MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses

MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses

Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program were awarded $50,000 in seed funding by the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF) on Dec 19 at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell. From left to right: Katie Tarlin of Dover, MA; Tara Oslan of Lowell, MA; Michelle Roose of Brockton, MA; Cristina Hernando of Lawrence, MA; Franky Descoteaux, Adjunct Professor; Colleen Doucette of Billerica, MA with Baby Doucette; and Stacie Hargis, Professor. Photo credit: Romany Photography of Lowell

Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program, an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business, just wrapped up an intensive semester and had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding on December 19th at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell. Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2020. 

  • Invested $10,000 in Allure Mobile Styles – future mobile hair salon for Greater Lowell 
  • Invested a $10,000 match in EkoBon – a future sustainable packaging manufacturer 
  • Invested $15,000 in HER Massage Therapy – massage therapy clinic in Lawrence, MA 
  • Invested $15,000 in What the Fork Catering – catering and future cafe in Billerica, MA  
    • HERE
    • Follow on Instagram @what_the_fork_catering

In Spring of 2018, MCC was 1 of 4 community colleges in the nation to receive a $250,000 grant to create a unique venture fund that offered non-equity seed grants called the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund (EEVF). We split the fund over 4 semesters, creating a $50,000 pool each semester (Fall 2018 – Spring 2020). 

The EEVF funding committee is comprised of members of the MCC Foundation, members of the business community, and MCC administration whom decide distribution of the seed money. Our local ecosystem has a strong group of institutions providing access to debt funding.  What is missing, particularly for students attracted to our program, is the “friends and family” round of funding. They are not ready for debt funding, and do not have the friends and family resource network to come up with the initial investment required to get their businesses off the ground. This grant approach is filling a real market need for low to moderate-income everyday entrepreneurs within our ecosystem. We believe this is a unique value proposition to MCC’s program and makes us a natural partner to the rest of the funding ecosystem. 

Launched in the Fall 2018, MCC has completed three semesters which resulted in three cohorts (17 businesses)

  • 15 of those students requested funding from the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund
    • 7 were Pre-Start-Up (within 1 year of start-up)
    • 5 Start-Up (business operating/generating revenue)
    • 3 were Established (is/was profitable and employing at least 1 FTE)

73%, (11) of those students who completed were women, 52% (8) were minority and 47% (7) were minority women. 60% (9) of the businesses that were launched or grown over the course of the year were located in Lowell.

MCC’s 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months. “Someone who is naturally entrepreneurial just wants to get started,” said Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. “This is why we’ve designed the program to be completed in one intensive, action-oriented semester, to support students developing a business concept with a solid foundation for success.”

For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s new Launch Your Business Now Certificate Program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit: www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program were awarded $50,000 in seed funding by the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF) on Dec 19 at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell. From left to right: Franky Descoteaux, Adjunct Professor; Stacie Hargis, Professor; The Doucette Family of Billerica, MA. Photo credit: Romany Photography of Lowell
Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program were awarded $50,000 in seed funding by the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF) on Dec 19 at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell. From left to right: Stacie Hargis, Professor; Franky Descoteaux, Adjunct Professor; Cristina Hernando of Lawrence, MA. Photo credit: Romany Photography of Lowell

MCC Marketplace

For Intro to Entrepreneurship (BUS 130) class, students focus on actively going through the entrepreneurial process, from idea generation and opportunity evaluation to planning and launch of a business. Students partake in a 3-week long competition then pitch at the MCC Shark Tank. This project also supports student’s service learning project because all net profits will be donated to a local organization!

Their microbusinesses are part of the MCC Marketplace, students can set up at school or sell online. MCC_Marketplace Flyer.

Check out all the businesses here! 

They donated a total of $1419 to the community in net profits!

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Below: M & I Candles selling at the MCC Craft Fair in November.

