SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) announced they have accepted 14 student-led companies into a Collegiate Accelerator program this summer for students and recent graduates. “VVM is excited to welcome 14, passionate, student-led companies and their founders to our Collegiate Accelerator,” said VVM Co-Founder Paul Silva. “We can’t wait to learn about their ventures and help them take the next steps to launch. The Collegiate Accelerator gives passionate student innovators a place to explore their entrepreneurial career paths in the summer and pays a stipend so they can realize just how much everyone in the Valley would love to help them launch their ventures.”
The students participating in the 2017 Collegiate Accelerator are:
- Boman Container Homes, Springfield Technical Community College – Boman Container Homes offers a variety of customizable container homes, offices & cabins for sale ranging from economic to the luxurious.
- El Cherufe Chile Paste, Greenfield Community College – El Cherufe offers a unique hot flavor profile to lovers of all things spicy in a versatile paste form.
- Love Jones Renaissance Café & Lounge, Springfield Technical Community College – A cozy, sophisticated lounge and cafe that provides customers with an ambiance that fosters individual and group creativity and networking.
- Lymph + Honey, Hampshire College – The mission is to provide access to healthful, wholesome, and sustainable natural hair & body care products, no matter who or where you are.
- Mitho MoMo, Mount Holyoke College – Mitho MoMo, bringing authentic Nepalese foods back to their people in the US at affordable prices with the convenience of a microwave.
- Redflowers, Smith College – redflowers is a company that promotes, empowers, and engages black identities and black women.
- Salad Express, Elms College – Salad Express is an inexpensive healthy fast food experience.
- Shesabelle Chandeliears, Smith College – Shesabelle Chandeliears add versatility and variety to modern jewelry owner’s earring selection.
- Socialopolis, University of Massachusetts Amherst – We are a virtual and augmented reality software and hardware development firm based out of Western Massachusetts.
- STEAMporio, Springfield Technical Community College – STEAM Education Marketplace with a focus on the MAKER and DIY Communities. “Creating a passion for learning!”
- Studio 26, Holyoke Community College – Provides a creative art space. An inspiring network that strengthens the community, encourages growth and self-expression through the arts.
- The Travel Unicorn, Mount Holyoke College – TU is an LGBTQ+ travel guide dedicated to sharing stories of love and travel. Connecting LGBTQ travelers to safe and fun travel destinations
- Vidvision, Babson College – Vidvision offers a suite of interactive lead generation tools to help SMBs drive ROI on their video content.
- Zirui Collective, Mount Holyoke College – We are a beauty tech company that builds a compact, modular, customizable makeup kit that is space-efficient, and travel-friendly.
The accelerator will run daily from mid-June through August and participants will receive a $2,000 stipend. “One of the main goals of the program is to engage students in the exciting entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Pioneer Valley,” VVM CEO Liz Roberts said.
Participants will learn how to pitch their startup, how to raise capital, and will benefit from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who will serve as speakers and mentors.
“We are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs launch and thrive,” said Silva. “Students are one of the most high-potential populations our region has and with a bit more help they could really have an impact here.”
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About Valley Venture Mentors
Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) is a not-for-profit based in Springfield, Massachusetts that is focused on building, supporting, and maintaining an entrepreneurial renaissance in Western Massachusetts. VVM is creating and increasing the development of high growth startups in Western Massachusetts. A key factor in growing the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, VVM is helping to strengthen Springfield’s reputation as the next startup destination city. To date, VVM has graduated 174 startups via their Mentorship and Startup Accelerator programming.