Last week I had the chance to catch up with Double Eagle Ryan Traeger, CEO and co-founder of ACHVR. Ryan received a BA from BC in 2003 and an MBA from the Carroll School in 2012. I have always believed that BC is a great place to start a business, yet our MBA program is not always viewed as such from the outside. One of the goals of the Grad Tech Club is to change that perception and create opportunities for plenty of future businesses to come out of the walls of Fulton Hall.
Even before his MBA, Ryan was no stranger to entrepreneurship, running a small web design firm out of college before taking on some marketing agency firm jobs. While he loved marketing, Ryan started to feel the entrepreneurial itch again and decided to go back to BC for an MBA. He hoped in the time to either start something or find a fledgling business to join while there. In his first year, Ryan was a member of Professor Gallaugher’s TechTrek West class which he says was the pivotal experience in his MBA program. It really invigorated him and was the true impetus to making him really dig in and start exploring ideas with new vigor.
The idea for ACHVR came to Ryan early in his second year and he ran with it. ACHVR would be an app that would gamify the experience of setting and pursuing life goals. It would also generate significant and valuable data for marketing and advertising uses. Passionate about pursuing the idea, Ryan approached the Dean of Graduate Programs and got permission for himself and a few others to approach the business as a class. He further developed the idea and then spent his second semester raising money. Ryan recruited a BC heavy management team tapping an undergrad classmate as CMO and a fellow MBA for the CFO. In October of 2013, ACHVR raised $1.3 million in seed funding!
Clearly Ryan made great use of his time and skills at BC but was there anything he wishes he would have done more of? Of course! Ryan says he did not do enough going out to the slew of entrepreneurship events happening nearly every night in the Boston area. These events can sometimes be dominated by Harvard, MIT, and Northeastern and could certainly use an infusion of Maroon and Gold. In particular Ryan suggests the Drinks on Tap meetup for Mobile entrepreneurs and the Greenhorn Connect calendar for discovering other events.
Thanks to Ryan for taking the time to talk and for his willingness to help out BC entrepreneurs! I look forward to chronicling more BC MBA startups over the next few weeks and to seeing more arise over the next few years!
Interested in learning more about ACHVR? Check out this video interview conducted by BC’s own Greg Stoller.
–David LoVerme is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and the President of the Grad Tech Club