The SSC Venture Partners, a venture fund and accelerator for student startups in the Boston area, will fund and mentor four BC student and alumni companies through its 2020 Summer Accelerator program, as well as one company from two Pine Manor College students. The selection for this year’s program includes startups in investing, clinical analysis, food delivery, charcuterie, and retail. The Accelerator program will be working with the founders of the five startups over the course of the summer to help them develop their businesses.
SSC was co-founded in 2017 by Miguel Galvez, BC ’12; Peter Bell, BC ’86; and Tom Coburn, BC’ 13, and is designed to offer students funding and mentorship, on-campus workshops, and an alumni support network, according to the SSC website. SSC’s partners and mentors are volunteers who have all founded their own companies,
“We invest in the best companies founded by BC alumni whilst enabling the BC community to found and grow businesses we’ll all be proud of,” the website reads.
This year’s startups include Kured, Markitplace, Aventure, Prism, and Collector’s.
Kured, founded by Gillian Rozynek, BC ’20, is a U.S.-based gift-giving business specializing in charcuterie arrangements, according to the SSC website.
“I’m really excited to gain exposure to that really valuable network of mentors,” said Rozynek. “I think [they] can give me really extremely valuable advice and guide me in ways that I might not be able to see by … just trying to launch the business independently.”
Markitplace, founded by Robert Harrington, BC ’18, and Dan Brett, BC ’18, is a platform that works with “small and socially conscious businesses” to provide food delivery services, according to the website. The business offers customers local meal kits and additional services that promote the brands of its partners, such as analytics and marketing.
Aventure works to clarify trading and financial literacy for millennial investors. The startup was co-founded by Shivansh Padhi, CSOM ’21; Max Fisher, MCAS ’22; and Maanas Peri, a rising sophomore from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Padhi said that SSC’s managing director, Duncan Walker, BC ’13, and the startup’s SSC mentors have been especially helpful with networking and guiding the startup in its early stages.
Prism Analytic Technologies was founded by Brendan Guerin, BC ’20; Arushi Suri, a recent graduate of Boston University; and Spencer Hey, a graduate of the University of Illinois. Prism systematically reviews clinical trials and offers analysts with empirical analyses of disease areas, according to the SSC website.
Collector’s was founded by two Pine Manor College students, Obinna Ojimba and Eugene Everette, and provides a platform for “sneaker-heads and social media devotees” to collaborate to produce limited-edition sneakers and high-end clothing, the SSC website reads.
After a competitive selection process, this year’s startups were chosen because they exhibit the characteristics that are needed to overcome challenges associated with founding a company, Walker said in an email to The Heights.
“We look for initiative, adaptability, resilience, and self-awareness. These are indicators of resourcefulness, coachability, and a ‘never quit’ attitude,” Walker said in the email. “Every year, BC produces high-quality startups and it’s the SSC’s job to help them have the highest chance of success.”
The SSC also works closely with the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship to further connect with BC students.
“We’re already in discussions with the Shea Center for further collaboration on the Summer Accelerator in 2021 and I look forward to continuing to do my part, returning as BC’s Entrepreneur-in-residence in the Fall semester,” Walker said in the email.
Although the SSC program is not slated to officially commence until Monday, mentors have already begun collaborating with their mentee student founders.
Walker said he hopes the Accelerator program will advance the BC startups and help the students involved develop valuable skills.
“The 2020 cohort reminds me of many companies who have gone on from BC to build incredibly successful businesses so I can’t wait to see what they achieve this summer and beyond!” Walker said in the email.
Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor