Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship and Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), the Collegiate Summer Venture Program (CSVP) wrapped its 10 weeks of programming, mentoring, networking, and curriculum with a celebration on Monday, July 29, at VVM’s Hub in Springfield.
The 2019 program marked the inaugural year of partnership for the Berthiaume Center and VVM. Additionally, applications were open to all 14 Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative schools and colleges. This summer’s cohort included 20 ventures from five institutions of higher education (UMass, Elms College, Hampshire College, Greenfield Community College, and Westfield State), 29 participants, and four Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.
The CSVP Mentor Network was a mix of Harvard and UMass MBAs, former and current founders and CEOs, angel investors, and IP and business legal experts. The group consisted of nine UMass grads and nine Valley community members, and nine experts based in Eastern Mass. and nine based in Western Mass. Each venture was assigned a dedicated mentor for the length of the program.
The 10-week accelerator is designed to support startups at all stages, from an idea on a napkin to growing ventures with revenue. Participating ventures had the opportunity to work with dedicated mentors, industry experts, and seasoned entrepreneurs over the course of the summer to grow their businesses. Each week followed a general theme, including customer discovery, prototyping, industry research, market strategy, pitching, and funding options. Programming included workshops from industry experts, open work time, office hours, and entrepreneurial panels.
(Move)ment (Maire Frances Psomas-Jackloski, Hampshire College) – A nonprofit dance company that provides a full dance education and self-care movement practices to teens and preteens for an affordable cost.
21st Biotech (George Ryan, Kevin Cutinella, and Yizhuo ‘E.J.’ Chen, UMass) – A thin layer medical device designed to heal skin abrasions faster than today’s current market options.
Aethos (Sam Chiburis, UMass) – Uses nano-tech to harvest renewable energy via kits that are flexible, biodegradable, and capable of converting the ambient energy from your surroundings into electricity.
Beyond Happiness (Aaron Andrews, Hampshire College) – A wellness business creating an ecosystem of products and experiences that inspire college students to be their best selves.
Explore to Excel (Lucnalie Jironvil, UMass) – A company that focuses on the needs of low self-confidence, low income students by facilitating exposure to a variety of activities and opportunities at an early age.
Forge Networker Inc. (Justin Greene, UMass) – A phone app with a virtual speed networking platform that strives to improve the social lives of college graduates as they make the transition to new cities after graduation.
Free Bloom (Stephanie Paul, UMass) – You are free to blossom into the best, blissful you you can be.
Haiti Main Verte (Jim E. Albert, Elms College) – Driving the socially responsible evolution of the farming industry to gain traction in the global market.
iSPY Technologies (Hayley Green and Anna Maria Miller, UMass) – Applying image-based machine learning technology towards the identification process of microbes.
Journalme (Paul Baucus, Westfield State) – An interactive journaling application that ask questions and learns from the user’s previously given answers and chosen goals in support of mental well-being.
Kinase Life (Nariman Banaei, UMass) – A lab providing low-cost and convenient detection service for early-stage cancers.
Learn to Wrench (Benjamin Schroeder, UMass) – Trustworthy, convenient, and educational car repair service.
MassBoard (Wencheng Zhang and Zhiying Zhu, UMass) – Your reliable companion in and out of college.
Nutriply (Minqi Wang, UMass) – A tasty protein drink fortified with vitamin B12 and iron to complement the nutrition of plant-based diets.
OpenThink (Nathan Kessel, UMass) – A web and mobile platform that empowers people to change the world together.
Organic Baby (Michael Paszek, Greenfield C.C.) – A manufacturing company producing a line of organic baby clothes for medical market.
Phoenix Design, LLC (Nick Labodycz, UMass) – Designing and manufacturing custom products for events, fundraisers, and gift-giving.
Shattered Sword (Christopher Foskett, UMass) – The next big independent video game company.
Snack Shapes, LLC (Mitchell Culler, UMass) – It’s a snack! It’s a toy! It’s Temgrams, the delicious (and nutritious) geometric puzzle-shaped snack that nourishes your body and mind by encouraging you to play with your food.
The Cupcake Factory Pakistan (Adil Sarwar, Hampshire College) – An online business that customizes bakery products and makes special occasions even more special.
Hustle Award – Paul Baucus (Journalme) and Hayley Green (iSPY Technologies)
Leadership Award – Mitchell Culler (Snack Shapes, LLC)