A group of experienced mentors from Valley Venture Mentors were invited to serve as judges for the Entrepreneurship Initiative Elevator Pitch competition on October 16th. VVM Registered Mentors Jonathan Besse, Jay Leonard, Dan Whitford, Eric Fogg, Rick Feldman, and Daniel Lieberman served as judges and VVM Co-founder, Attorney Scott Foster, announced the winner – Textbook Exchange.
The following night at the Isenberg School of Management, Scott Foster and VVM Registered Mentor Joe Gensheimer participated as judges in the UMass Innovation Challenge Minute Pitch Event – an interdisciplinary competition for UMASS entrepreneurs organized by the College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, Isenberg School of Management, and the UMass Innovation Institute. More than 30 teams pitched the judges – in just 60 seconds – on a venture that they were either considering forming or, in many cases, had already launched. Interest was so high that organizers developed two tracts consisting of innovation driven/scalable and small business/fast growth. The judges were asked to evaluate each pitch based on the criteria – was it memorable, repeatable, and would you tell someone about it. Top performing teams were paired into pitch offs and judges voted on the eventual winners – Green Latrine and Video Conversations.
“The VVM Registered Mentors were pleased to be invited to support these two important competitions and felt that this was another critical way we could support the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Foster at the conclusion of the events. “We not only want to encourage students to form their own startup, we want to recruit the best ventures into VVM to give them a better chance for succeeding. This benefits the students, the University, and potentially the local economy.”