Startup Spotlight: ThinkBoardMay 22, 2016
This week we speak to Hanson Grant – CEO & founder of Think Board, and Babson Student – about his startup and how Babson and Boston gave him the opportunities he needed to turn his dorm-room idea into a business.
Hanson: Think Board is a clear film that turns any smooth surface into a dry erase board. You can put it a desk, door, wall – really anywhere you want!
GH: What was your Eureka moment: how did Think Board get started?
Hanson: All I wanted was a space to ideate and write down business ideas, but I was not allowed to paint my dorm room walls with dry erase paint, or drill holes in the walls, so I knew there had to be a better solution. Something simple and inexpensive, that could be installed within seconds – and that’s where Think Board came in!
GH: How did you build your team?
Hanson: I have kept my team very small over the past two years. I have employed high school interns from home to help with the operations, as well as a few friends at school to help with content marketing and sales.
Hanson: Our vision to revolutionize how we think, learn and perform; in an office, in a home, in a classroom
GH: What did you learn from your first customers?
Hanson: The first customers taught me about the true value of the product. I was unsure and uncertain of how well the product would be received, but these first customers really showed lots of support and excitement for their Think Board.
GH: What has the Boston ecosystem provided you?
Hanson: Everything. I could not have asked for a better place to start a business. I’ve attended countless networking events and pitch competitions, on a collegiate level as well as on a national level. I have built a network and now am connected to dozens, if not hundreds, of successful business professionals and entrepreneurs. I am a MassChallenge 2015 finalist and the EO GSEA Boston regional winner for student entrepreneurs. I’ve had Bostinno write about Think Board (here and here), and was named one of BETA’s 25 under 25 in 2015, as was featured on WCVB The Chronicle. Also, Babson College has been one of the best resources for me, with mentors, connections and funding.
GH: What is the Boston ecosystem lacking from your perspective?
Hanson: Warmer weather (haha). No I really can’t think of anything the Boston ecosystem is lacking.
GH: What’s the best/worst piece of advice you were given along the way?
Hanson: The best piece of advice I have been given is to “Just start.” Once you get the ball rolling, it will keep rolling. A lot of people keep their ideas to themselves. Write your ideas as big as possible, (ideally on a Think Board) and then, share it and pitch it. This keeps your business in action, and takes it beyond just an idea.
Hanson: Winning the BETA Challenge at Babson College for sure. We secured $20,000 in Grant funding, which really allowed for serious growth in the business.
GH: What does the future hold for Think Board?
Hanson: In the near future, we will be launching a few additional products to our collection. We will also be focusing on education, and will provide Think Boards to cover the school desks of elementary and middle schools around the country.