Scott Foster is the Co-founder of Valley Venture Mentors. He joined me to recap the 2018 VVM Accelerator awards where 12 startups (out of 35) were awarded a total of $150,000 in prize money. About 450 people attended and speakers included VVM Alumna Angela Lussier of Speaker Sisterhood and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We discuss who won, and what’s coming up for VVM. Learn more about winners at VVM’s website- 2018 Awards Winners
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Julia Franchi Scarselli is the cofounder of the sustainable olive oil company, Libellula, which means dragonfly in Italian. The company helps people adopt olive trees from family farmers and receive extra-virgin olive oil delivered to their doorstep. Julia came up with the idea when she visited her father in the Italian Sabina region, and pitched it at Smith College’s annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs – winning third place. We discuss what she’s been up too since graduation, and where she is going in 2018. To learn more about adoption, visit - libelluladopt.com.
Serial entrepreneur (and awesome dude) Bill Kenney joined The Engine to discuss his ventures, Test My Pitch and MEET. Test My Pitch is a community of entrepreneurs and business professionals who create, share, and offer feedback on each other’s idea pitches and self-introductions (I’m a big fan of the platform). His second business is MEET, which helps high-growth companies enter new markets, drive return-on-investment, and scale quickly through trade shows – very cool concept. So, pour yourself a beverage and enjoy our interview.
Click Workspace's Director, Erika Zekos, and co-founder Lisa Papademetriou joined me the night after the Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator Awards to talk about Click Workspace 2.0. Lisa was the MC for VVM’s event, and we kept the entrepreneurial party going on the radio show. Erika and Lisa discussed what’s new at Click, and what entrepreneurs can expect at at one of WesternMA’s growing coworking space. Space, Sanity, and Scalability - oh boy!
Lora Fischer-DeWitt is the founder of Scout Curated Wares, a fashion jewelry company. Laura has over 20 years combined experience in fashion buying, retail sales, merchandising, product development, and wholesale. She is applying that knowledge, and learning some new skills, as part of the 2016 Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator cohort. Lora chats about building her startup, refining her product line, and what the future golds for her venture.
Liz Roberts from Valley Venture Mentors joined me discuss the organization’s startup accelerator program. Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator speeds up the growth and success of your business through four-months of intensive training and critically loving support. Entrepreneurs invited into the program also receive free office space and the chance to win up to $50,000 equity-free to develop their business. Don’t delay; the application deadline is November 15, 11:59 PM EST. Apply here!
Stephen Brand is the President and Chief Imagination Officer of the New Enterprise Factory, which is a consulting agency specializing in new venture and revenue strategy. Stephen’s work focuses on turning organizational strengths and assets into new revenue streams. He’s worked with universities, Fortune 100 companies, and even the folks that made the Muppets. In this interview, Stephen shares his experiences on how the world of startups has evolved, and what entrepreneurs can do to scale their ventures.
This is the final part of my interview series with Angel Investors from River Valley Investors. RVI is a group of successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate, and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential. In this final installment I chat with RVI member, and M&M Consulting President, Jeffrey Sullivan. We discuss life after the investment, where anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
This is the second of a four-part interview series with Angel Investors from River Valley Investors. RVI is a group of successful entrepreneurs and executives dedicated to helping each other find, evaluate, and profitably invest in exciting companies with significant growth potential. In this interview, I chat with RVI Chairman, John Goodhue (who also happens to be the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center – super awesome.) John shares what gets his investor’s attention and earns their investment. Hear John’s insights in this installment of Springfield: City of Angels.
I also want to take this opportunity to let you know about another great organization supporting local entrepreneurship. Come celebrate with Valley Venture Mentors on April 30, 2015 when they will be giving away $250,000 to startups in their Accelerator program. RSVP for the event.
Erika Zekos, the Special Events Coordinator, of Valley Venture Mentors joins me to discuss their upcoming Accelerator Awards on April 30. This is an event you'll not want to miss. There will be hundreds of people, dozens of startups, investors from around New England, and $250,000 in prize money handed out! In the 60 days since entering the program VVM startups have raised hundreds of thousands in funding and generated hundreds of thousands in sales! This is the culmination of years of work by hundreds of people to once again make the Valley a fertile place for entrepreneurs. To join the celebration, please register for the event at - VVM Accelerator Awards