Story courtesy of MassLive.com
SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Western Massachusetts business community gathered in downtown Springfield to celebrate the grand opening of a new space that seeks to incubate interesting innovations.
Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) held a grand opening party on Friday, opening the doors to their new accelerator space in Tower Square.
Within the space, VVM will offer coworking, training and event rooms for community and innovation parters in the area. Additionally, the mentorship program will serve as home base for 30 growing business accepted into their accelerator class.
Entrepenuers in the program are enrolled in a rigorus training program that works to overcome typical causes of startups to fail. At the end of the program, they are eligible to win $50,000.
Businesses in the accelerator program range from Artifact Cider Project, a hard cider producer based in Springfield, to Wonder Crew, which specializes in toys for young boys.
Approximately 200 people attended the grand opening party on Friday.
Jay Leonard and Scott Foster, of VVM, spoke of how excited they were to turn what was once a pool hall in Tower Square into the new accelerator.
Several local politicians also attended the event.
Sen. Eric Lesser said he hoped to support programs like the accelerator at the Statehouse. The Longmeadow Democrat told the crowd that he filed a bill to “promote more angel investors” in the Commonwealth. Additionally, Lesser said he’s preparing to file a bill regarding an east to west rail, to provide more transportation across the state.
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