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Western Mass Founders Network Announces First Demo Day

SPRINGFIELD — The Western Mass Founders Network announced its first demo day will be held June 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Valley Venture Mentors’ facility in Springfield.

The participating startups represent the inaugural cohort of the organization’s peer mentoring program. The Western Mass Founders Network Demo Day is the culmination of an eight-month program for startups with high-growth potential based in Western Mass. Over the course of the program, cohort companies have participated in peer roundtables to discuss common challenges and enjoyed one-to-one mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and executives with experience growing innovative companies to scale.

The demo day program will kick-off with Springfield’s Mayor Domenic Sarno and State Representative Carlos Gonzalez and include pitches from the startups, a business showcase, and networking opportunities with the community and investors. Those interested in attending may RSVP here. The Western Mass Founders Network is funded by a $200,000 Pathways to Scale grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) and is a coordinated effort by: Western Mass Economic Development Council (EDC), Valley Venture Mentors, FORGE, and the Berkshire Innovation Center.

The Western Mass Founders Network partners established the program to support the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The emphasis is not only on providing higher level resources for startups that are ready to scale, but also on building a sense of community and a network of experienced peers.

“MassTech is proud to continue our support for the emerging startup ecosystem in Western Mass,” said Megan Marszalek, director of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems at MassTech’s Innovation Institute. “The Western Mass Founders’ Network builds on the Commonwealth’s past investments in organizations like VVM and our work with Western Mass EDC and the BIC. The network provides a strong foundation for a sustainable and diverse startup community – one that creates a virtuous cycle where successful entrepreneurs can grow to scale, contribute to local economic growth, and inspire more entrepreneurs to launch and grow in the region.”

“Startups are critical to the overall economic growth and health of our region,” said Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass Economic Development Council. “There is great potential for high growth startups to scale to medium and large companies in Western Massachusetts, adding to the vibrancy of the Commonwealth.”

Tuesday’s event will celebrate the 15 startups of the inaugural Western Mass. Founders’ Network.

• DisruptAR:Technology — virtual production, Great Barrington; • Elateq: Clean Energy — water treatment, Amherst; • IdleSmart:Transportation — fuel reduction, battery management, and vehicle uptime IoT platform, Lenox Mass.,/Kansas City, MO; • Marcellamoda — eco-friendly female clothing, Northampton Mass./New York City; • Medzu/TickReport — tick testing/surveillance, Amherst; • OmPractice — online group yoga and meditation classes, Springfield; • QuatroMoney — student finance, Springfield; • QuickCord — hand-held utility devices;

• SISS SendItSafeSolutions; • Solablock — vertical solar solutions, Easthampton; • Superfrau — upcycled energy drink, Springfield; • Sustaine — proprietary software to determine energy savings, Williamstown; • Tumult Labs — data privacy protection; • United Aircraft Technologies — electrical wiring system management/maintenance – Pittsfield, Mass./Troy, NY; and • ZWraps