5/2/2016
Jonathan LaFrance, an MBA student took first place at last night's live pitch competition.

Jonathan LaFrance, an MBA student from Bay Path University took first place at last night's business competition pitching Sergeant Shower, a biodegradable 2-sided single-use all-in-one shampoo and body wash cloth mitt.  LaFrance convinced a panel of bank judges that his pitch was the best.  Jonathan Mendez, a Holyoke Community College student, took second place based on his business concept pitch for Mean Green Detergent Machine, a kiosk in stores allowing youto refill your laundry detergent bottle.  Finally, Steven Goldberg, a student at Amherst College took third place with DineToday, a platform allowing restaurants to post discounts for off-peak reservation times.

Representatives from six area banks once again sponsored the elevator pitch competition at the Awards Ceremony & Banquet for the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative. They also served as judges at the annual event held on April 27nd at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA. The banks are: Berkshire Bank, Country Bank for Savings, First Niagara Bank, PeoplesBank, United Bank, and Westfield Bank.

The live event featured a student representative from each of the 14 participating local colleges:  American International College, Amherst College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Greenfield Community College, Hampshire College, Holyoke Community College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, University of Massachusetts, Western New England University and Westfield State University. First, second, and third place winners received $1000, $750 and $500 respectively. Each student participating received $100.

Nine winning teams were identified by the bank judges as Best Exhibitors.  These were selected from a pool of 56 unique companies during a 'trade-show' type portion of the evening which featured the 2016 Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winners.
The three 1st Place Winners (each receiving an additional award of $600) were:

  • Amherst College - Connor Brown and Xavier Reed with Meetum, a platform for students to openly share events and activities, or "Meetums", with the college community
  • Springfield College - Misael  Ramos - Royaume Expressions, garment decoration
  • Western New England University - Joey Baurys and Nicolette LaPierre - Hemoflux, a pre-natal genetic testing company

The Entrepreneurship Initiative is one of several local initiatives supported by the philanthropy of Mr. Harold Grinspoon.  For more information about Harold Grinspoon Foundation initiatives, visit www.hgf.org.