1. Articles in category: Entrepreneurship

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    1. Valley Venture Mentors moves in as Springfield Innovation Center takes shape

      Valley Venture Mentors moves in as Springfield Innovation Center takes shape

      Valley Venture Mentors is moving this week from Tower Square into temporary quarters on the third floor of the new Springfield Innovation Center, 270-276 Bridge St. Valley Venture Mentors plans to be in its permanent home on the first and second floors of the Innovation Center in January, said CEO Kristin Leutz. "Well, we can't wait. Springfield has never looked better downtown," she said. "VVM will be so proud to move in here to the Springfield Innovation Center."

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    2. New Executive, Associate Directors Named at Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship

      New Executive, Associate Directors Named at Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship

      The Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst announced two new directors for the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. Gregory Thomas, who brings diverse experience in corporate America, was named the center’s new executive director, while Stephen Brand, who has taught entrepreneurship at colleges and universities across the country, will serve as the new associate director.For the past 20 years, Thomas has held various senior-level global manufacturing, finance, and control roles with Corning Inc. During the last five years at Corning, he was a strategist in the Emerging Innovation Group, focusing on bringing new products, processes, and businesses to ...

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    3. 'There is something special happening here': Valley Venture Mentors, Spark get state funding for more business mentoring

      'There is something special happening here': Valley Venture Mentors, Spark get state funding for more business mentoring

      OpenPixel Studios has done animated videos for General Electric, for the U.S. Open tennis tournament and for The Masters golf tournament. Hot Oven Bakery is preparing to move from a food truck into a brick-and-mortar bakery on Springfield's Main Street, and founder Sheila Coon plans to sell dough to MGM Springfield. On Friday, the two organizations that helped entrepreneurs found Hot Oven Cookies, OpenPixel and dozens of other startups in the Pioneer Valley -- Valley Venture Mentors, of Springfield, and Spark, of Holyoke -- each received $80,000 grants from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

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    4. Entrepreneurship conference will focus on women business owners in Western Massachusetts

      Entrepreneurship conference will focus on women business owners in Western Massachusetts

      More than half the 400 or so members of the Western Massachusetts SCORE chapter are women, and nationally the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs are women, particularly women of color. But when it comes to getting venture capital and corporate funding, women-owned businesses are less than 5 percent of the funding stream. "There is this perception that women are not starting businesses," Simeoli said. "We are fighting against that." The event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8 at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield. Registration is available online at scorebeyondthelimits.com.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. Springfield Innovation Center work resumes; US Rep. Richard Neal, secretary of state William Galvin announce $250K grant

      Springfield Innovation Center work resumes; US Rep. Richard Neal, secretary of state William Galvin announce $250K grant

      The long-delayed Springfield Innovation Center at 270-276 Bridge St. got a $250,000 boost Wednesday. Construction has already resumed on the the $7 million renovation project, with completion expected by the end of December. Workers started back on the renovation project earlier this week, said Nicholas A. Fyntrilakis, chairman of DevelopSpringfield, which owns the building. He said the primary tenant, Valley Venture Mentors, should be ready to move in by the end of 2018. It might take longer for the Ground Up Cafe restaurant planned for the first floor to be ready.

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    6. White Lion announces downtown Springfield location featuring brewery, test kitchen

      White Lion announces downtown Springfield location featuring brewery, test kitchen

      A new space for small-batch beer and comfort food will soon open in downtown Springfield.  White Lion Brewing Company announced Saturday their new location in downtown Springfield. The brewery has signed a lease for 4,400 square feet on the ground floor of the MassLive building on Main Street, space previously occupied by Santander Bank. "It's going to be a very unique experience in downtown Springfield," founder Raymond L. Berry Jr. told MassLive.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    7. Snapchef Cooks Up a Lifeline for the Food-service Industry

      Snapchef Cooks Up a Lifeline for the Food-service Industry

      The culinary world is a notoriously challenging place to forge a career, and turnover at the entry level is often high, a problem that constantly challenges restaurants, hotels, colleges, and a host of other food-service companies. Enter Snapchef, which has built a regional reputation for training those workers and matching them with workforce needs to help them get a foot in the door — and then, hopefully, kick it in.

