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Accelerating the Process

Valley Venture Mentors staged its second annual Accelerator Awards banquet on May 26 at the MassMutual Center. The event, which celebrates entrepreneurship across the region, spotlighted companies that took part in the second accelerator program, and presented checks (as determined by a panel of judges) to this year’s finalists to help them advance their venture. A total of $252,000 was awarded to 12 finalists. From top to bottom: Devin (left) and Kevin Murray, the father-son team behind better.bike, stand beside one of their prototypes; Scott Foster, co-founder of VVM, addresses the audience of more than 500 people; the team at Any Café, which is trying to market a product that will allow the user to brew a cup of coffee any time, anywhere, poses with its concept; Lora Fischer-DeWitt, founder of Scout Curated Wears, a maker of jewelry, proudly displays her check for $32,000; Raymond Berry, founder of White Lion Brewery and a finalist in the first accelerator cohort, addresses the audience. With him is the company’s mascot. The top prize winner, Marcelia Muehlke, founder of fair-trade wedding-dress maker Celia Grace, talks about her company and what she plans do with the capital she won in a story HERE

BetterBike-VVM
SpeakerVVM
whiteLionSpeakerVVM
AnyCafe-VVM
ScoutCuratedWearsVVM

Giving Back

Robinson Donovan, a law practice based in Springfield and Northampton, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The firm’s founder, an important political figure and instrumental businessman for the town of Chicopee, was a true public servant. As such, the firm will be donating to a nonprofit each month this year. The first few recipients have been chosen, including Providence Ministries Service Network, Friends of the Homeless Inc., the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and Bay Path University.

From left, James Martin, partner at Robinson Donovan; Kathleen Bourque, vice president at Bay Path University; and Michael Giampietro, CFO at Bay Path University

From left, James Martin, partner at Robinson Donovan; Kathleen Bourque, vice president at Bay Path University; and Michael Giampietro, CFO at Bay Path University


Shawna Cobb, accounts payable/receivable at Robinson Donovan; Kathleen Lamoureux, legal secretary at Robinson Donovan; Andrew Morehouse, executive director at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; and Michael Simolo, partner at Robinson Donovan

Shawna Cobb, accounts payable/receivable at Robinson Donovan; Kathleen Lamoureux, legal secretary at Robinson Donovan; Andrew Morehouse, executive director at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; and Michael Simolo, partner at Robinson Donovan


Karen Blanchard, left, executive director at Providence Ministries Service Network, and Carla Newton, partner at Robinson Donovan.

Karen Blanchard, left, executive director at Providence Ministries Service Network, and Carla Newton, partner at Robinson Donovan.

Donut Day Doings

National Donut Day was June 3. The Salvation Army uses that day to bring attention to its programs and encourage contributions to help it carry out its mission. Among the local offices visited by donut-bearing representatives of the Salvation Army was BusinessWest, represented here by senior writer and donut enthusiast Joe Bednar (far right). Representing the Salvation Army are, from left, Laura Stopa, Market Mentors; Elaine Massery, Salvation Army board member; Keith Barrow, Salvation Army staffer, and Amanda Moyer, Market Mentors and Salvation Army board member.

National Donut Day was June 3. The Salvation Army uses that day to bring attention to its programs and encourage contributions to help it carry out its mission. Among the local offices visited by donut-bearing representatives of the Salvation Army was BusinessWest, represented here by senior writer and donut enthusiast Joe Bednar (far right). Representing the Salvation Army are, from left, Laura Stopa, Market Mentors; Elaine Massery, Salvation Army board member; Keith Barrow, Salvation Army staffer, and Amanda Moyer, Market Mentors and Salvation Army board member.

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