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Bentley Entrepreneurs Take People’s Choice Title at Boston Beta’s Student Start-Up Competition
A team from Bentley University made up of one current student and two alumni won Boston Beta’s People’s Choice Competition, held at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, Mass., on February 9, 2012. Bentley sophomore Paul Cheek, and 2011 graduates Vikram Chabra and Monil Kothari were recognized for co-founding Luvn’ Local, a technology-driven loyalty platform that networks small, locally owned businesses and rewards customers for their support. The Bentley team beat out 14 other student-built startup companies from schools such as Babson, Emerson, Harvard, MIT and Tufts.
“Boston Beta was our first opportunity to receive live constructive feedback about the product we developed,” says Cheek, who serves as the company’s lead developer and is majoring in Computer Information Systems and Entrepreneurship at Bentley. Chabra serves as product manager and Kothari is responsible for sales and marketing.
Users will be able to download the Luvn’ Local app and create an account either on their phone or through the company web site. They can then earn credits by shopping with locally owned businesses and redeem them for offers with any business on the Luvn’ Local network.
Luvn’ Local formed as an LLC last year and recently reached the end of its product development stage. While the official launch date has not yet been set, Cheek says that the network will soon include the following merchants from Harvard Square in Cambridge: Mr. Bartley's Burgers, Plough and Stars, The Hempest, Cafe Gato Rojo, and Hotel Veritas.
Boston Beta partnered with MIT StartLabs for the competition.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Bentley No. 2 among regional universities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, up from No. 3 last year, highlighting Bentley’s high-quality faculty and academic programs along with the strong value that students receive from a Bentley education.