Thirty-five start-ups and lots of their supporters met local investors at the Valley Venture Hub in Springfield June 13th.
All the start-ups had some relation to western Mass: some were born here, some were alumni of Valley Venture Mentors, some attended school here, and some are located here.
The investors were also tied to western Mass and included individuals, angel groups, and investment funds.
The start-ups ranged from enterprises that have already received significant funding to those that are currently bootstrapping and thinking about obtaining outside funds.
The process was somewhat similar to speed-dating. The start-ups pitched their businesses and then the investors were able to meet with them individually.
Investors were able to find companies they may (some day) have an interest in funding, and the start-ups were able to learn what the funders would expect of them.
Western Mass Demo Day was organized by Paul Silva of Launch413 in partnership with the other investor groups in the western Mass entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The event was held at the beautiful Valley Venture Mentors space in downtown Springfield.
Thirty-five pitches and their subsequent break-out sessions made for a long day, but Paul Silva’s unflagging energy, the valuable assistance of his team (Ethan and Will), and all the participants’ good humor and desire to make it work kept spirits high.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at the 2020 Western Mass Demo Day!
Your reporter, Rick Plaut, is a co-founder of Launch413, a member of River Valley Investors, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Smith College.