About Benjamin

Hometown: Cumberland, RI  
Previous University: Northeastern University
Previous Degree: Mechanical Engineering
Grad year: 2023

Q: What led you to entrepreneurship? 

A: I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit that drives me to identify and capitalize on new opportunities. That mindset translates into everything I do. Growing up, I was interested in the idea of earning money. It wasn't about spending it, but understanding how my ideas and personal skillset could generate more of it. When I was 13, I started taking out trash at a restaurant, and I noticed that one of my coworkers who shucked oysters earned a lot of tips. I slowly convinced him to teach me how to shuck oysters, and I ended up taking over the job and making pretty good money. This was a pivotal experience, inspiring me to continue pursuing my interests everywhere I went. 

I excelled in math and science and had always been infatuated with understanding how things were built. I naturally gravitated toward a degree in mechanical engineering as an undergrad at Northeastern. My dad suggested that a minor in entrepreneurial engineering might be interesting, and I'm glad I gave it a shot. 

Q: Tell me about your startup. 

A: My friend and I joined forces to create our startup, Parallel Pipes. My co-founder has a background in computational physics and data science, and we began automating processes to make simulated product testing easier. Although the idea was complex, my mechanical engineering background helped me realize this was a good fit.  

Parallel Pipes integrates data science into the virtual engineering process to assist product development. Essentially, our company uses 3D prototypes to test the validity of products in a physics simulation, eliminating the need for conducting physical analysis. One roadblock to virtual testing is that the tools required to run the simulations are complicated and can take many years to learn and master. Parallel Pipes alleviates these complications and maximizes the data these tests provide. We enable companies to get more out of their simulations so they are more informed and ready to enter the market quickly. 

Q: What made you decide to earn your certificate? 

A: I recognized that I needed business training to run a startup. Until I could hire a finance professional, I needed to fill this role. I didn't have the time to pursue an MBA, and the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration would help me master the business basics I needed most in four or five courses. My certificate did exactly that. 

Q: How has your certificate contributed to your professional goals? 

A: My certificate was the only business training I received, and I use what I learned daily at work. My classes were extremely valuable, and within a year, I gained experience and was operating my business more professionally than before. I joined The Huntington Angels Network (HAN) and Mosaic, which taught me about entrepreneurship and allowed me to work directly with startups and venture capital firms.  

HAN introduced me to the financial aspects of starting a business, including how to raise the necessary funds to get started. Mosaic offered mentorship and connected me with others whose knowledge and experience was critical for me as a first-time entrepreneur. These two opportunities connected me with my co-founder and other mentors in business, for which I'm grateful. Our startup began as a pitch at Northeastern, and now we're launching our first product in just a few months. 

Q: What advice do you have for future learners? 

A: If you don't have the time or resources to earn your MBA, the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration is a fantastic alternative. It's flexible and can provide the core concepts you need to understand the business world. 

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