The conference will be held at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

The eighth annual Grinspoon, Garvey & Young Entrepreneurship Conference will be held this year on Friday, November 2nd from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Over 400 students representing 14 area colleges are expected to attend the event, which includes hands-on workshops, entrepreneur exhibits and a keynote speaker.

Organized by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, the Entrepreneurship Conference is held annually to inspire, motivate and support college students to turn their ideas into small businesses. Students will begin the day with a team competition where they will collaborate on teams representing several colleges and universities to creatively come up with an idea for a new venture using a 'secret ingredient'.

Breakout sessions will include:

  • Accelerated New Product Development for Small Business
  • Grinspoon Alumni Share Their Stories
  • The Top 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
  • How to Secure the Right Kind of Funding to Support your Venture
  • The Shark Tank.

The Shark Tank is a local take on the national television show of the same name. In each of these sessions, students will learn directly from successful entrepreneurs, business leaders and entrepreneurship faculty. It is truly a community endeavor.

    The keynote speaker this year is Ben Einstein. Ben is an experienced product designer and entrepreneur. Ben is currently the Managing Director of Bolt, a program built from the ground up to help early-stage hardware companies get to market more quickly and cost-effectively. Bolt provides seed capital, full-time engineering staff, a prototyping shop, extensive relationships to manufacturing resources, and assistance with retail distribution. Prior to starting Bolt, Ben ran Brainstream Design, a product design and development consultancy in Massachusetts. Ben has been directly responsible for bringing a long list of products to market covering diverse sectors including consumer electronics, high-performance audio, sporting goods and green energy.  He is a graduate of Hampshire College and a 2008 Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Awardee.

    The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative was established to encourage young people to innovate by creating businesses that contribute to economic opportunity and growth in the Pioneer Valley.

    College students at the participating colleges are able to attend the Conference thanks to the generosity of the Conference sponsors:  AAA of the Pioneer Valley, MassMutual Center, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, and the Springfield Parking Authority.

    Participating colleges include American International College, Amherst College, Bay Path College, Elms College, Greenfield Community College, Hampshire College, Holyoke Community College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, UMass Amherst, Western New England University and Westfield State University.

    For more information contact Cari Carpenter, director of the Entrepreneurship Initiative, at cari@hgf.org or 413-335-3535.