Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) Alumni generated nearly $10 million in revenue and investment and more than 100 jobs in 2015. Now in its second year, VVM is expanding its Accelerator program for startups to meet demand and reward the quality of applicants. “We had nearly 200 applications from 20 countries and an incredible breadth of creative, innovative, and inspiring startups,” said Liz Roberts, VVM Accelerator General Manager.
VVM accepted 36 startups for the 2016 program, up from 30 in 2015’s inaugural class. “We had so many quality startups apply that even after expanding 20 percent, we had to turn away dozens that were every bit as strong as last year’s cohort,” remarked Paul Silva, VVM Executive Director. Roberts agrees, “It’s energizing to see the demand for our high-quality startup support.”
VVM’s Accelerator program speeds the growth and success of startups and early stage companies, supplying four months of intensive training, mentorship, and rounds of competition as they take their ventures to the next level. VVM Accelerator participants develop relationships with funders and are eligible to win equity-free cash awards for their startups. “VVM’s Accelerator helps startups dodge pitfalls and get to revenue and investment faster and better prepared to succeed,” says Silva.
Sponsors including MassMutual, MassDevelopment, The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Mass Tech Collaborative, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts provide the $250,000 cash prize pool.
Several of the companies accepted to the 2016 VVM Accelerator are graduates of VVM’s Mentorship program, including AuthenFOOD, Name Net Worth, Need/Done Inc., Prophit Insight, Simple Diaper and Linen, and StreetLight.
We’re proud to announce that Lioness is one of the 36 startups to make it into the accelerator.