Suffolk students are eager to turn their big ideas into big businesses.
That's why Suffolk's Center for Entrepreneurship hosts two entrepreneurship trade shows every year. Students have the chance to win seed funding to get their ideas off the ground.
The 2014 winners included Khalid Osman, Wasel Othman, Punit Navani, and Natalie Rustigian. Together, they came up with the idea for Med-Afford, a nonprofit that aims to bring low-cost anti-malarial medication to a region in Bangladesh, where infection rates are among the highest in the developing world. Med-Afford would purchase soon-to-be-expired medications and distribute them in the target region directly from India.
Last year, Abdulla Alnajar, Nicholas Chammas, Bilal El Yaman, and Karan Gopwani won for their hands-free umbrella called Intrella (short for Intelligent Umbrella). The umbrella attaches to your backpack, is blue tooth enabled, and has a built-in thermostat.
Tips From an Angel Investor
If you plan to participate in the next trade show, angel investor Roman Wunderlich (BSBA '10) has some advice for you.
- Within the first five seconds, I can tell right away if I’m dealing with a straight shooter or a salesman. People who pitch and sweet talk their own product make it seem unbelievable and lose credibility right away.
- When you throw out numbers or facts, be ready to back them up. Nothing is worse than bad math or finances. If I put you on the spot, you should be able to shoot out an answer quickly and accurately.
- Lastly, and to me, most importantly—do a little homework on the investor before you pitch. We all have personalities, hobbies, and interests. Take that and run with it. Help us identify with you and your pitch, and let me know how my strengths in business will create a synergy within your business. Cater to the ego of the investor.