What can you tell me about your business in two minutes?
That was the challenge tonight when Valley Venture Mentors met for the first time in Franklin County, bringing 10 entrepreneurs nursing their own small businesses and hoping for attention and funding to the John Olver Transit Center for some good old fashioned networking.
First, Paul Silva set the stage. “We want to know whose ass you’ve kicked!” he said, his enthusiasm evident from the very start. “We have gotten $4 million in investments for start-ups in the Valley since the beginning of 2015!” he added. Clearly there is a great need for opportunities to bring bright young talents together with the connections and possible funding they need.
Tonight the start-ups lined up for a chance to give their 2-minute elevator pitch–a Deerfield chicken and turkey farmer, a martial arts school, a man from Ashfield who has invented a home heating system that runs on restaurant fryer oil, a woodworker, and a guy who pitched something about leadership but I didn’t quite make out what he was doing. The quality of the pitches ranged from, ‘oh, yeah I get it!’ to ‘hmm, what exactly do you do anyway?’ But all were entertaining as was the chance to meet the enthusiastic idea-hatchers with their diverse plans for a bright future.
I hope that the Valley Venture Mentors return to Greenfield. They got a great reception and who knows? Maybe some of these elevator pitches will turn into connections to help all of these nascent businesses grow and prosper.