Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) today announced they will be launching a Collegiate Accelerator this summer for students and recent graduates. The program is funded through a donation of $287,000 from an anonymous donor.
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.
“With additional funding, we could actually double the number of students we support this summer. Our goal is to fill the Springfield Innovation Center with dynamic startups that are passionate about their ideas and driven to succeed,” Roberts added. “This is an excellent workforce development opportunity. Students will be following their passions and creating their own jobs. Ultimately, many of these students are bound to be creating jobs for others as well.”
Companies at all stages are welcome, from an idea on a napkin to companies generating up to $250,000 of revenue over the last 12 months (at time of application). To be eligible to enter the Collegiate Accelerator Program each team must have ties to the region and meet the following basic qualifying criteria:
- All participating team members are 18 years of age or older as of March 15th, 2017.
- Connected to a college or university in at least one of these ways:
- Entering Freshman/1st year student.
- Currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student.
- Were an undergraduate or graduate student within the last two years.
- All participating team members are committed to working 20+ hours a week on this venture in addition to on-site VVM programming.
Students can apply for the accelerator from Jan. 9 through Feb. 15. For full application requirements and to apply to the accelerator, visit www.vvmcollegiate.com.