Collegiate Summer Venture Program Celebrates Startup Success

The 2019 Collegiate Summer Venture Program cohort in a group photo
The 2019 Collegiate Summer Venture Program cohort included 20 ventures from five institutions of higher education, amounting to 29 participants and four entrepreneurs-in-residence.

Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship and Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), the Collegiate Summer Venture Program (CSVP) concluded with a celebration on Monday, July 29, at VVM’s hub in Springfield.

The 10-week accelerated program is designed to support startups at all stages. Participating ventures had the opportunity to work with dedicated mentors, industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs over the course of the summer to grow their businesses. Each week followed a general theme, including customer discovery, prototyping, industry research, market strategy, pitching and funding options. Programming included workshops from industry experts, open work time, office hours and entrepreneurial panels.

This summer’s cohort included 20 ventures from five institutions of higher education, amounting to 29 participants and four entrepreneurs-in-residence.

The 2019 program marked the inaugural year of partnership for the Berthiaume Center and VVM.


(Move)ment, Maire Frances Psomas-Jackloski, Hampshire College – A nonprofit dance company that provides a full dance education and self-care movement practices to teens and preteens for an affordable cost.

21st Biotech, George Ryan, Kevin Cutinella, and Yizhuo ‘E.J.’ Chen, UMass – A thin layer medical device designed to heal skin abrasions faster than today’s current market options.

Aethos, Sam Chiburis, UMass – Uses nano-tech to harvest renewable energy via kits that are flexible, biodegradable, and capable of converting the ambient energy from your surroundings into electricity.

Beyond Happiness, Aaron Andrews, Hampshire College – A wellness business creating an ecosystem of products and experiences that inspire college students to be their best selves.

Explore to Excel, Lucnalie Jironvil, UMass – A company that focuses on the needs of low self-confidence, low income students by facilitating exposure to a variety of activities and opportunities at an early age.

Forge Networker Inc., Justin Greene, UMass – A phone app with a virtual speed networking platform that strives to improve the social lives of college graduates as they make the transition to new cities after graduation.

Free Bloom, Stephanie Paul, UMass – You are free to blossom into the best, blissful you you can be.

Haiti Main Verte, Jim E. Albert, Elms College – Driving the socially responsible evolution of the farming industry to gain traction in the global market.

iSPY Technologies, Hayley Green and Anna Maria Miller, UMass – Applying image-based machine learning technology towards the identification process of microbes.

Journalme, Paul Baucus, Westfield State – An interactive journaling application that ask questions and learns from the user’s previously given answers and chosen goals in support of mental well-being.

Kinase Life, Nariman Banaei, UMass – A lab providing low-cost and convenient detection service for early-stage cancers.

Learn to Wrench, Benjamin Schroeder, UMass – Trustworthy, convenient, and educational car repair service.

MassBoard, Wencheng Zhang and Zhiying Zhu, UMass – Your reliable companion in and out of college.

Nutriply, Minqi Wang, UMass – A tasty protein drink fortified with vitamin B12 and iron to complement the nutrition of plant-based diets.

OpenThink, Nathan Kessel, UMass – A web and mobile platform that empowers people to change the world together.

Organic Baby, Michael Paszek, Greenfield Community College – A manufacturing company producing a line of organic baby clothes for medical market.

Phoenix Design, LLC, Nick Labodycz, UMass – Designing and manufacturing custom products for events, fundraisers, and gift-giving.

Shattered Sword, Christopher Foskett, UMass – The next big independent video game company.

Snack Shapes, LLC, Mitchell Culler, UMass – It’s a snack! It’s a toy! It’s Temgrams, the delicious (and nutritious) geometric puzzle-shaped snack that nourishes your body and mind by encouraging you to play with your food.

The Cupcake Factory Pakistan, Adil Sarwar, Hampshire College – An online business that customizes bakery products and makes special occasions even more special.

A video from the event is available on YouTube.