Collegiate Summer Venture Program Hosts Cohort Graduation
August 05, 2020
Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship and Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), the Collegiate Summer Venture Program (CSVP) wrapped its 10 weeks of online programming, mentoring, networking, and curriculum with a virtual celebration on Thursday, July 30.
The 2020 program marked the second year of partnership for the Berthiaume Center and VVM. Applications were open to all 14 Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative schools and colleges. This summer’s cohort included 10 ventures from seven institutions of higher education (UMass, Babson College, Elms College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Westfield State), 15 participants, and two Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. The ventures completed 100 customer discovery interviews per venture , 45 workshops, panels, and info sessions, 60+ assignments and eight formal pitches.
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 15 UMass grads and 14 Valley community members. Of the 30 mentors, nine were based in Eastern Mass. and 17 were based in Western Mass. Each venture was assigned a dedicated mentor triad 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.
Devin Davon (Devin Streeter, Westfield State and Elms College) - Comfortable lifestyle footwear brand for people who struggle to find their size.
Fleeflee Marketing (Alvin He, UMass) - Get noticed. Make an impact. Grow your business.
FogOnyx (Austin Slesinski, Zoleka Mosiah, Lydia Umholtz, Smith College) - In-home, vertical gardening systems that empower first-time and seasoned users to grow their own organic produce.
Kiefer Games, LLC (Matthew Kiefer, UMass) – Unique board game, Slidewinder, enables players to feel agency, be part of our growing community, and embark on their own journey from discovery to mastery; game is close to release date.
KISA (Eseza Kironde, Smith College) - Allows African writers to postmodern and traditional African stories on a web-application platform and readers to engage with this content.
Lifandi (Shaheer Ahmad, UMass) - Simplifying the adulting experience.
Light (Noor Asher, Hampshire College) - Light offers a safe space for girls and young women to learn and understand their rights through art therapy; the work is supported by the purchase of powerful hand-designed apparel from our online marketplace.
MarketMate (Nick Leone, Babson College) - MarketMate compiles food vendor price data to create an open market searchable platform. Restaurants can search for, purchase, and repurchase better goods for better prices.
Vertex Flare (Gabe Pofcher, Hampshire College) - Working together to discover and build new kinds of games.
Ya Samaki (Lerato Mashale, Theodosia Adu-Awuah, Toni-ann Rankine, Mount Holyoke College) – Timeless, sustainable handbags.
Ventures in bold completed all program requirements and participated in the CSVP Cohort Graduation.
Investor Shark Tank First Place – FogOnyx ($2,000)
Investor Shark Tank Second Place – Kiefer Games, LLC ($1,000)