Entrepreneurship Banquet

The mission of the Entrepreneurship Initiative is to encourage entrepreneurial activity in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts by fostering an educational environment among participating colleges and universities that informs, supports, and inspires students, and by recognizing and awarding students who display entrepreneurial spirit.

The annual Grinspoon Awards Ceremony and Banquet is attended by over 400 people each year. It is a celebration of entrepreneurship with a focus on our students who have won awards for demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit. Individuals and teams exhibit their businesses and compete for additional prize money. 
Each year a keynote speaker tells their personal entrepreneurial story to an audience of college presidents, faculty, students and family members.

2020 Awards Ceremony and Banquet

April 29, 2020
The Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA

Program Highlights

Keynote Speaker:

Rick Steele, Founder, Longmeadow Capital


About our speaker:

Richard Steele founded Longmeadow Capital, LLC in 1993 to invest in real estate development projects, health care services firms, and unique New England businesses.
The company’s investments in various living communities reflect a keen interest in promoting wellness and providing access to outdoor recreation. Its many investments in health care include firms involved with vaccine and diabetic supplies distribution, medical devices, telehealth and healthcare IT.  And its current healthcare fund- Longmeadow Health Care Partners II, L.P. invests in early-stage healthcare-related firms presenting opportunities to improve outcomes, expand access to care, lower costs of providing quality care, and provide novel methods of care.
Prior to founding Longmeadow Capital, Rick worked in senior management positions at Chase Enterprises, a  family investment firm in Hartford, Connecticut, focused on businesses in the broadcasting, cable television, insurance, and real estate industries.
Committed to local organizations, Rick is a past chairman of Baystate Health,  a trustee of Health New England and Bay Path University, active in his affiliation with in the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a member of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Investment Committee.
Rick holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He and his wife have four children and reside in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Grinspoon Class of 2020 Entrepreneur Showcase
Live Elevator Pitch Competition

For more information about the banquet, please email [email protected] 

View the 2019 Banquet Photos

“I dare anyone who attends the Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Banquet to not walk away inspired by the creativity among our college students in the Valley.”

Eric Gouvin, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at Western New England University School of Law


Annual Conference
Entrepreneurship Awards

Press Release


For more information please contact Cari Carpenter: [email protected] or 413-276-0831.

Participating Colleges

View the list