The ninth annual Grinspoon, Garvey & Young Entrepreneurship Conference will be held this Friday, November 1st from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

For Immediate Release
October 28, 2013

Contact: Cari Carpenter, Director

Entrepreneurship Initiative
Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation

November 1st Conference Showcases Collegiate Entrepreneurs,

Venture Competitions, Keynote Speaker


Springfield, Mass. - The ninth annual Grinspoon, Garvey & Young Entrepreneurship Conference will be held this Friday, November 1st from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.  Over 450 students and faculty 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 collaborating on teams representing several colleges and universities for the "Amazing Reinvention Challenge".


There are six breakout sessions students can select from which include: The Best and Worst Ideas to Change the World; Epic Stories from Grinspoon Award Winners; The Shark Tank; and Overcoming Challenges, or, Why Entrepreneurship Sometimes Makes Us Cry.   In Overcoming Challenges, students will be paired with local entrepreneurs to discuss the greatest challenges the entrepreneurs have faced.  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 Marcie Muehlke, founder and CEO of Celia Grace Eco & Fair Trade Wedding Dresses & Accessories, a fast-growing for-profit social enterprise based in Amherst, MA.  Following her speech will be a fashion show of her dresses. Celia Grace provides brides with gorgeous wedding dresses that match their values of human rights, environmental sustainability, and empowering women.  The wedding dresses are hand made by women's cooperatives, fair trade producers, and refugees rebuilding their lives in the United States.  The Company launched sales in April 2012 and now sells its dresses across the US from Hawaii to Massachusetts (including three permanent locations - two wholesale).  Marcie has a graduate degree in public policy and MBA from UMass Amherst, and an undergraduate degree from Brown University.  She is also a graduate of the Valley Venture Mentoring program.

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:  Northwestern Mutual and AAA of the Pioneer Valley.


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, University of Massachusetts 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.