IDEA Ventures Featured at Northeastern’s Empower Campaign Launch

On Thursday May 23, IDEA: Northeastern University’s Venture Accelerator participated in the launch Empower: The Campaign for Northeastern University, which aims to raise $1 billion for the university by 2017. At the event, IDEA and four of its ventures were featured as highlights of Northeastern’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and output.Empower’s goal is to raise $500 million through philanthropic support and $500 million through government and industry partnerships by harnessing the existing momentum in Northeastern’s areas of expertise: experiential education, global leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors. Representing this entrepreneurial spirit were four IDEA ventures: Fresh TruckNjabini Inc., U-Turn Audio, and Willo Cocktails.


Fresh Truck and Njabini are social enterprise ventures that provide beter life conditions for people, both in Boston and around the world. Njabini develops opportunities for families in rural Kenya to increase and sometimes double their income, such as potato farming and jewelry making. Fresh Truck is a mobile food market that provides urban neighborhoods in Boston with fresh produce that is not otherwise readily available to them.

Willo Cocktails makes low-calorie, organic bottled cocktails that are a healthy alternative to traditional libations. Willo was serving its cocktails at Empower, including its signature margarita and a “PAWSmopolitan,” a cosmopolitan with Husky spirit.

Providing tunes for the evening was U-Turn Audio. U-Turn created and developed an affordable and user-friendly turntable for the modern-day vinyl lover. Their turntable is not only cost-efficient, but its sound quality is that of a high end record player.

IDEA’s CEO Max Kaye was very impressed by the entire night, but was very excited about the strong role IDEA and its ventures played: “It was so rewarding to have IDEA ventures be a part of the event. All four ventures were able to give the Northeastern community an up close and personal look at their products and the progress they have made. They fit right into this launch because these entrepreneurs are really empowering everyone they work with [in IDEA], from the coaches and other ventures to IDEA’s Management Team.”

photo (7)2 (1) As one of Northeastern’s prominent entrepreneurial organizations, IDEA is proud to have been so strongly represented at such a monumental event for the university. While four of our ventures were featured at Empower, IDEA is actively working with 150 ventures and has worked with over 350 ventures to date. Each venture brings impressive ideas to the table, and we are excited to see what the future holds for them all. As Northeastern President Joseph Aoun said, “Northeastern’s momentum has been extraordinary, and the best is yet to come.”

To find out more about IDEA, please visit our website.