“Over the past 10 years my community, the Pioneer Valley (AKA Western Massachusetts), has succeeded in building a great "intro to entrepreneurship" academic structure at all of the colleges and universities (thanks in large part to the work of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation). But when our top students finished the class… then what? They could certainly use more academic training, but what they really needed was real-world experience. They needed mentoring.
“The UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative saw this problem and reached out to its friends (especially Steve Willis of Common Angels) to create Valley Venture Mentors, a venture mentoring program inspired by the MIT Venture Mentor Service. We launched it in February of 2011 and it has been a runaway success. We have dozens of mentors helping almost a dozen exciting startups ranging from nonprofits to high tech and everything in-between.”