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Budding BC Entrepreneur Named to .406 Ventures Program

09/30/13
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Claudio Quintana '16 (Photo by Caitlin Cunningham)

By Jack Dunn | Director of News & Public Affairs

Published: Sept. 30, 2013

Boston College sophomore and Presidential Scholar Claudio Quintana has been named to the .406 Ventures Student Fellows Program, a highly selective fellowship for successful student entrepreneurs from the nation’s top universities.

Quintana, an information systems and management and leadership major from Oregon, was selected for the fellowship based on his proven success as a student entrepreneur. In 2011 he founded A New Origin, LLC, a start-up featuring sustainable lifestyle clothing and accessories. This summer, he founded Quabblejack.com, an on-line contemporary art gallery and limited edition print shop.

Through the fellowship, Quintana will now partake in a two-year program that combines the academic entrepreneurial experiences offered through Boston College with the business-world skills and peer networks needed to build a successful company.

Created in 2009, the .406 Ventures Student Fellows Program provides an opportunity for entrepreneurial college students to get an inside look at the venture capital industry, build a peer network and be exposed to successful industry entrepreneurs. The fellows receive $10,000 in subsidies and discounts with leading service providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, and are given access to select venture capitalists, legal advisors and marketing experts who teach them how to assess and engage the capital community. 

Since the program’s inception, its student fellows have launched companies such as Attendware, Cognection, Codeacademy and Jebbit — whose co-founder Jeb Thomas ’13 is BC’s previous winner of this prestigious fellowship. This year’s other fellows were selected from Harvard, Dartmouth and Carnegie Mellon. 

“As one of our Presidential Scholars, Claudio is extremely bright, so it was a pleasure to recommend him for the .406 Fellows program,” said Carroll School of Management Associate Professor John Gallaugher. “The track record of students involved in the program is quite strong — .406 has had Harvard MBAs and others from the Ivies involved — so the pipeline of BC students is a testament to the strength of our student body and our growing reputation in collegiate entrepreneurship.”  

Added James F. Keenan, SJ, the Founders Professor in Theology and director of the Presidential Scholars Program, “Since the day he arrived at BC, Claudio Quintana has had a ‘can-do’ approach to the right realization of his own projects. He is great to work with, from vision and design to execution. He has a strong imagination and likes to learn through experience. He tries start-ups and new platforms with a great disposition: hope, intelligence, a sense of adventure, and an interest in improving the way we live.”

Quintana said he was honored to win the fellowship and appreciates the opportunity it affords him to interact with like-minded social entrepreneurs. “Through this fellowship I am able to connect with people who are doing incredible things. One of the individuals in my fellows’ class is a Thiel Fellow and others have started amazing companies.  Having exposure to great minds from other networks and experiences and learning from them — while also teaching them about all that we are doing at BC — is a wonderful opportunity. I hope my experience will also help down the road to make BC an even greater hub for social innovation.”     

Quintana offers praise for BC, the Presidential Scholars Program and his faculty mentors for the support they have provided him since he arrived freshman year. “I chose Boston College because when I visited it I felt a passion here among professors such as John Gallaugher and Jim Keenan,” he said. “I saw BC was growing as an entrepreneurial center, and I felt that being involved in its growth as an entrepreneurial and innovation hub was appealing.

“When you mix this growth with BC’s Jesuit ideals, I think we have the potential to be the nation’s leader in social entrepreneurship and innovation.”

In addition to his studies in the Carroll School and his entrepreneurial interests, Quintana also has served as a food source intern at Project Bread, providing clients with access to food resources throughout the Greater Boston area, and as an intern at Haley House, where he helps to create marketing and other outreach materials. Most recently, he has worked with the BC social entrepreneurship club Enactus to connect non-profits with local businesses.  He was also the recipient of the Compass Fellowship for social entrepreneurs in 2012-2013.

“I became an entrepreneur to fulfill my own curiosity. I see it as a vehicle to create ideas and make them come alive, but it is important to me to have a social element. That notion has been fostered by Boston College, where we have been encouraged to ask, ‘How can what I am doing be helpful to others? How can the process of bringing a product to the world be beneficial to humanity?’  

“That is why I love it here at BC, and why I feel that I am in my element.”