Established in 2014, the Berthiaume Center supports innovation and entrepreneurship on the UMass campus by inspiring and connecting student and faculty entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to transform creative ideas into realized ventures.
During its tenure, the Center has created and hosted numerous programs and events designed to inspire and stimulate thinking about entrepreneurship. New course offerings, ideation workshops, pitch camps, competitions and speakers’ series have advanced cross-campus networking and collaborations, facilitating the formation of multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial teams.
Building on this initial success, the Center offers diverse services designed to prepare new ventures for investment and launch. The Summer Accelerator serves as the capstone of the Center’s new venture services offerings.
An intensive eight-week summer program designed to accelerate investment, licensing and launch of UMass’ most promising new technologies and ventures.
Cohort-based with a clear goal of funding and launch
Built-in urgency, limiting participants’ time and funding for reaching milestones
Semi-Structured, allowing each team to maximize progress
Tailored educational programming
Core Program Elements
Dedicated Space – each team is provided its own space to work, common areas for networking and meeting space
Monday Morning Mentorship Meetings – review goals, progress, set agenda for coming week
Wednesday Lunches – just-in-time tutorials by faculty, mentors and local entrepreneurs
Friday Afternoon Mixer and Wins/Losses Presentations
Graduation/Demo Day – investor pitches, next step presentations
The program is designed for high potential ventures. The principal intended outcome of the program is investment preparedness. Success of the program will be accessed over time using 12-month out metrics including:
Each team will receive the tools and knowledge necessary to ensure they have a validated customer, a feasible and scalable business model and the requisite skill-sets to get to the next level. Teams will graduate with the capability to execute on the next step and to jump-start their venture. At the end of the program, each team will give a public pitch to a room full of investors, mentors, and peers.
Attracting and Admitting Teams
Accepted teams, four to five ventures, will receive $5,000 in financial and in-kind support to defray business development related expenses and allow team members to work full time on their ventures.
Admission to the program is by application. Teams participating and placing high in the Innovation Challenge will be given strong preference for admission. The winner of the Challenge will be guaranteed admission.
To be eligible, at least half the team’s members must be a UMass student (any level, any academic discipline). Additionally, at least two members of the team must commit to working on the venture during the program’s eight weeks. Given the varied skill-sets necessary to launch a successful venture, preference will be given to multi-disciplinary teams whose members have the requisite skill-sets to develop the venture.
EY – an active supporter of the Berthiaume Center, EY will provide important connections to mentors and investors
Valley Venture Mentors – a community-based mentorship and accelerator program, VVM will provide curriculum support and connections to mentors, speakers and investors
Mass Challenge – the world’s largest accelerator, Mass Challenge will provide curriculum support, and connections to mentors, speakers and investors
UMass’ Technology Transfer Office – guidance and support regarding patent disclosures, applications, conflict of interest and related issues
The program will run June 4, 2018 through July 27, 2018; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.