About Us / Our Team
- Re-cap: Winter 2016 Celebration & Awards Ceremony
$15k in awards, Mayor Rivera Remarks, and a fun filled night!
- EforAll Hosts 20th Pitch Contest
Blog post on our latest pitch contest
- EforAll Alum: i4class in the Boston Globe!
Summer '13 Alum Ron Ayotte is making waves.
- 5 year celebration!
Thank you to all who made the 5 year celebration a huge success.
- 2015 Winter and Summer Quarterly Check In Awards
Entrepreneurs from both the 2015 Winter and Summer accelerators shared their continued progress.
- Introducing EforAll’s 2016 Winter Accelerator Class!
Check out this winter's class of entrepreneurs
- Global Entrepreneurship Week Celebration
Panelists share their pivot experiences with the community!
- Food & Agriculture Pitch Contest Recap!
Garden robots, artisan bread and more!
- All Ideas Pitch Contest Recap!
Find out who took home cash prizes!
- Congratulations to Quarterly Check In Awardees!
Learn more about awardees from the second quarterly check in.
- EforAll Speaker Series: An Entrepreneur's Journey
Learn more about the success of our series kickoff in Lowell.
- Mission Main Street Grant Update!
5 Accelerator Alumni advance to the next stage.
- Help Six Accelerator Alum Win $100k Grant!
Vote now to help 6 Alum advance to the next stage.
- EforAll Welcomes Franky, John, and Mary Beth!
EforAll is very excited to announce three new hires
- EforAll Remembers Kamal Jain
Lowell loses a great mentor and community member. Read more.
- Pitch Contest Winners
See which entrepreneurs won big at our All Ideas Pitch Contest!
- EforAll Mentioned in The Boston Globe
Read this great story on how EforAll is giving early-stage entrepreneurs key resources to succeed!
- Negocios Exitosos
On March 28th, we held a one-day workshop for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. Read more!
- EforAll Accelerator Awards Recap
See which entrepreneurs shared our $15K prize pool!
- Nominate an Entrepreneur
Nominate a family member or friend to take part in our programs!
- Summer Accelerator Application is Live
Calling all entrepreneurs. Apply now for our 2015 Summer Accelerator!
- First-ever story about EforAll in the South Coast
Check out this great story about EforAll adding a new location in the South Coast region!
- National & Local Media Outlets Profile EforAll Entrepreneurs
Read these inspiring stories about the great things our entrepreneurs are accomplishing in their communities!
- EforAll Alumna Featured in BetaBoston
Read this great story on how one of our former accelerator winners recently raised $400K in her first round of equity funding!
- EforAll Alumna Wins $100K at MassChallenge
See which one of our entrepreneurs won the top prize from the largest startup accelerator in the world!
- EforAll Finalist Profiled in the Lowell Sun
Read more about one of our entrepreneurs is looking to change the world through edible gardens!
Executive Director, EforAll Lowell/Lawrence
Franky Descoteaux is a serial entrepreneur, with over 20 years experience in small business launch, growth and exit. As a college student at UNLV, she co-founded a cutting edge technology company that provided customized technology services to the medical industry. After moving to Lowell, MA in 2000, she opened three storefront businesses on Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell. She operated her restaurant, ice cream shop and ladies boutique simultaneously for over 10 years, with the help of two strong management teams. During that time she also made a small seed investment in Life Alive Urban Oasis & Organic Café.
In 2009 she ran for a seat on Lowell’s City Council, where she won the rare distinction of; winning as a first time candidate, being a city councilor who was not born and raised in Lowell, being one of only two women to run out of 22 candidates, and being the first Latina women elected to the council. In 2012, she joined Life Alive as Director of People & Culture, where she directed systems development in order to prepare Life Alive to scale across Massachusetts. In May 2015, she joined EforAll as Executive Director of Lowell and Lawrence. Franky is currently working on her master’s thesis in Innovation and Technical Entrepreneurship from UMass Lowell, which she expects to complete in May 2016.
