Meet Local Collegiate Entrepreneurs at the Grinspoon Banquet Tonight, at the Log Cabin (schedule below)

Media Contact:
Cari Carpenter, Director
Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative
Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation

  • 92 students from 14 local colleges and universities will be recognized for their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit (This represents 65 unique businesses and business concepts)
  • Massachusetts-based entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” success story, Wombi Rose, co-founder of Lovepop cards, will be the keynote speaker at the event. 
  • Community bankers will serve as judges for Live Elevator Pitch Contest
  • Rick Feldman of Mt. Holyoke College comments on why this unique collegiate collaboration is so important to our entrepreneurial ecosystem

The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will celebrate collegiate entrepreneurship the annual banquet, tonight, April 24th, at the Log Cabin in Holyoke (schedule below).  An entrepreneur showcase will feature students from all 14 colleges in the Pioneer Valley who have either started their own businesses or are on the cusp of doing so.
“Though I’m a seasoned entrepreneur, I get a thrill every year from seeing these creative business minds at work!” says philanthropist Harold Grinspoon.
Following the exhibition at 6:45 p.m., six local banks will sponsor a Live Elevator Pitch Competition for area college students with contestants from the 14 area colleges and universities delivering 90-second pitches. The top three winners will receive prizes of $750. Sponsors are Berkshire Bank, Country Bank, PeoplesBank, People’s United Bank, United Bank, and Westfield Bank. 
Wombi Rose, co-founder of Lovepop Cards in Boston, MA will deliver the keynote speech at approximately 7:45 p.m. Lovepop is on a mission to reinvent the social expressions industry with an imagination meets engineering approach to designing pop-up cards.  They are on a mission to create one billion magical moments by empowering others to do something meaningful for the special person in their lives.  Lovepop earned an investment from Kevin O’Leary on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2015. 
A brief Awards Ceremony will conclude the evening, honoring students from the 14 participating colleges and universities: 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. 
Mt. Holyoke College Entrepreneurship Coordinator and Economics Instructor, Rick Feldman, shares why this unique collaboration of colleges and universities is so important to our entrepreneurial ecosystem:
"Research on economic and social impacts and value of entrepreneurship around the world continues to verify the great importance of regional 'ecosystems' supporting entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial thinking, and entrepreneurial skills development. Where there are robust supporting and encouraging ecosystems, there are measurable successes: increased numbers of new ventures, greater diversity, sustainable and growing ventures, and increased capital flows. At the core of all this is the collaboration and action of a region's colleges and universities. Grinspoon EI stimulates and supports that collaboration, ensuring continual faculty development, elevated programming, and excellent courses. The proof is in the almost explosive rate of successful entrepreneurial activity in western Massachusetts."

5:00-6:20 Class of 2019 Entrepreneur Showcase
6:30 Welcome & Introductions
Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, President, Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Emcee: Paul Silva, Founder, Launch413
6:45 Elevator Pitch Competition
7:15 Dinner
7:45 Keynote Speaker
Wombi Rose, Lovepop
8:20 Awards Ceremony
Entrepreneur Awards and Faculty Recognition
Entrepreneur Exhibitor Winners
Grinspoon, Garvey & Young Alumni Award
Elevator Pitch Winners (press release will be sent with winners on Thursday, 4/25)
8:45 End

The program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation. For more information, visit

The program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation. For more information, visit