Babson-born businesses will be battling for a new slew of resources come January, including $3,000 in seed funding and another $5,000 in legal resources.
Two weeks ago, the Babson Entrepreneurship Club opened the application for Startup Rounds, a contest targeted at entrepreneurs who flourish in friendly competition. Any company founded by Babson undergraduates, graduate students or alumni, that has banked less than $1 million in revenue in the last year, is welcome to apply.
The first of four one-week rounds will commence on January 20. Accepted startups will be forced to leverage their network and build enough support to land on Startup Rounds’ leaderboard. Startups able to claim one of the coveted spots will move on in the competition with the close of each round, yet not before being reset to zero to even the playing field. By the rounds’ end, the remaining companies will be invited to pitch at an awards ceremony, where a panel of judges will determine how the prizes are allocated.
“We’re trying to accumulate prizes and resources,” said Startup Rounds Founder Paul Hammond, Babson Entrepreneurship Club co-president and a Babson MBA candidate. “It’s a growing prize pool.”
Beyond seed funding and legal resources, Startup Rounds will also offer the winning startup its chance to pitch to Rough Draft Ventures, as well as an opportunity to participate in the 2014 MassChallenge competition.
What’s more, this contest will help put Babson startups in front of Boston’s business community and provide a level of visibility not always awarded to those launching out of the city’s suburbs.
“We’re really trying to encourage that as a benefit,” Hammond said, referring to the exposure. He added that startups will be given the ability to test their concept.
Yet, participants won’t be alone in that.
To Hammond, this initial competition will grant the Startup Rounds’ team the opportunity to test both the market and concept, all while stimulating entrepreneurship and helping give back to Babson students.
“We would definitely love to expand to other schools,” Hammond acknowledged.
Startup Rounds’ ultimate goal stretches far beyond reaching fellow colleges, however. If this first contest goes well, Hammond said he hopes to see the platform evolve into a contest-based crowdfunding site, with each startup receiving a profile similar to what can be found on Kickstarter.
“Right now, we’re not trying to make any money,” Hammond said. “My partner and I are donating the software to the Entrepreneurship Club to basically do a beta contest.”
Image via Startup Rounds