Commonwealth Meets with South Coast Leaders on Ways to Grow Culture of Entrepreneurship

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Commonwealth Meets with South Coast Leaders on

Ways to Grow Culture of Entrepreneurship


Non-Profit Group ‘Entrepreneurship for All’ Launches Initial Efforts in Region; Aims to

Expand Local Entrepreneur Community, Drive Business Growth & Innovation

DARTMOUTH – Today, state officials including Housing and Economic Development Secretary Gregory Bialecki and Massachusetts Technology Collaborative CEO Pamela Goldberg, joined business and community leaders from the South Coast to discuss ways to enhance local entrepreneurship and highlight the expansion of a program to support entrepreneurs into the South Coast region. The event at The Dartmouth Grange was highlighted by the introduction of Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) a Lowell and Lawrence-based non-profit that works to strengthen business creation, idea generation, mentorship, and capital formation. 
The event also included a presentation by noted technology entrepreneur Desh Deshpande, a co-founder of the Deshpande Foundation, an organization committed to using “entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for sustainable change.” The Foundation is a global philanthropic effort with programs in Canada, India, and the United States, including EforAll, which is based in Lowell.
“Entrepreneurship for all is not merely a slogan, it is part of a robust strategy for how we grow the Commonwealth’s economy,” said Secretary Bialecki. “Programs like EforAll bring together a strong mix of people who are focused on choosing growth and innovation, enhancing the competitiveness of the state’s innovation industry for generations to come.”
EforAll brings a track record of success to the region, having successfully established programs in the Merrimack Valley over the past few years.  During that time, EforAll has helped grow new businesses in Lowell, Lawrence, and surrounding communities, through accelerator programs, pitch contests, ‘Catalyst’ events aimed at educating high school and college students, and first in the nation Spanish-language pitch contests (Concurso Pitch “Lanza Tu Idea”).
“EforAll is an example of a simple but very powerful idea,” said Desh Deshpande.  “By bringing the community together to support local entrepreneurs, everybody wins – entrepreneurs get much needed help launching their ventures, while the local economy gets a boost by creating businesses and non-profits that are committed to staying local.”
Founded as the Merrimack Valley Sandbox in December 2010, the EforAll organization has supported over 1,000 student & adult entrepreneurs, built a network of 120-plus professionals & entrepreneur mentors, and accelerated the growth of 77 early-stage ventures.
“We’ve been pleased with the partnership EforAll has made with the Commonwealth and with stakeholders in the regions where they work,” noted Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “We look forward to working with EforAll on programs that will impact today’s entrepreneurs and will concentrate on efforts that will grow the next generation of business innovators as well.” 
EforAll will officially roll out programming in the region over the early part of 2015, working with many of the local leaders in attendance, including business leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives from government, academic and non-profit institutions such as UMass-Dartmouth and regional Chambers of Commerce. 
David Parker, Executive Director of EforAll, noted his excitement regarding the expansion of EforAll’s programs in the Commonwealth. “I am eager to connect with entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, and business experts in the South Coast region.  As EforAll has done in Lowell/Lawrence, EforAll in the South Coast will raise the excitement, awareness, and impact of entrepreneurship on the local economy.”
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is an innovative public agency working to enhance economic growth, accelerate technology use and adoption, and harness the value of research by engaging in meaningful collaborations across academia, industry, and government.  From improving our health care systems and expanding high-speed internet across the state to fostering emerging industry clusters, MassTech is driving innovation and supporting a vibrant economy across the Commonwealth.  The Innovation Institute at MassTech was created in 2003 to improve conditions for growth in the innovation economy by enhancing industry competitiveness, promoting conditions which enable growth; and providing data and analysis to stakeholders in the Massachusetts innovation economy that promotes understanding and informs policy development.
Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a non-profit organization founded in December 2010 with the mission of accelerating economic and social impact through entrepreneurship in the cities of Lowell & Lawrence, Massachusetts. EforAll runs dozens of programs including workshops, pitch contests, entrepreneur meetups, themed mixers, and twice annual accelerator programs. In the last three and a half years, EforAll has helped over 1,000 student and adult entrepreneurs and has seen numerous ventures launched a vegan ice cream business, a customized apparel manufacturing company, and a non-profit that helps juvenile offenders avoid jail time.  EforAll is supported by a pilot grant from the Deshpande Foundation.  
Maeghan Welford (617) 371-3999 x230,