VVM Startup Accerator is unique because we only run 3 days a month, allowing earlier stage companies, parents and others with “typical” 9-5 obligations to participate. We also offer equity-free funding to startups at the end of the program.
Name of Accelerator: VVM Startup Accelerator
Location: Springfield, MA
CEO / Managing Director: CEO – Kristin Leutz / MD – Dorota Glosowitz
This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator.
In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives?
At VVM Startup Accelerator, we provide core training, meetings, and events held in “long weekend” boot camps, featuring hands-on training, expert-led lectures, peer collaboration, advisor office hours, and practice judging rounds. In addition, workshops cover strategy, innovation, marketing, sales, team-building, operating best practices, and fundraising.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.
VVM Startup Accelerator is unique because instead of typical residency programs, we only run 3 days a month, allowing earlier stage companies, parents and others with “typical” 9-5 obligations to participate. We also offer equity-free funding to startups at the end of the program.
What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
The most difficult part of working with VVM Startup Accelerator startups is convincing them to get out of the building and talk to their customers. The startups who complete the most interviews make the most progress.
What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
We love seeing the startups light up when they know that someone finally understands their idea!
Tell us about your success stories. Which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
- WeThrive (2018 Alum) recently got a shout-out on Twitter from Hillary Rodham Clinton! They have entrepreneurial apprenticeships that equip and empower under-resourced students to rise as economic leaders nationwide.
- Anycafe (2016 Alum) funded a successful Kickstarter. We are a company striving to develop hot beverage solutions for the future.
- Aclarity (2018 Alum) recently received their Phase I SBIR grant. Aclarity is a water technology company committed to providing clean, safe, water for various applications globally.
- Scout Curated Wears (2016 Alum) is in over 500 stores. Scout Curated Wears is a designer, curator, and producer of thoughtful women’s accessories.
- Hot Oven Cookies (2017 Alum) is just about to open her first storefront in downtown Springfield. Hot Oven Cookies is a mobile bakery franchise seeking to empower individuals towards sustainable self-employment via awesomely delicious cookies.
What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
- Can you really make the commitment to the program and follow through with all parts of the curriculum?
- Is your market big enough that this is a scalable business – or is this better off as a hobby?
- Can you commit to this startup for the next five years?
Are you familiar with accelerators you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below.