When I was deciding on a college there were many aspects that played a role in my decision, one such aspect was location. Being located in Boston, Northeastern has afforded me many opportunities that simply would not have been possible elsewhere. For me, these opportunities have been focused on entrepreneurship and technology and outside of Silicon Valley there is no better place to be than in Boston. One of the first clubs that I joined at Northeastern was the Entrepreneur’s Club, commonly called the eClub. I started out by attending their weekly meetings where high profile executives, such as Kayak.com Co-Founder Paul English, come to talk about their experiences and offer advice to the budding community of entrepreneurs at Northeastern. While this was great I wanted to get more out of the eClub’s offerings, and I decided to enter the Husky Startup Challenge with my business partner in our new venture, Coherent Clothes. For four hours every Saturday we would attend sessions aimed at helping us develop our business smartly and professionally.
The culmination of these Saturday workshops was Demo Day where we pitched Coherent Clothes to students, professors, members of the Boston entrepreneur community and the press. In case you didn’t make it, here’s our “elevator pitch”: Coherent Clothes knows men want to be fashionable, they just don’t like shopping the way it was designed for women. Coherent Clothes allows men to get in, get out and get on with their day while looking good doing it. After logging on to CoherentClothes.com you fill out a short survey which asks for basic metrics such as height, weight, personality, hair color, eye color and skin color. From this information our advanced and proprietary algorithms are able to not only match shirts to pants but also match these outfits to you by suggesting colors and cuts that look good on your body. The service is free and all our name brand clothing is priced below retail prices giving you no reason not to give it a try!
After saying some variation of this pitch more than 100 times over the course of two hours the evening culminated in the awards presentation. After an agonizingly long wait we finally learned that we had won the Husky Startup Challenge! Three college freshmen had just beaten out eighteen other companies composed of undergraduate students from every graduating class as well as graduate students! It was an exciting moment that gave our idea a great deal of validation, something that is crucial when developing a new product or service.
While I came into Northeastern with a great deal of entrepreneurial experience, having founded three previous companies, the tools, resources and support systems I have found at Northeastern have been invaluable. In the spring semester Coherent Clothes will be entering IDEA, Northeastern’s venture accelerator, which will give us access to even more university resources as well as access to additional funding, something any startup loves receiving.
by Matthew Connolly, International Business, University Scholar from Troy, New York