session presented by the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship
  • Thinking Outside the Box: Funding Sources Beyond VC session presented by the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership
3:45–4:20 p.m. Lightning Talks II
  • From Entrepreneur to Investor session presented by the Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance
  • Entrepreneurs Creating Economic and Social Value Simultaneously session presented by The Lewis Institute
4:25–5 p.m. Keynote: Serial entrepreneur Tim DeMello ’81, P’18
5–9 p.m. B.E.T.A. Challenge

Registration closed Tuesday, April 9 at 4pm EDT. Walk-ins are welcome.

Passing the Torch: When Entrepreneurship Becomes a Family Value

In family business circles, discussion often focuses on the small percentage of family firms that survive through the second and third generations. At Babson, our focus is not on one particular business but rather on the family and how they act entrepreneurially, individually and together, across generations and time. In this session, we explore how one family has evolved its entrepreneurship from the more traditional model of growing an existing business to founding a startup. We will be speaking with Dave Barber '81, P'16 '17, senior consultant and retired president and CEO of Barber Foods, Dorie Barber P'16 '17, “MB” (Mainely Burgers) Mom, and their sons, Jack '16 and Max '17, co-founders of Mainely Burgers.  

Presented by the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship (IFE) and moderated by Lauri Union, IFE executive director.

Thinking Outside the Box: Funding Sources Beyond VC

Founders from all industries are entrepreneuring innovative ways to fuel and grow their companies. Come hear a panel of Babson alumnae–Danielle Babineau MBA'15, co-founder of Redemption Rock Brewing, Shiva Kashalkar MBA'11, founder of Green Piñata Toys, and Marisa MacClary MBA'99, co-founder of Artifact Health–as they share their funding objectives, successes, and lessons learned to secure the capital their companies require. Walk away with tips for moving beyond the limitations of the elusive VC deal.   

Presented by the Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership and moderated by Shakenna K. Williams '94, PhD, CWEL director of global initiatives.

From Entrepreneur to Investor

How does one make the transition from entrepreneur to investor? Join Catherine Friend White MBA'86, Managing Director, Golden Seeds, and Tim Chae, General Partner, 500 Startups, as they offer insights on their experiences, including how they made the move, the skills needed to make the move, and their advice for entrepreneurs and investors today.

Presented by the Cutler Center and moderated by Angelo Santinelli, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs Creating Economic and Social Value Simultaneously

Today, more than ever, values and purpose play a critical role in value creation. In BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2019 CEO letter, he wrote, “Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them. Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose–in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked.” This panel of purpose-driven entrepreneurs will share why they do what they do, and how they engage with their customers and markets. More and more people are not just buying what you do; they are buying into why you do what you do. We will be speaking with Tara Foley MBA'13, CEO and founder of Follain, and Rob Dalton MBA'14, co-founder of 88 Acres, both of whom are leading mission-driven brands that are making a difference in people's lives.

Presented by The Lewis Institute and moderated by Cheryl Kiser, executive director of The Lewis Institute.

For alumni entrepreneurs interested in participating as a one-day mentor at the event, please email the Blank Center.

Starting Up and Never Stopping: Inside the Mind of Tim DeMello

Successful serial entrepreneur Tim DeMello ’81, P’18 has been building businesses for 30 years–and he would be happy to keep on doing it for another 30 years. He has founded seven startups, including Replica,,, Spotlight Media, and, Gradifi, his most recent venture which was sold to First Republic Bank in 2016. Many of his ventures have gone public or been acquired by other companies, such as Peapod,, and Mattel. DeMello will reflect on the string of businesses he has started through the decades, on a career that has brought him fulfillment, and, how, after all the ups and downs, he is still in the business of turning an idea into reality. He’ll also share how Babson has been part of his story from the beginning to today–he is a Babson parent and trustee-and some important lessons he has learned about founding and building companies.