Paul G. Silva (Founder and General Partner), takes great joy in having helped more than a thousand entrepreneurs follow their dreams to launch hundreds of startups. The startups range from a hot cookie delivery franchise to artificial intelligence solutions to genetically engineered bacteria that kill tumors. Collectively, these brave entrepreneurs now employ nearly a thousand people and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue and outside funding.  

Paul leads the River Valley Investors angel investor network and chairs the selection committee for the Angel Capital Association's Northeast syndication meetings.

Formerly Paul served as:

  • A board member of the Angel Capital Association
  • President and Co-founder of Valley Venture Mentors, one of wold's top 100 startup accelerators
  • President of Click Workspace, the premier coworking facility in Western Massachusetts
  • Co-founder of the Entrepreneurship Initiative at UMass Amherst (later academically acquired by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Co-founded All inPlay, the first company to allow the blind to connect with friends and family around the world unhandicapped and as equals. Sold the company in 2011.


Rick Plaut (Co-Founder and Venture Advisor), spent the first thirty years of his career as a corporate “intrapreneur” developing new products, customers, markets and businesses. Since then he has joined a number of startup ventures ranging from management consulting to advanced manufacturing. Rick also shares the techniques and tools of the Lean LaunchPad and the Business Model Canvas with students at a number of local colleges including SmithThe Elms and UMass. He is also mentor and facilitator for early stage start-ups at Valley Venture Mentors and independently is a board member and mentor for a variety of early stage enterprises.