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 (click here to see full list of winners). 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.
|Mai Libman (Lawrence native)–$7,000
Savione 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
|Michael Bertrand (Billerica Resident & Middlesex Community College student)–Christina Hamilton Award Winner: $500
Edible Land Design transforms landscapes into more interactive environments. The venture specializes in building and maintaining edible landscapes. Bertrand received the first-ever Christina Hamilton Award. This award is dedicated to the memory of Christina Hamilton who tragically passed away in February 2014. Christina Hamilton was a participant in the 2014 EforAll Winter Accelerator
|Leanne Tremblay (Lowell resident)–$5,000
Loomination features handwoven wearables and home decor by Leanne Tremblay. All products are woven and finished by hand at the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, MA
|Nareth Muong (Lowell resident)–$5,000
Translation Services, under the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA), offers translation services in various Southeast Languages including Khmer
|Nkese Applewhite (Hudson, NH resident)–$5,000
Oshun Undies has created the “Cachet Pump and Nurse Brassiere.” This product is an all-in-one nursing & pumping bra composed of two layers of spandex and customizable strap configurations. The layers can be separated with one hand to easily enable nursing and pumping
|Veronica Chapman (Cambridge resident)–$5,000
My Crowning Jewel designs beautiful head wrap “jewels” for women to protect their hair from breakage or just to mask a bad hair day
|Teresa Shroll, Sadie Prickett, Mary Tauras, Anna Henson, Chandana Penukonda, and Xavier Gua (UMass Lowell students)–$2,000
Support our Students is a non-profit that aims to prevent college student hunger and address the issues surrounding the stigma associated with receiving assistance
|Brian Dutton (Dracut resident)–$1,000
Asinine Games creates fun and humorous mobile games and apps such as Flapping Bard, Carlos Danger, and Slendercam, as well as puzzle games like Barn Blitz and the upcoming palindromic puzzler Drome