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2019 DifferenceMaker@MCC IDEA Challenge

DifferenceMakers…
  • Have an idea
  • See a problem that needs solved
  • Want to make a difference in the community or world
Does this sound like you?
Then participate in the DifferenceMaker@MCC Idea Challenge. Join a team to pitch your awesome idea that solves a problem that will make a difference in the world!Build your resume AND win awesome prizes to help you put it into action at the Idea Challenge Pitch Contest.
Any MCC student can participate!
FREE Food at all workshops an events

Workshops start Oct 30th
Idea Pitch Contest on Nov 20th

* do not have to attend workshops to participate

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EEVF awards LYBN students $50,000 in seed money

Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program, an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed for students to start or grow a business, just wrapped up an intensive semester and had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding on May 16th at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell.

lybn
Spring 2019’s Launch Your Business Now program students. From left to right: Jocelyn Pedraza of Lowell, Ani Vong of Lowell, Stephanie Quezada of Lawrence, Mitch Nesteruk of Andover, Professor Descoteaux, Professor Hargis, Romany Meas of Lowell, and Eric Sack of Lowell. Photo credit: Humanity Boutique of Lowell 

 

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Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2019 and 2020. Students receiving funding will also be paired with 3 mentors who will check in with them throughout the first year of operation.

MCC’s 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months. “I’ve been able to gain confidence as the course progressed. I am now equipped with the proper knowledge, moving forward in my journey. I will continue to utilize my tool box with content I was able to learn from the curriculum.” said Jocelyn Pedraza, Spring 2019 program participant.

Students who complete the Launch Your Business Now coursework are encouraged to pitch their business idea to the funding committee of the EEVF, who can award seed money in the form of competitive grants (ranging from $1,000 to $20,000) to support student businesses and help start-ups get off the ground. EEVF is a committee of the MCC Foundation. 

The EEVF Funding Committee is comprised of MCC’s Foundation Board members and key administration and staff from MCC. Their continued efforts to support the Launch Your Business Now program are greatly appreciated. Additionally, we would like to give a BIG thank you to mentors who give their time and significantly impact the success of our students. Thank you! For more info on them, please click here.

 

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everyoneFrom left to right: President Jim Mabry, Judy Mabry, Professor Hargis, Ani Vong of Lowell, Mitch Nesteruk of Andover, Professor Descoteaux, Jocelyn Pedraza of Lowell, Stephanie Quezada of Lawrence, Eric Sack of Lowell, Dean Judy Hogan, and MCC Foundation member David Basile. Photo credit: Romany Photography of Lowell

Grads

From left to right: Ani Vong of Lowell, Stephanie Quezada of Lawrence, Mitch Nesteruk of Andover, Jocelyn Pedraza of Lowell, and Eric Sack of Lowell. Photo credit: Romany Photography of Lowell

Download press release file here.

For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s new Launch Your Business Now Certificate Program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit: www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

VotEd – winners at UML Difference Maker Contest

Congratulations to VotED, the winning team from the Fall DifferenceMaker@MCC Idea Challenge who advanced to the DifferenceMaker at UMass Lowell contest on April 24th.

win

They thoroughly impressed the crowd and judges with their innovative idea of a nonpartisan, voter education app to assist busy people with their civic duty.

VotEd walked away with $4500 in funding under the Social Impact Award. They will work this summer at an UML Boot Camp to develop the idea. We are so excited for them and their entrepreneurial work!

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Find out more about VotED here. 

Spring 2019 Student Businesses

For Intro to Entrepreneurship (BUS 130) class, students focus on actively going through the entrepreneurial process, from idea generation and opportunity evaluation to planning and launch of a business. Students partake in a 3-week long competition then pitch at the MCC Shark Tank. Students also donate their net-profit to the Lowell Boys and Girls Club.

In total, students this semester are donating $1,539.77

This brings our overall donations over the years to $10,722

OUTSTANDING!!!!

The students work so hard and really make MCC proud. Businesses included baked goods, jewelry, soap, chap stick, phone cases, and much more! Check out some of the awesome work they’ve done below.

