Newswise — HigherMe ─ a Babson tech startup that makes it easier for retail employers to hire qualified workers ─ took home the $15,000 first prize in Startup Rounds business contest held recently through the Babson Entrepreneurship Club (BEC).

Founded by Babson Graduate students Rob Hunter and Evan Lodge, HigherMe is a website and mobile application that gives prospective employees the chance to submit short one-minute video introductions to retail establishments. Employers in turn are better able to consider the candidate’s interpersonal skills that are essential to helping them succeed in a retail environment.

Other Winning Babson Startups:

• ZOOS, LLC - Second Place ($5,000) also won the audience choice-award ($2,000) and best real-estate prize. ZOOS (pronounced Zeus) is a unique, first to market Greek Iced-Tea developed to deliver on great taste, unique offerings, and a healthier alternative to other iced-tea products currently on the market.

• MandaSeguro - Third Place ($3,000) is a company built around helping those who want to help others. A MandaCheck is sent to a loved one to use at a retail store of choice. No hassles, no lines, no carrying around cash and no fees!

• DataCrowd won best Tech Startup and is working with Rough Draft Ventures. DataCrowd provides on-demand retail research for marketers.

The Startup Rounds Contest was open to any company founded by Babson undergraduates, graduate students, or alumni with less than $1 million in earned revenues. Each company had to demonstrate the strength of their business idea and network by winning support through social media.

Over $30,000 in prizes were awarded, including $20,000 in cash and $10,000 in legal resources (Pepper Hamilton and Pierce Atwood); $25,000- $100,000 in real-estate consultation and speculation fees donated by the VP of Colliers International, Boston; Bostinno press and Mass Challenge opportunities; and meetings with Rough Draft Ventures with the opportunity to raise up to $25,000.

Startup Rounds was founded by Babson MBA candidate Paul Hammond. The contest qualifies startups for investment. Companies apply to compete in a contest for support, recognition, customers and capital. The top scoring startups advance to later rounds, establishing credibility, proving concept, gaining recognition, furthering opportunities to raise money and generate sales, and ultimately winning cash prizes. Visit

Future Startup Rounds contests will provide an opportunity for consumer facing businesses to pre-sell products and services in the form of rewards.

Visit for more information.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All KindsTM. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

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