As the Executive Director for Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), David is working with a broad cross-section of community members in different mid-sized cities to identify entrepreneurs, encourage them to propose their ideas, and then help them improve their business and non-profit organizations. EforAll was founded to work with entrepreneurs in the cities of Lowell and Lawrence, MA; in December 2014 the organization announced it is adding a new region, the South Coast area of MA (encompassing the cities of New Bedford and Fall River). EforAll is looking to expand to more mid-sized cities and regions.
Prior to joining EforAll in early 2013, David spent 15 years working on six entrepreneurial ventures, in some cases as part of the initial team and in others as the founder or co-founder. Four of these companies achieved significant success: Viaweb was sold to Yahoo, Direct Hit was acquired by Ask Jeeves, TripAdvisor continues today as a standalone public company (NASDAQ: TRIP), and SoundBite Communications went public and then was acquired by Genesys.
Prior to his time with Internet startups, David worked in the publishing industry for a variety of magazine and newspaper companies, including International Data Group, Time Magazine, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. David has an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and a B.A. with honors from Harvard College. He lives in Boston, MA, with his wife, Janet Tiampo; David and Janet have two children: As of 2015, Anna is a senior at Middlebury College, and Noah is a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara.
Chief Operating Officer, EforAll
As the Chief Operating Officer beginning in 2015, John is building the organization’s infrastructure for managing EforAll’s expansion into new territories. His responsibilities include finance, human resources, training, impact measurement, and IT. Previously John worked in the life sciences industry. He co-founded Gilliam Capital LLC, a life science investment firm, and was a co-founder of the RNA interference company Alnylam Pharmaceuticals where he held the position of Vice President, Strategy and Finance and CFO through to its successful 2004 IPO. He held a variety of positions at Transkaryotic Therapies and Biogen in marketing, business development, sales and finance. He was a Manager at the strategy consulting firm of Bain & Company and has recently been Board Chair of The YMCA of Greater Boston and of The Jericho Road Project. Mr. Conley graduated with a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He was a 2014 Fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.
Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation
As Executive Director at the Deshpande Foundation, Raj develops overall strategy, and channels the Foundation’s efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Raj works closely with EforAll by leading the team and driving the overall strategy. Previously as Principal at Ambient Engines, Raj Melville provided marketing and strategy consulting to emerging social entrepreneurs. He founded the annual Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, organized and moderated numerous panels and workshops on social entrepreneurship, and currently mentors several startups focused on addressing key social issues. Raj has over 25 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience including managing overall product strategy and features as Vice President, Product Management for nTAG Interactive, a spin off from the MIT Media Lab. As V.P. Product Management and Marketing, and later V.P Client Services, at mobile software vendor Vaultus, another MIT spinoff, (now part of Antenna Software) he provided marketing, product management and client services direction. Prior to that he was Sr. Director, Product Management at Be Free Inc. (now Valueclick), a market leading affiliate marketing ad server and e-commerce solution. Earlier he managed the launch of two high-end Internet server products at Electronic Book Technologies (later acquired by Inso). His early career included working at Microsoft Corp., Digital Equipment Corporation, and Booz Allen & Hamilton.
He is an active member of TiE Boston and the India Society of Worcester and co-founded the TIE Social Entrepreneurship Group. He has been a mentor and judge for several entrepreneurial competitions such as MassChallenge, MIT 100K, and the MIT IDEAS competition. Raj has a Doctor of Science in engineering from MIT focusing on optimizing the operation of computerized manufacturing systems; a Master’s from MIT’s Sloan School; and a Bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Mary Beth Burwood
Program Manager, EforAll Lowell/Lawrence
Mary Beth joined EforAll in Spring 2015 as the Lowell/Lawrence Program Manager supporting the Accelerator program, public events, and future growth of EforAll entrepreneurs. Prior to joining EforAll, Mary Beth was Program Manager at Groundwork Lawrence providing hands-on, environmental education for Lawrence youth. In this role she was able to increase their youth team’s exposure to entrepreneurship through partnering with EforAll. As a result, the team successfully expanded their fresh food business and created a t-shirt business to spread a positive message about the City of Lawrence. Mary Beth graduated from University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) with a B.A. in Psychology, specializing in Developmental Disabilities. As a UML student, she joined the EforAll (formerly the Merrimack Valley Sandbox) and the DifferenceMakers programs where she developed and launched the first school gardening program Lowell Sprouts. She spent two years managing this program to improve middle school students’ connection to healthy food and environmental sustainability. In her free time, Mary Beth enjoys traveling, running, and other outdoor adventures throughout New England.
