A look at b-school founders who are uplifting communities, tackling new industries, improving health outcomes, and gaining insight on what it takes to be an entrepreneur. And they’re just getting started.
Getting a venture off the ground amidst uncertainty is never easy, but challenges are inevitable for today’s entrepreneurs. With a shaky stock market, international conflict, and a global pandemic, today’s founders have had to work even harder to succeed.
At Tuck, that success is grounded in a loyal alumni network, unparalleled access to faculty, and a supportive ecosystem of other entrepreneurs and resources. It means former classmates turn into trusted advisors, professors become mentors, and b-school courses become even more relevant once it’s time to put theory into practice. As the Tuck network and ecosystem for entrepreneurs grows, recent graduates and startup founders are doing even more to tap into these offerings. And many are finding success despite a less-than-certain business environment that makes raising the next venture round a tough endeavor. Here, six Tuck founders share what they’ve learned about entrepreneurship, what it took to launch thriving ventures, and how their time in Hanover has helped shape their entrepreneurial journey.
Offering solutions for an emerging industry.
As a first-time founder in the growing legalized cannabis industry, Koushi Sunder T’13 knows a thing or two about finding her way. For one, she has had to pivot her startup away from online cannabis delivery to focus on marketing services for dispensaries.
Solving the childcare crisis with resources for all.
In 2020, Shah cofounded Upfront, a startup that helps to address the difficulties that parents face when it comes to finding childcare that’s both reliable and affordable. The company sells and licenses their platform to governments at the state and county level, allowing the organizations to offer updated and reliable childcare resources to those in need.
Cofounder, Fabric Health
At the laundromat, making use of wasted time.
As cofounder of Fabric Health, Bragg wanted to turn the two-plus hours that more than 30 million low-income families spend washing and drying clothes into time that’s even more productive. By working with health-care insurers, the startup encourages laundromat goers, many of whom are women, to tap into the critical health services they need to improve their lives.
Cofounder and COO, Better Life Partners
Navigating the opioid epidemic through the power of community.
When Steve Kelly T’18 met Tuck adjunct professor Adam Groff D’99, an MD, he quickly realized they saw eye-to-eye on some the country’s most pressing issues, including the opioid crisis. Talking to Groff helped Kelly, whose family has been impacted by the epidemic, to understand how he could make an impact.
Next-gen customer support to boost sales.
Contacting customer service feels like a chore to most consumers. But Chatdesk cofounder Andrew Olaleye T’13 says the exchange doesn’t need to feel dreadful. At Chatdesk, consumers chatting with a rep often crack a smile—or make a purchase—after the exchange.
Cofounder, Honeycomb Credit
Closing the financing gap for local businesses.
For George Cook T’17 growing up in the family community banking business was not just a way of life, it gave him an inside look at the problems he wanted to solve as an entrepreneur. With community banks and small business lending disappearing, the sixth-generation community banker saw the need to widen access to critical funding for small businesses.
This story originally appeared in print in the winter 2023 issue of Tuck Today magazine.