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EforAll Alumna Catie's Closet Wins $100K at MassChallenge

Mickey Cockrell wins $100K grand prize at 2014 MassChallenge Awards

Photo Courtesy of MassChallenge

The 2014 MassChallenge Awards featured some of the biggest entrepreneurs from around the world. In attendance were Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Cascade Communications Founder Desh Deshpande. Perhaps the most inspiring entrepreneur of the evening was EforAll Accelerator Alumna Mickey Cockrell of Catie's Closet. Her Dracut-based venture, which provides clothing and basic necessities to students living in poverty, was awarded as a $100K grand prize. Out of 128 finalists who took part in the largest startup accelerator in the world, only four (including Mickey) were awarded the prizes. In dramatic fashion, Mickey was the very last entrepreneur to be called up for an award. As soon as her name was called, EforAll staff, mentors, and fellow accelerator finalists in attendance screamed in excitement. Just one year ago Brenna Schneider of 99Degrees Custom (2013 Winter EforAll Alumna) was one of the top $100K grand prize winners at the 2013 MassChallenge Awards.

Mickey Cockrell wins $100K grand prize at 2014 MassChallenge Awards

EforAll staff members, mentors, and fellow accelerator finalists celebrate Mickey Cockrell's big win

Mickey first engaged with EforAll last October when she won second place at our 2013 All Ideas Pitch Contest. She then went on to participate in our 2014 Winter Accelerator and ended up being the program's top winner. 

"My participation in the EforAll Accelerator Program was invaluable," said Mickey Cockrell. "It provided the building blocks I needed to put a solid infrastructure in place in order to scale the business. I received incredible exposure and mentorship which placed me ahead of the pack at MassChallenge. I was much better prepared to take Catie's Closet to the next level."

To date, Catie's Closet has served over 12,000 students in Lowell, Hudson (NH), and Nashua (NH). By next year, they have a goal of serving over 50,000 students.

EforAll Finalist Featured in the Lowell Sun

EforAll Accelerator Finalist Michael Bertrand (photo credit: Lowell Sun)

EforAll Accelerator Finalist Michael Bertrand (photo credit: Lowell Sun)

On October 14th, the Lowell Sun wrote an inspiring story on EforAll Accelerator Finalist Michael Bertrand. The story not only focusses on Michael's venture (Edible Land Design), but his perseverance in dealing with personal tragedies, including the recent loss of his two brothers.

Michael participated in the 2014 EforAll Summer Accelerator and won the first-ever Hamilton Award (given to an individual in every EforAll Accelerator Class to honor the memory of program alumna Christina Hamilton).

Click here to read the article!

Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidates Connect with EforAll Entrepreneurs

Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Martha Coakley meets with EforAll Entrepreneurs

Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Martha Coakley meets with EforAll Entrepreneurs

Last week, two Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates made stops on their campaign trails to meet with EforAll's entrepreneurs to hear how the Commonwealth can give ventures a better chance of success. On Wednesday, September 8th, Independent candidate Jeff McCormick  stopped by EforAll's office in Lowell to hear from EforAll Finalists Danaris Mazara of Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes, Greg Page of Merrimack Analysis Group, and Mai Libman of Savione. There were some great ideas that came out of the conversation including how the $500 filing fee to start an LLC can be a deterrent for potential entrepreneurs to start up their own venture.

Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Jeff McCormick stop by EforAll

Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Jeff McCormick stop by EforAll

On Friday, September 10th Democratic Candidate Martha Coakley (currently Massachusetts Attorney General) visited the Everett Mills in Lawrence to engage in a roundtable discussion with over 15 EforAll Finalists. Attorney General Coakley heard from from Finalists such as Veronica Chapman of My Crowning Jewel who talked about the value of mentorship in the EforAll Accelerator and how the recent $150K grant from the Commonwealth/Mass Tech Collaborative will help enhance the organization's mentorship program. EforAll Finalist Floyd Greenwood of Alphamatician suggested that small businesses should have better representation in Beacon Hill and that policy reflect their interests in addition to corporations. Before the meeting wrapped up, Attorney General Coakley assigned our EforAll Finalists "homework" to put together a list of all of their recommendations and send it to her team.

Special thanks to both candidates for coming out Lowell and Lawrence and learning about the impact of Entrepreneurship for All!

*Note: EforAll is not endorsing any of the Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates*