2016-2017 Projects

The following Consulting Projects were being worked upon by the UGC (2016-2017)

doors-to-exploreDoors to Explore

Background: Doors to Explore Inc.(DTE) provides an online career resource for high school and early-college students to discover and explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers. Though there is a huge demand for STEM workers throughout the country, there is not much awareness about STEM career options among kids.

DTE is striving towards promoting STEM careers and education options to the high school and college student by increasing awareness about options available in the STEM stream. Providing information about the schools and potential employers that have the STEM field chosen by students.

Results and Benefits :

The UGC student consultant team had the task to generate ideas to achieve the above objective for DTE. The team discussions and analysis resulted in multiple ideas and suggestions to help DTE in the mission. DTE obtained ideas in three major areas -1. Website enhancements 2. Marketing strategies for students and companies 3. Growth using web analytics

DTE also was provided some short-term recommendations to ensure the website is launched successfully. DTE would be incorporating the suggestions into the website and looks forward to the UGC partnership in future for consultation.

Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Background: BL&D is a collective of four entrepreneurs and creatives who want to make the place we live better and to share it with everyone. We operate as a creative consulting agency and as venture building organizations. We have worked with organizations such as Theaterworks, City of Hartford, Open Studios and Hartford Fashion Week,while launching new initiatives such as the KNOW GOOD Market and BiCi Co.  Our company mission is to create a collective culture.

Consulting Objectives:

We are interested to see if UGC could help us create valuable metrics for our social enterprise that demonstrate how we are doing in reaching our stated mission of creating collective culture. Additionally, long-term financial planning for BL&D and its impact on our strategy would be very valuable to us.

Carlo Rivieccio Gym Concept

Background: We are in the exploratory phase of starting a new Gym/Fitness concept.  As almost all commercial gyms are profitable because they get as many people to sign up and not come, we have a concept that turns the industry upside down and rewards customers for going to the gym.  Our goal is to have a profitable gym with excellent services that entice customers to join/switch and rewards them for achieving their fitness goals.

Consulting Objectives: We would like to understand the marketplace of specific areas; what gyms are there, what are their prices, offerings, size, business model (luxury, volume) and ownership (corporate, local, independent).   We would like you to recommend price points, based on what you believe the value of each service is that would put us above the Planet Fitness’ of the market but below the major luxury brands.

If the team has the ability, a potential brief business plan could be made, discussing the viability of our idea with a break-even time table.


Career Engage Boston

Background:  CareerEngage is an organization that brings together young career minded professionals who want to become active participants in managing their own careers by partnering with peers, mentors and career management individuals to help them achieve their career goals.

Career Engage Strives to:

  • Create a professional, engaging, resourceful, creative, and fun environment to meet other individuals who have an interest in proactively managing their careers
  • Offer comprehensive, up-to-date career advice, especially during times of transition
  • Coach members on how to gain internal visibility for projects and promotions
  • Introduce individuals  to professional associations and contacts to expand their networks
  • Give back to the community through volunteer work with charitable organizations
  • Provide mentoring opportunities

Trouble Spots:

  • In-Person Engagement
    • CareerEngage has trouble getting people to commit to and attend in-person programming events
  • Online Engagement
    • Trouble getting people to comment, like and share resources on social media outlets
    • Turnover on Executive Board
    • Due to other obligations, there has been some turnover in E-Board positions, making it more challenging for planning and executing events

Consulting Objectives:

  • Benchmarking and Research
    • Other social networking or career groups (Meet Up, Boston Young Professionals, Networking After Work, etc.)
    • Change focus from Millennials to mid-career professionals
  • How to Get In-Person Engagement
    • Virtual programs (YouTube, Webinars, Periscope, etc.)
    • Different scheduling options (days, times)
    • Different topics/types of events
    • Partner with other groups, alumni associations, networking groups, clubs, volunteer organizations, etc.
  • Data Analysis on Social Media Posts and Website Tracking
    • Trends and gap analysis on content
    • Most engaged posts (topics, time of day, days of the week, etc.)
    • Who’s coming to the website, what are they looking at, how much time are they spending, etc.
  • Website Content
    • Linking posted content from social media pages
    • Posting original content

 Stephen's Soldiers FoundationStephen’s Soldiers


  • Non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2012
  • Founded in honor of Stephen Vorenburg
  • diagnosed with a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in high school
  • in remission after a year of chemotherapy
  • studying to be a Pediatric Oncologist.

Foundation’s Purpose:

  • Educate the general community about kids with cancer and how they can help.
  • Provide a platform to share survivor/non-survivor stories that encourages proactive activities.
  • Award college scholarships for cancer survivor students
  • Partner with organizations and corporate entities to generate volunteerism and raise funds for cancer research.
  • Provide a mechanism to disseminate information about support groups and resources available for individuals/families to assist with a plan of action when diagnosed.

Consulting Objectives:

  • Marketing
    • More hits on website
    • Increasing interest from local businesses for support
    • Reaching new potential donors
      • Expand beyond family and friend network
    • How to better highlight successes
    • How to better promote foundation’s mission



  • Non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1978
  • Mission: “Inspiring Hartford’s children to make positive choices, embrace high expectations and fulfill their potential by providing successful mentors, individualized tutoring, enriching activities and stimulating environments.”
  • Currently works with over 300 children
  • Programs:
    • Tutoring/Mentoring: matches over 250 individual tutors/mentors with over 250 students
    • Arts and Enrichment: short series of workshop/classes facilitated by local artists
    • Summer Program: multiweek program combining educational instruction and physical activities

Consulting Objectives:

  • Areas of Assistance:
  • Marketing
  • Increase awareness (social media and website)
  • more partnerships (tutors, artists, summer activities)


helpgrowctHelpGrowCT / HelpGrowUSA – Redeveloping Economic Development in Connecticut