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    8. Bloomberg Philanthropies names Holyoke national finalist for $1 million art grant

      Bloomberg Philanthropies names Holyoke national finalist for $1 million art grant

      Bloomberg Philanthropies on Wednesday named the El Corazon de Holyoke (The Heart of Holyoke) and the city, along with 14 communities nationwide, as finalists for a Public Arts Challenge Grant. Holyoke competed with more than 200 applicants for the coveted grants of up to $1 million. Bloomberg Philanthropies will name three winners in the fall. The applications hail from communities with 30,000 or more residents.

       

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    9. Kristin Leutz to Take Helm at Valley Venture Mentors

      Valley Venture Mentors CEO Liz Roberts announced that she will be leaving her position as of July 13, at which time current chief operating officer Kristin Leutz will take the helm of the organization that has been dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurship in Western Mass.Roberts plans to depart after a period of growth for Valley Venture Mentors (VVM). During her tenure, she launched the Startup Accelerator program, in which entrepreneurs receive five months of training, mentoring, office space, and access to equity-free funding. Entrepreneurs who graduated from all VVM programs generated $51 million in revenue and fundraising during the past ...

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    10. VVM Finalists Eager to Write the Next Chapters in Their Stories

      VVM Finalists Eager to Write the Next Chapters in Their Stories

      The products and services vary widely — from smoothies to yoga classes; from pet adoption to solar-powered battery rechargers; from water-purification technology to entrepreneurial apprenticeships. But the companies in Valley Venture Mentors’ Accelerator class of 2018 have many things in common, specifically the myriad daunting challenges involved with getting a venture off the ground or to a higher altitude. For this issue and its focus on entrepreneurship, BusinessWest looks at the three highest finishers among the 12 Accelerator finalists. We talked to those entrepreneurs about everything from what they’re going to do with the large checks they’ve received through ...

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    11. Craft breweries popping up across Greater Springfield

      Craft breweries popping up across Greater Springfield

      When you think of Wilbraham, Massachusetts -- birthplace of Friendly's Ice Cream and where Timothy Merrick was immortalized in song after dying from a rattlesnake bite up on "Springfield Mountain" -- beer may not be the first thing that pops into your mind. But craft breweries are suddenly popping up all over Greater Springfield, including two here in Wilbraham, Springfield's eastern neighbor, and one apiece in neighboring Ludlow and Hampden. Talks are also in the works to bring independent brewers to West Springfield, according to Mayor Will Reichelt, who has been trying to make West Side more appealing to millennials ...

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    12. $5,000 at stake as Holyoke entrepreneurs to compete in 'SPARK Tank' fundraiser

      $5,000 at stake as Holyoke entrepreneurs to compete in 'SPARK Tank' fundraiser

      A fundraiser will be held to benefit the SPARK business-calalyst program from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St. The $55 admission covers food, cash bar and silent auction, said a press release Monday from SPARK Program Manager Tessa Murphy-Romboletti. The "SPARK Tank" event will be based on the popular television series "Shark Tank," in which tycoons listen to pitches and decide whether to invest in businesses and products, the press release said.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    13. Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream and Common Capital, Inc.

      Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream and Common Capital, Inc. are excited to bring a Speed Coaching event to Holyoke! The event will kick off with a networking reception at 6:00. During the reception you will have the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and sign up for the consulting stations that are most relevant to your business such as: 
      Marketing and E-Commerce 
      Packaging 
      Sales and Distribution 
      Business Financing 
      Legal Advice for Your Business

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    14. Yellow Stonehouse Farm in Westfield offers organic vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs

      Yellow Stonehouse Farm in Westfield offers organic vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs

      When Connie Adams and John Keilch inherited a farm in 2005, the couple knew they wanted to make it work. The former dairy farm on Root Road in Westfield had been in Keilch's family since the 1930s, but Adams and Keilch were no dairy farmers. "We both worked in business," said Adams, "but I was a master gardener and we had an organic garden at home, so we decided to go for it." Today, Yellow Stonehouse Farm is the area's only community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm that is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a fact ...

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      Mentions: Westfield
    15. Valley Venture Mentors to Award $150,000 to Startups Tonight

      Valley Venture Mentors to Award $150,000 to Startups Tonight

      Today, May 24, Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) will host more than 450 people to celebrate the achievements of 35 startups participating in the fourth VVM Startup Accelerator program. The awards event will gather community influencers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and business leaders at the MassMutual Center starting at 5 p.m. for an evening celebrating the local entrepreneurial renaissance in Western Mass.

