The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at Elms College is working with Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) in Springfield to bring entrepreneurship to students. Nearly two years since its launch, CEL has expanded their programming and created a way for Elms students to benefit from their relationship with VVM.
“When I came on as director, I first had focus groups with people in the community, including Valley Venture Mentors. We see this as a great opportunity to partner. Some people [in our programs] are ready for VVM. Students in our program can get credit toward the mentoring program and collegiate accelerator at VVM,” Amanda Garcia, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at Elms College said.
The collegiate accelerator will create a platform for college students to learn how to pitch their startup, how to raise capital and give them an opportunity to learn from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who will serve as speakers and mentors. Its inaugural class launches this summer.
Garcia said integrating the needs of the business community related to entrepreneurship and leadership and assist students who want to become entrepreneurs. “We help them learn quickly, fail early and we give them the tools to move forward or decide this isn’t the venture for them. Whether they take those skills onto something else, because entrepreneurial skills are needed in the work place,” Garcia added.