The Lowell & Lawrence Summer 2014 Business Accelerator helped 15 young companies turn their ideas and passion into viable businesses. Many industries were represented, including apparel, education, design and technology.
The EforAll Era Begins
On September 9th, nearly 200 people attended the 2014 EforAll Summer Accelerator Awards at the Everett Mills in Lawrence. This event signified a new era for the organization as we announced that we no longer will be called the Merrimack Valley Sandbox. Our new name moving forward will be Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll). “The name embodies the organization’s core belief that people from all walks of life, with all types of venture ideas, can become entrepreneurs,” said David Parker, the Executive Director of EforAll. “The name change also gives us the platform to add new EforAll locations in Massachusetts and beyond.”
There was excitement building throughout the evening as this event also represented the conclusion of the 2014 EforAll Summer Accelerator. From June to August of this year, 15 early-stage ventures took part in this program that featured intensive workshops, mentors, 24/7 co-working space, and a $30K prize pool. “This program has been the most rewarding experience for me as an entrepreneur,” said EforAll Finalist Mai Libman.
In typical EforAll fashion, we kicked off the event with an entrepreneur showcase. Our 2014 Summer Accelerator Class had the opportunity to connect with audience members about their ventures. Below, EforAll Finalist Curtis Colly of Event Fish talks about how his innovative platform can help simplify the event planning process.
Later in the evening, the audience received a special treat by hearing Gerald Chertavian, the Founder of Year Up. Mr. Chertavian, a Lowell native, eloquently spoke about his carer transition from being a Wall Street executive to becoming a social entrepreneur and starting Year Up. He stressed the importance of scale in addressing social problems and commended EforAll on the work its doing in Lowell and Lawrence and how it can potentially have an impact on a national level.
After this, EforAll Finalist Veronica Chapman gave the class address. She spoke about the camaraderie that she and her classmates shared and how moving forward this experience will not only have a transformative effect on their ventures, but their lives.
Then our EforAll Finalists took the stage together for one last time. While this was their final pitches of the program, we hope they will be making many more in their careers.
The evening concluded with the awarding of our $30K prize pool. Lawrence native Mai Libman of Savione took the program’s top prize of $7,000. Her venture is a cloud-based platform for local merchants and vendors to create a mobile storefront that allows them to publish real-time information on their stores, products, and offers. “I’m so honored to be the top winner of the 2014 EforAll Summer Accelerator and to have taken part in such an amazing program,” said Libman. “The $7,000 grant will help me enhance the back-end of my website for market vendors, build a web app, and launch a marketing campaign to attract more users.”
Congratulations to all of our finalists from the 2014 EforAll Summer Accelerator. We are so very proud of you and can’t wait to see how you move your ventures forward in the future.
A company that uses art as a backdrop to differentiate each experience at various events.
Impacting young minds through game development training and mentorship, while providing a temporary, safe escape from everyday stress.
BeActiveTogether is a mobile app that helps people find others to workout and play sports with, based on activity preference, location, and schedule.
Bhlue.com is a career planning solution and networking community for teens and young adults.
Edible Land Design is a landscaping company that specializes in designing, building, and maintaining edible gardens.
Eventfish Inc. is simplifying event planning by providing you with all the tools necessary to create a successful event
LookBug is a wearable device, watching your back. Use on your phone using the LookBug app and device.
Loomination designs and creates distinctive handwoven wearables and home decor.
Fashionable head wraps that help women protect their hair from breakage, adorn their crowns following hair loss, or mask a bad hair day.
We design and sell beautiful all-in-one pumping and nursing brassieres for breastfeeding mothers.
Pure Pesto is a gourmet pesto sauce company that aims to redefine the way pestos are perceived by consumers in a fresh nutritious way.
Savione is a cloud-based platform for local merchants and market vendors to create a mobile storefront that allows them to publish real-time information on their stores, products, and offers.
Nourishing future college graduates for a healthy and productive community.
Dedicated to improving the quality of life for Cambodian Americans and other minorities and economically disadvantaged persons in Lowell through educational, cultural, economic and social programs.
The Wheelchair Companion is a quilted fabric storage product for Wheelchairs.