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    16. An Employment Lawyer Diversifies into Manufacturing

      An Employment Lawyer Diversifies into Manufacturing

      When she started her law career with a firm in Springfield, Amy Royal didn’t consider herself an entrepreneur. But that quality emerged quickly, and she would go on to start her own firm. She soon realized, though, that she was a actually a serial entrepreneur with an appetite for developing and growing companies, the latest of which is a door manufacturer in Ludlow.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Springfield's Simply Grace boutique named 2018 Microenterprise Business of the Year for Massachusetts

      Springfield's Simply Grace boutique named 2018 Microenterprise Business of the Year for Massachusetts

      Simply Grace LLC will be honored as the Small Business Administration 2018 Microenterprise Business of the Year for Massachusetts for its role in the the renaissance of downtown Springfield. Simply Grace owners Nancy Feth and Mikki Lessard offer retail products and wellness experiences at Simply Serendipity Boutique, Dharma Yoga Studio and collaborations with other business owners at The Shops at Marketplace on Market Street in Springfield.

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    18. Simply Grace Partners Helping to Create a New Dynamic Downtown

      Simply Grace Partners Helping to Create a New Dynamic Downtown

      Like most people who grew up in and around Springfield in the ’60s and ’70s, Mikki Lessard has fond memories of getting on a bus and spending an entire Saturday afternoon downtown. She said most of those visits would start, and a good number would also end, at Johnson’s Bookstore, but there were plenty of other stops as well. “We would go to Johnson’s, and Steiger’s, and many other stores. There was always something happening; it was positive, and it was fun,” said Lessard, adding that, while she acknowledges that things won’t ever be exactly like ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    19. Banks to Sponsor Pitch Competition at Entrepreneurship Banquet

      Banks to Sponsor Pitch Competition at Entrepreneurship Banquet

      The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will mark its 15th year with an evening of exhibits, contests, and celebration at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on Wednesday, April 25. Early arrivers at 5 p.m. will be treated to an entrepreneur exhibit featuring students who have already started their own businesses or are on the cusp of doing so. “Though I’m a seasoned entrepreneur, I get a thrill every year from seeing these young, innovative business minds at work,” said philanthropist Harold Grinspoon.

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    20. Mayor Reichelt's idea to lure breweries, businesses 'offering a fun social experience" gaining steam in West Springfield

      Mayor Reichelt's idea to lure breweries, businesses 'offering a fun social experience" gaining steam in West Springfield

      Mayor Will Reichelt's push to tweak the town's zoning regulations to make West Springfield a more "fun social experience" for residents and out-of-towners alike has earned support from the Planning Board and a committee that is reviewing the zoning regulations. On April 18, the Planning Board unanimously voted to issue a favorable report on the mayor's proposal to amend the Zoning Ordinance to add recreational uses, breweries, distilleries and wineries to the town's industrial zoning district.

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    21. VVM and Western MA help with Kauffman Foundation Springfield Survey

      We have been working for two years to get VVM and Western MA on Kauffman Foundation's radar.  We now have the potential to be part of nationwide investigation regarding startup community growth with Startup Genome and seeking a select group of metropolitan areas to join this effort and participate in data collection and analysis. Most cities pay for this diagnostic, but Kauffman is footing the bill for 10 smaller cities to have the same opportunity & Springfield has been selected to receive a free report.  

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    22. Social Innovation Conference to Take Place April 7

      Social Innovation Conference to Take Place April 7

      The Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship will present its 2018 Social Innovation Conference on Saturday, April 7 at the UMass Integrative Learning Center. Registration is free and includes two keynote speakers, three panel discussions, a design workshop, breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. Attendees will learn about trends in innovation and how social entrepreneurship is transforming traditional business. The day will begin with Bill Baue, CEO of Reporting 3.0, a business that is changing systems of reporting, along with a panel of entrepreneurs discussing the role social impact takes in their business.

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    23. Valley Venture Mentors software startup Cambridge Blockchain opens office in Paris

      Valley Venture Mentors software startup Cambridge Blockchain opens office in Paris

      Massachusetts software startup Cambridge Blockchain recently opened a new office - in Paris. While most of the firm's sales to date have been in Europe, CEO Matthew Commons says they have every intention on maintaining a presence in the Bay State. Cambridge Blockchain's platform allows financial institutions to meet the strictest new data privacy rules, eliminate redundant identity compliance checks and improve the customer experience. Blockchain - which is essentially a shared databased protected and secured by cryptology and blockchain technology - can store validation information about a person's identity. A user can use the application as a secure way ...

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