Entrepreneurship: A lifelong journey.
Whether you take your entrepreneurial skillset and launch a startup or use it to transform today's companies into the organizations of tomorrow, the Derby Entrepreneurship Center is connecting entrepreneurs at every stage. From students to alumni and beyond, check out how Tufts helped launch their journeys.
Adelante Shoe Co.
Founder: Peter Sacco, F17
Adelante works with craftsmen in Guatemala to make high-quality shoes for men and women while paying the shoemakers enough to support a quality life. The company has evolved since it won first place in the 2017 Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition in the Social Impact track.
Peter Sacco, F17, never thought he would run a shoe company. His passion for Latin America and economic development lead him to a master’s program at the Tufts Fletcher School. There, he saw an opportunity to use entrepreneurship as a tool for social impact – and Adelante Shoe Co. was born.
Founders: Jake Lombardo, MSIM '19 & Konstantinos Tzortzakis, MSIM ’19
With Anodyne Nanotech, Jake and Konstantinos are reimagining the way that healthcare professionals administer drugs and treatments like ibuprofen and monoclonal antibodies.
Anodyne Nanotech leverages microneedle technology in a patch that will be able to deliver these drugs in a more effective and healthier manner that is also convenient for patients.
Built Out of Paper (BOOP)
Founder: Dara Schaier, A08
Dara Schaier, A08, set out to change the way people thought about cardboard. Her venture, BOOP, created furniture made out of cardboard for young, urban dwellers that is both lightweight and sustainable. Schaier studied architecture at Tufts with a minor in Entrepreneurship, then went on to receive her MBA from Emory University.
Free Flow Wines
Founder: Jordan Kivelstadt, E04, Derby Center Advisory Board Member
Free Flow Wines has changed the way the wine industry deals with packaging wine. Shifting away from bottle to stainless steel kegs for on-premise consumption, the company, founded by Jordan Kivelstadt, is shifting the paradigm in an otherwise stagnant industry.
Jordan has spent the last 10 years reimagining the packaging of wine, be it on his own winery, for Free Flow Wines or Essentially Geared (his latest innovation – wine in aluminum cans). His mission is not only to inject innovation into a stagnant industry but to go about it in a cool and sustainable manner.
Founder: Charles Parsow, A13
Ginger Time produces a concentrated serving of fresh ginger roots, honey and other organic ingredients that improves your body’s immunities and even can settle an upset stomach. In 2018, it was one of the winners in the $100k New Ventures Competition. Now, Ginger Time is part of Marjay Worldwide, a portfolio of health products and brands.
In an interview following the $100k New Ventures Competition, Charles said, "I’m in 25 retailers across Massachusetts and 6 in Manhattan. Across these retail outlets, I’ve sold anywhere between 2-10x what would be considered “average” for a new beverage. In one month, one retailer sold 15x what is considered “average.” Amazon has been a tremendously successful channel for me."
Kofi Asante, A17
Tufts University graduate Kofi Asante, A17, completed the Entrepreneurship minor through the Entrepreneurship Center and is currently the Head of Strategy and Business Development at Elroy Air. He is driven by the social impact technology can create while also ensuring that diversity and inclusion remain at the forefront of “democratizing access,” a means of creating equity in ideas, technologies, tools, etc.
Kofi joined Elroy Air following a stint within Uber’s freight division. At Uber Freight, he launched Powerloop, a technology that enables truck “carriers to access preloaded trailers, cutting load time from hours to minutes.”
Founder: Sean Harrington, A14
Sean, a former software engineer for the New England Patriots, co-founded Notemeal, which provides web and mobile solutions for performance dietitians to optimize athlete nutrition. Their applications increase the efficiency of dietitians and provide a vehicle for engagement with athletes. By tracking athlete progress and compliance, Notemeal provides insights and highlights opportunities for furthering nutrition education.
Notemeal competed in the 2019 $100k New Ventures competition where it was named one of the finalists and won the Cummings Property rent credit.
Founders: Edith Hu, MSIM '18, Barton Liang, MSIM '17, Trish O’Connor, MSIM '17, and Paget Stanco, MSIM '17
Every year, over 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the U.S., and 30 percent of those go undiagnosed, posing a huge risk to athletes.
OnGuard, created by four students in the Tufts Gordon Institute MS in Innovation and Management (MSIM) program, worked to address this problem head-on. They developed a wearable concussion warning system that provides instant impact alerting, data tracking, and analysis to coaches, trainers, and athletes.
OnGuard placed second in the Healthcare/Life Science Track of the 2017 $100k New Ventures Competition.
Founder: Max Makeev, MSEM '09
Co-founded by Max Makeev, MSEM '09, Owl Labs is an IoT devices company that's looking to revolutionize teleconferencing with its solutions that with "help remote participants feel like they're sitting in the room with their distant team."
According to BostInno, "The company's first product [is] Owl, an IoT video conferencing hardware tool that aims to improve the meeting experience for remote employees. Specifically, Owl [is] a USB audio and video device."
Repast Supply Co.
Founder: Mike Finizio, MSEM '12
Repast Supply Co. delivers custom furniture and cooking tools with an emphasis on creating memorable in-home experiences. Repast Supply Co. and its founder, Mike, have appeared on ABC's Funderdome, a seed-funding competition reality series hosted by Steve Harvey that aired in 2017.
On the show, Mike demonstrated how the modified rolling pin works by rolling over sheets of pasta dough which stamps out perfectly sealed ravioli.
Founder: Rebecca Novak, A10
ScriptEd equips youth attending under-resourced high schools with access to technology careers. ScriptEd does so by providing a rigorous, long-term pipeline of support, starting with a full-year coding class taught at a school site by professional software developers on a volunteer basis. Students then progress into advanced classes, high school internships, and eventually careers in the tech industry.
"We’ve experienced incredible success thus far. 73% of our alumni are on track for a career in tech – studying CS or a related field in college or currently working in the field. This is compared to 1% of students that have historically achieved these outcomes in the communities we serve. We’ve built a stellar community around our work, including industry leaders like Atlassian, GitHub, Google, Etsy, Salesforce, Mozilla, and others," said Rebecca.
Founders: Greg Kulchyckyj, A19, and Shehryar Malik, A19
TableTab is a platform developing solutions for restaurants that allow customers to order food and pay for their meals, making the dining experience contactless. Currently, TableTab has more than a dozen restaurant partners, and its roster includes popular spots like Boston Burger Company. As part of TableTab’s business model, the platform is currently free to use, and restaurants cover payment processing fees associated with credit and debit cards that they would typically incur.
“We're here to help restaurants,” said Shehryar, the startup's Co-Founder and CEO. “We're looking to solidify our business model and validate that our product can truly be a positive impact, which we're already seeing today.”
Founder: Alex Rappaport, E17, MSIM '18
ZwitterCo is an innovative and high-tech way to reduce and reuse wastewater that was started as an Innovation Sprint during the MS in Innovation & Management program. It's now on the way to change the way the world thinks about water management.
In 2019, ZwitterCo was awarded a $1.25 million grant from the Department of Energy in addition to a $225 thousand grant from the National Science Foundation.