This year we had 2 MCC Shark Tanks where students were able to pitch what they did – what kinds of marketing they pursued, what traction they had (revenue, customers, net profit, feedback, financials), and what they learned overall. At each contest, 3 winners were chosen. 
From left to right: Guest Judge Lianna Kushi from E for All; Guest Judge Gail Lucozzi, co-owner and operator for ASA Photographic; 2nd place winner Gabriel Veronese Nano of Be Great Journal; 1st place winner Richard Merrifield of Helping Hands Soap & Co.; 3rd place winner Olivia Donahue of Avenir Vert; Guest Judge Kristen McBride-Silva; and Guest Judge Business Dean Judy Hogan. From left to right: Guest Judge Franky Descoteaux from the Merrimack Valley Small Business Center; 3rd place winner Marleyna Mejia of Bake N Go; 1st place winner Ben Rivet of 3 on 3 Tournament; 2nd place winner Lilibeth Curiel of Butter Smooth; Guest Judge Kristen McBride-Silva; and Guest Judge Colleen Gordon from UMass Lowell.

Learn more about the businesses and their success below! Check full financial details here. 

Bedford:

Lowell:

Online:

 

MCC Students Receive $50k in Funding to Help Launch Businesses

Congratulations to 6 of our recent Launch Your Business Now students who received $50,000 in seed funding to launch and grow their businesses!

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Middlesex Community College students enrolled in the Launch Your Business Now program, an innovative applied-entrepreneurship certificate program designed to encourage students to start or grow a business, just wrapped up an intensive semester and had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF). The EEVF committee gave out $50,000 in seed funding on December 19 at an awards ceremony in downtown Lowell.

 

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Student businesses invested in include:

  • $10,000 invested in Body Fuel Café, a nutritious snack and café concept founded by Jessica Salani of Burlington.
  • $10,000 invested in The Sweet Spot, a sustainable clothing, jewelry, gifts and home goods store in downtown Lowell founded by Hilary Clark of Lowell.
  • $9,000 invested in Beautiful Psalms, a spiritual gifts ecommerce company founded by Dali Diaz of Lowell.
  • $8,000 invested in Barber on the Run, a mobile barber service founded by Juan Cintron of Lowell.
  • $8,000 invested in Natural Journey’s, a natural and kinky hair boutique founded by Alison Njoroge of Lowell.
  • $5,000 invested in Good Wood Restoration, a restoration construction company founded by Dave Clark of Lowell.

Students will use this seed funding for operations as they continue to grow their businesses over the course of 2019. Students receiving funding will also be paired with 3 mentors who will check in with them throughout the first year of operation.

MCC’s new 16-credit Launch Your Business Now certificate program was developed for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business they want to launch – or scale up – within four to 12 months. “Someone who is naturally entrepreneurial just wants to get started,” said Stacie Hargis, MCC’s Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. “This is why we’ve designed the program to be completed in one intensive, action-oriented semester. It’s a great way for students to work solely on developing a business concept.”

Students who complete the Launch Your Business Now coursework are encouraged to pitch their business idea to the funding committee of the EEVF, who can award seed money in the form of competitive grants (ranging from $1,000 to $20,000) to support student businesses and help start-ups get off the ground.

MCC is looking for students who already have an idea for a small business, or are looking to grow a business that they have already started. Students will learn how to evaluate market opportunity, validate assumptions about their business, and set up all the systems required to launch a successful small business. This program is ideal for students with innovative and conventional business ideas, such as main street, community-based businesses like retail stores and food products, as well as consultants, bookkeepers, caterers, plumbers, yoga-studio operators or personal trainers.

For more information about MCC student businesses, MCC’s new Launch Your Business Now Certificate Program, or the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund, visit: www.launchatmcc.com or contact Stacie Hargis at hargiss@middlesex.mass.edu.

To register for MCC spring-semester courses, visit: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/registration/ or call 1-800-818-3434.