Executive Director, EforAll South Coast
After graduating from UMass Dartmouth with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts in 2003, Shelley began working for AHEAD, LLC. Within a few years she became the Creative Department Manager, leading a team of 30-50 employees. While working for this entrepreneurial South Coast company, Shelley created and grew her own t-shirt and design business. She became the vendor coordinator for CRAFT-O-RAMA in 2007, a local arts and crafts event previously run by Calico, a local boutique. Over the years, CRAFT-O-RAMA transformed into a seasonal holiday pop-up shop featuring crafts by local artists and Shelley became sole proprietor in 2014.
Shelley currently sits on the AHA! Steering Committee and on the board of 3rd Eye Youth Empowerment, Inc. She coordinated New Bedford Open Studios in 2010, was member and chair of the New Bedford Local Cultural Council, co-founded Soap Box Social and New Bedford Art Museum’s group Contemporaries. Through her leadership at AHEAD, LLC and her involvement in the community, Shelley was honored to receive the SouthCoast 5 Emerging Leader Award in June of 2015. In September 2015, she joined EforAll as Executive Director in the South Coast.
Theresa joined Entrepreneurship for All in the summer of 2014 as a volunteer for the EforAll Summit. Since then, she has been an intern for the organization. Theresa has helped facilitate two accelerator programs since joining the team and has worked alongside the Marketing Director, Mentor Managers, and Executive Director to assist in day-to-day operations and special projects. Theresa is holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Mentorship Program Manager
Eduardo joined EforAll in July 2014 to create and manage a Mentorship Program to support Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. He assesses the needs of the participants and finds mentors that will guide and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.
Eduardo is the founder and CEO of Hispanic Market Solution, a Methuen based company that specializes in helping companies Understand, Reach and Service (“URS” methodology) the US Hispanic market. Eduardo is a bilingual/bicultural entrepreneur with proven marketing, advertising, PR and business development experience. Increasing awareness about the opportunity of the Hispanic market and providing strategic marketing direction, generating new business, creating “out of the box” solutions, crafting compelling campaigns, and connecting brands are his core strengths.
Eduardo received his AA degree with Honors in Liberal Arts from Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA, where he was named one of the 40 “most successful graduates” at the college’s 40 year anniversary. He graduated Cum Laude in Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and studied at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business (Boston). In 2001, he became certified as an Exports Promotions Consultant in the European Union through a collaborative program sponsored by CORPEI, the organization in charge of promoting exports and investments in Ecuador, CBI in Amsterdam and the World Bank. Eduardo is a ’04 alumnus from the Emerging Leaders Program, a Greater Boston’s premiere executive development program sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Leadership at UMass Boston.
Director, Spanish Program
Janin Duran has been a team member at Entrepreneurship for All (lowell-lawrence.eforall.org) since 2011. She started as Program Associate, and then was promoted to manager, senior manager and lately to director of the Spanish Program. In this capacity, she is leading the first program of its kind in the US. EforAll’s Spanish Program is unleashing creativity and bringing hope, training and resources to Spanish speaking entrepreneurs that had always dreamed of having their own business or non-profit venture. EforAll is now eliminating linguistic barriers and lack of access to resources by providing comprehensive Spanish language services for them to be successful.
