Valley Venture Mentors, the mentorship program I am honored to serve as CEO, made the front page of BusinessWest, the local business journal. I’m delighted the program is gaining some notice.
Posted on 12 April 2011. Written by: George O’Brien
Mentorship Program Strives to Keep Startups Out of the Quicksand
“Learn, earn, and return.” That is the broad principle guiding seasoned entrepreneurs volunteering their time and talents for something called Valley Venture Mentors, or VVM. The nonprofit initiative was launched last fall to fill a huge need in the region: a service to mentor fledgling entrepreneurs, help them navigate the whitewater that confronts new ventures…”
Scott and I get almost all the credit in this otherwise wonderful article. News articles, by their nature, focus attention on only a few people. Anyone involved knows that launching VVM has been a mission for nearly two years by the entire EI leadership: Bob Hyers, Bob Lowry, and Dan Gordon. Mentor Steve Willis was invaluable as a source of organizational direction, drive, and has been our largest financial supporter. Jay Leonard has been a pivotal source of funding and commitment. Glenn Hanson, Tom Kennedy, and Derek Lyman joined Steve on our board of directors and were critical to our early strategy and fund-raising efforts. Eric Fogg, one of our mentees, has served wonderfully as the organization’s COO. We can’t thank all of these people enough for working so hard for so long to make VVM a reality.
Another important point that the article isn’t set up to make: VVM is not alone. We are part of a dynamic ecosystem of young entrepreneurship programs in Western MA. All of us are making great strides in working together.
It is a great time to be an entrepreneur in Western MA!