On Monday July 7th, Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) hosted a roundtable lunch with area business leaders for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki. The conversation centered on the exciting hub of entrepreneurial activity that has been growing in downtown Springfield and celebrated the opening of Tech Foundry by Paragus CEO Delcie Bean, construction on the upcoming Baystate Innovation Center and the new Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator, scheduled to open in January of 2015. Dr. Evan Benjamin, Chief Quality Officer at Baystate Health Systems, Tim Corbett, Chief Investment Officer, MassMutual and Scott Foster, co-founder and President of VVM, spoke about the partnerships within the valley that were promoting the expansion of entrepreneurship in Western Massachusetts.
Lunch was held in the new VVM accelerator space located in Tower Square. Guests included Harold Grinspoon, Domenic Sarno, mayor of Springfield, Cliff Noreen, President, Babson Capital, Pamela Goldberg, President of Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Mike Malone, Vice Chancellor of Research at UMass-Amherst, as well as representatives of MassMutual, Baystate, Paragus, the Davis Foundation, the Community Foundation and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and other members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Western Massachusetts.
The Governor spoke to the need for innovation and the rise of entrepreneurs of necessity, citing the these events as the spark of economic recovery and pledging future support to further the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Springfield. After lunch, he toured Tech Foundry and the Baystate Innovation Center.