Previously, Janin led EforAll Student Program, where she worked closely with students and youth groups to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into a reality. Before that she worked as the Multicultural Specialist at Middlesex Community College. At the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Janin worked in the Office of Student Activities and Multicultural Affairs as a Program Coordinator where she managed events while working closely with students, faculty/staff and the Lowell community.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Janin grew up in the city of Lawrence and lived in Lowell, MA for seven years. She has been actively engaged in both cities through many local organizations. Janin obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice and Master’s of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Program Manager – South Coast
Jeremiah Hernandez joined EforAll in the Fall of 2015 as the South Coast Program Manager supporting the Accelerator program, public events, and future growth of EforAll entrepreneurs. Jeremiah is a lifelong resident and champion of the South Coast. Born and raised in New Bedford, Jeremiah has always had a motivation to see his community flourish. His road to EforAll was paved with a career concentration in service. A graduate of Providence College with a BA in Political Science, Jeremiah’s strong community connections reach back to his childhood, holding signs for Michael Dukakis and most recently leading the way to make public art a part of the city policy, rather than the nuisance of so many. He was the Co-Founder of an Urban Contemporary Art Gallery called the UGLYgallery in downtown New Bedford that opened its doors in 2011. It offered an underrepresented genre and an under-served community a place to exhibit, sell, congregate, create, and feel safe. The UGLYgallery was a hub for cultural activity, community engagement, and an inspiration for those who have felt a barrier to the access of gallery culture. His passion for people has always been a motivator in his career choices. Before he owned his own business, Jeremiah was an account manager for a marketing and conventional printing company and helped his clients design marketing strategies across multiple media, assisting in ad buys, branding, and print. He will tell you his first love is food, as he is inspired by the creativity the kitchen allows him to express. The last restaurant he oversaw from concept to completion was Cork Wine & Tapas bar in New Bedford’s Whaling National Park. He loves his little Boston Terrier, Guinness Half Pint, and plans to ride 2500 miles on his bicycle in the coming year.
As an Ambassador for Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), Peter works to connect entrepreneurs, mentors and other entrepreneurially minded community members to the mission of EforAll. In addition to his work with EforAll Peter is the founder of technology consultancy NeuEon, serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce along with serving on the advisory board for the Southern New England Entrepreneurs Forum and the Charlton College of Business at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Peter is also an organizer and certified facilitator with Startup Weekend and regularly speaks to business groups about technology and entrepreneurship. Peter has a bachelor of science in computer science from Northeastern University. He speaks regularly at business and technology events, seminars and workshops.
Development Director, EforAll
Tracy Sopchak is a development professional with 6+ years of fundraising experience focused primarily on the revitalization of Massachusetts mid-sized cities. Specifically, Tracy joins us from Groundwork Lawrence where she raised nearly $3M for the organization and the City of Lawrence, primarily in foundation and government grant sources. Through her role at Groundwork Lawrence, Tracy became a founding member of the Greater Lawrence Health and Wellness Alliance and was instrumental in this role in securing Massachusetts Department of Public Health ‘Mass in Motion’ status and the 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize for the City. Tracy was also instrumental in helping Groundwork Lawrence being named a 2013 Root Cause Social Innovator and, by securing numerous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants for Groundwork Lawrence and the City, assisted with Lawrence being named a 2015 EPA ‘Making A Visible Difference’ community.
Tracy brings 10+ years of technical expertise from previous careers in mechanical engineering and software development in the corporate realm including 4 years at Cadence Design Systems in Chelmsford, 7 years at General Electric Company in Lynn including 2 years as a Technical Leadership Program graduate, and 2 years of Co-op experience at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington. Tracy earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering magna cum laude from Northeastern University and her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Tracy currently serves on the Jericho Road Lawrence board of directors, is participating in the Mill Cities Leadership Institute class of 2016, and lives in Reading with her husband Jim and their son Miles.
Marketing Manager, EforAll
Andy Vargas joined EforAll in December 2015 to facilitate marketing and communications for all EforAll locations. Originally from Haverhill, Andy graduated from Boston University, where he laid the foundation for a passion for civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and public service. Andy served in the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, where he helped U.S. based businesses export their products to Spain. He also served as a White House intern, under the Obama Administration. As a communications intern for the administration, Andy expanded the White House’s reach on social media, communicated with the press, researched and drafted articles related to issues in the fields of economic development, immigration, culture, and foreign policy in the Americas. In November of 2015, Andy was elected to the Haverhill City Council, becoming the City’s first Latino elected official.