Background: HelpGrowCT, a subsidiary of HelpGrowUSA, is a private benefit company dedicated to empowering small business growth via the proliferation of technology and advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Consulting Objectives: HelpGrowUSA and UGC are in collaboration to build out HelpGrowUSA’s disruptive small business consulting model. Three teams, each in finance, sales and Operations will help  will HelpGrowUSA accelerate the Ideas and Feasibility stages of product development funnel. UGC teams will work through the Product Development Funnel for respective assigned subject area and will do market research of various market available solution to come up with the a solution recommendation to HGCT management. Each team plans to work in the following 4 phases along with HGCT management :

Phase 1 : Market Research and Due Diligence

Phase 2: Product Testing and Financial Analysis

Phase 3: Research Findings & Proposal Creation

Phase 4: Presentation & Communications of Findings

Impulse Dance Center


Impulse Dance Center is a 25-year-old, reputable, dance studio in the town of Natick, MA.  They offer numerous classes including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip hop, breakdance, and step.  They also have three performance companies, the Connecting Pointe Dance Company (CPDC), TAProject, and Extreme Crew that perform throughout the community at local events, schools, telethons, etc.  The studio has a total of 90 students.

Over the past three years, multiple dance studios have entered the dance market in the local area.

Local Competition:

  1. Arthur Murray Dance Studio—Natick
  2. Todos Dance & Fitness Studio—Natick
  3. Sereda Danceworks—Natick
  4. Miss Heejin’s Dance Studio—Natick
  5. Nancy Kelley Dance Studio—Natick
  6. Gardengate Academy—Natick
  7. The Greater Boston School of Dance—Natick
  8. Broadway Bound Dance Center—Natick
  9. DanceFIT Studio—Natick
  10. Walnut Hill—Natick

With the recent rise in competition, Impulse has seen a drastic decline in student enrollment.  As a result, the business has been in the red two years in a row (-$12K).  If this continues, Impulse may have to close so everyone involved with the dance studio is stepping up to try to prevent this from happening.  We are looking for UGC’s help in developing a strategic plan moving forward in regards to marketing including but not limited to community outreach, community collateral, community event participation, community performances, community engagement, etc. with the goal of turning a profit this 2016-2017 dance season and increasing student enrollment for the 2017-2018 dance season. 

Consulting Objectives:

Impulse Dance Center is interested in gaining assistance from UGC to better understand the dance market in the local Natick area.  With this information, they hope UGC can help them identify distinctive competencies (price, class offerings, location, studio design, professionalism, faculty, etc.) and develop marketing strategies to best advertise these distinctive competencies.  The goal of the strategy is to turn a profit this 2016-2017 dance season and to increase student enrollment for the 2017-2018 dance season.

  1. Marketing
    1. SWOT Analysis of dance studio market in Natick

i.     This information will help to identify Impulse’s distinctive competencies

ii.     A marketing strategy will be developed to capitalize on these competencies

iii.     This marketing strategy will hopefully increase student enrollment for next year’s 2017-2018 dance season

  1. Marketing collateral development

i.     Collateral will be created based on the information provided by SWOT analysis

  1. Social media strategy improvement
  • Optimize social media presence
  1. Identify new potential revenue streams
    1. This information will help Impulse identify opportunities to create additional revenue streams
    • i.e. local performance ticket sales, merchandise sales, raffle sales, master classes, etc.
  1. This strategy could potentially help Impulse avoid another year in the red 

grow-restaurantGrow Restaurant

Team: Elizabeth Warui (Lead), Balasubramanian Janakarajan, Sree Vadlamani, Anupam Kamal, Ashwini Srishyla, Avinash Chugani

Background: Liquid Lunch has 3 restaurant locations, and has $1,000,000 in revenues per year, but is at a point where they need outside investment in order to grow.


Consulting Objectives:

There are two clear projects here.  First, they need marketing help on designing packages for their products.  Their goal is to take current products and sell them in retail outlets like grocery stores.  In order to be successful here, they need packaging that has proper UPC codes, branding, size, and other details.  This first project is simply designing a package for products that already exist but are only sold in local stores.

The second project is more intensive and should appeal to students interested in finance, investing, operations, and investor relations.  Liquid Lunch has the goal of building a central warehouse complete with storage, a processing plant, a co-packing plant, and other functions to fit business needs.  In order to do this, they need support from investors.  In order to gain investor support, they need to show a reasonable ROI.  This project will involve a look at all possible segments of business for the new warehouse.  All costs, revenues, capacity, and market demand for these services will need to be evaluated, as well as the time to completion.  This project does overlap with the first project, as completing this plant will give Liquid Lunch the capacity to produce products at the rate necessary to fulfill orders from retail stores.

leaveit Leave It Better Than We Found It

Background: LiBtWfI plans to apply its expertise in energy storage and technology innovation to create clean energy solutions for developing nations in the home and transportation sectors. The startup’s unique business model will provide affordable and convenient electricity to those who need it most while creating local jobs, educational opportunities, and government tax revenue.

  • Part 1
    Expectations: Market Analysis and ROI Calculation
    Our Capacity: Provide a market analysis (maximum 5 pages text) identifying an initial value proposition (i.e. home solar utility or motorbike utility), target market, and ROI calculation.
  • Part 2
    Expectations: Business Plan & Risk Analysis
    Our Capacity: Project members will conduct further research and develop business plan (5-10 pages maximum) including company description, organizational chart, financial plan, etc. Team will also benchmark existing methods and tools for risk profiling off-grid customers.
  • Part 3
    Expectations: Slide Presentation & Investment Pitch
    Our Capacity: Project members will incorporate client feedback and develop professional slideshow that can be used to present to potential investors.