Imagine Worcester as a home to a plethora of successful businesses, both big and small, thriving economically and attracting talented students and alumni from Worcester-area colleges.
Such is the goal for StartUp Worcester, an initiative created by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to “recruit, retain, [and] incubate” young entrepreneurial students and recent graduates of Worcester colleges. With a successful first year under wraps and 12 entrepreneurial companies awarded partnership, StartUp Worcester is hoping to take this city to the next level.
Led by Chamber President and CEO Timothy P. Murray, StartUp Worcester offers legal advice, a space to work, and—most importantly—access to other people who’ve successfully started their own company.
Twelve StartUp partnerships are awarded each year, which entails a free membership with the Chamber, the Venture Forum, and Running Start, a collaborative space in the Gateway Park neighborhood for entrepreneurs and innovative minds to work together for success.
Worcester State students and young alumni are highly encouraged to apply. Applications for this year are due March 14.
Worcester State has also partnered with the Idea Center, a place that offers opportunities for young companies to work in a co-working space, located at 20 Franklin Street.
Worcester State is no longer known as mainly a teachers’ college, with the top major currently being business administration, according to President Barry Maloney. “More than half our alumni stay within Worcester County and many have great ideas to start innovative companies. This is a great resource for them, and our students, to take their ideas and make them reality.”
In addition to the workshop space at both the Idea Center and Running Start, the Venture Forum aims to give support through frequent events that focus on crucial topics like product launches, marketing, sales, funding sources, building teams, and protection of intellectual property. There are also opportunities to be matched with a mentor, “so that there are people along the way who can answer questions and be a resource,” said Murray in a MassLive article.
The point is, there are almost 35,000 graduating college students in Worcester alone and the Chamber wants to leverage that to the young alumni and city’s advantage, said Murray.
For more information on StartUp Worcester and how to apply, visit www.worcesterchamber.org.
Kate Tattan ’16 is an English major.
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