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Entrepreneur Resources

 

 

Regional Level Resources

 

Mentorship

Valley Venture Mentors provides key support to the entrepreneurial ecosystem by uniting carefully selected start-ups with high quality business mentors at a structured monthly pitch and planning session.

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Western Regional Office provides free and one-to-one business advising to prospective and existing small businesses.

The Western New England College Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship offers legal and business consultation to entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as informational Seminars and Conferences. 

Incubators

Business Incubator at the Scibelli Enterprise Center, Springfield

www.stcc.edu/sec

The Business Incubator at the Scibelli Enterprise Center (SEC) is a mixed use small business facility located adjacent to the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) campus. The SEC contains a variety of developed office spaces in a professional office environment, as well as a shared reception area, conference rooms, videoconferencing center, and computer resource room. Support services include a customized mentor team for Incubator clients assembled from the SEC Advisory Board members; training opportunities through in-house small business support agencies, SEC programming, and STCC's Center for Business and Technology; and access to local lenders interested in working with small business clients.

 

Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce, Springfield

www.masslatinochamber.com

The Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) is located in downtown Springfield, where it operates advocacy programs, small business technical assistance, loan assistance, and a small business incubator center. The MLCC's trainings, technical assistance, and administrative support are tailored to the local community and the needs of individual diverse constituents. The program offers loan assistance, business plans, financial plans and marketing plans to successfully access capital for startups and growing businesses. 

 

Gasoline Alley, Springfield

www.gasolinealleyfoundation.org

Gasoline Alley is a business incubator for socially responsible, sustainable start-up businesses. The incubator currently houses existing businesses, meeting rooms, and warehouse and storage space. Professional business support services include assistance with business plan development, financing resources, and marketing plans.

 

New England Business Associates (NEBA) Business Consulting Center, Springfield

www.nebaworks.com

The NEBA Business Consulting Center provides entrepreneurial training and support to individuals with disabilities, from the development of a business concept and the writing of a SCORE-approved business plan, to the implementation of the business. Business support services also include individualized consultations and sales assistance.

 

Franklin County Community Development Corporation Venture Center, Greenfield

www.fccdc.org/commpropventure.htm.

The Venture Center has six light industrial and seven offices, with leases available at below market rate for start-up and growing businesses. The CDC provides services to its tenants as well as to its members, including business planning, business counseling, a wide range of training programs, and financing.

 

Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center, Greenfield

www.fccdc.org/fpcabout.html

The Food Processing Center contains a fully equipped modern food production facility that meets federal, state, and local standards and is used by small food enterprises to develop value-added farm products; specialty, organic, natural, and retail products; retail operations such as catering; and contract manufacturing.

 

Orange Innovation Center

www.orange-innovation.com

The Orange Innovation Center is a mixed-use business incubator with a variety of spaces available, including offices, studio lofts, and industrial space, as well as an organic and specialty food processing facility. Innovation Center services include assistance with business planning, product development, and distribution resources.

Private Capital

Long River Ventures invests in seed and early stage companies in technology, healthcare and related sectors with a typical initial investment of $500,000 to $1MM,; a partner fund of The Berkshires Capital Investors.

(Both are part of the Village Ventures network.)

Longmeadow Capital Partners typically invests between $2 and 20 million, sponsors financial transactions that include management buy-outs and provides post-transaction operational assistance.

Pioneer Valley Capital invests in profitable and growth companies with revenues in excess of $5MM.

River Valley Investors is a group of individual investors who's contact is Paul Silva of Angel Catalyst.

Meadowbrook Lane Capital is an advisory and investment firm formed by serial entrepreneurs and professionals.

Common Capital is a community loan fund serving Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties in Western Massachusetts.  We provide financing (up to $300,000) and business advisory services to small and medium sized businesses, startups, and to non-profits for community based projects.  We are committed to investing our resources to promote a thriving local economy and to improve the lives of people who live and work in Western Massachusetts. Every dollar that Common Capital deploys is an investment in job creation, opportunity for low-income people, essential community services, neighborhood rejuvenation and environmental sustainability.  We focus on businesses that are locally owned and that recirculate local dollars.

 

Government

The State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) promotes the development of business enterprises and non-profit organizations owned or operated by minorities and women.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) aids with starting, building and growing businesses. A branch office is located Springfield.

State-Level Resources

 

Government

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund grants funds for training current employees and new hires.

The Massachusetts Community Development Finance Corporation provides financing to small businesses in Massachusetts with the purpose of creating or preserving jobs and promoting economic development.

MassDevelopment offers Tax-Exempt Bonds which provide a very low interest rate financing for capital projects. Projects financed must be eligible for tax-exempt financing under the federal tax code. Tax-Exempt Equipment Lease/Purchase Program provides manufacturers, nonprofit institutions, and environmental enterprises with a low-cost alternative for financing $300,000 or more in new equipment needs. This organization was formerly known as the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency before merging with the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Authority and Massachusetts Land Bank.

 

Funding

The Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) of Massachusetts, is a public/private partnership that provides financing to small companies. SBICs are privately organized and managed venture capital firms that are licensed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). More information on SBICs is available here.