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Future Boston Alliance pitches a winner with Accelerate Boston

Posted by Chad O'Connor  January 17, 2013 11:00 AM

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In August, Future Boston Alliance (FBA), announced the 25 businesses that were selected to participate in its inaugural accelerator program, Accelerate Boston. As a non-profit with the goal of improving the cultural and entrepreneurial environment by making Boston a hub for collaboration and innovation, Accelerate Boston catered specifically to entrepreneurs looking to build creative economy focused businesses.

On January 15th at the Revere Hotel, FBA held their first business pitch competition and chose the winners of the 2012 Accelerate Boston Program. The event was attended by over 85 close friends & supporters and ended with a lively award ceremony event with food and drinks.

FBA's Executive Director Malia Lazu noted the enthusiasm and excitement in the room was palpable as some of Boston’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs vied for the two prizes:
1. a check for $5,000 to the winner of the Social Good Category;
2. a check for $5,000 with a year of free incubator space including phone and internet to the winner of the Ready for Market Category.

The 16 final participants had five minutes each to present their final businesses plans, created using LivePlan, to the panel of judges: Greg Selkoe, CEO of Karmaloop and Founder of FBA, Tina Andrews, Director of Bunker Hill Community College’s Community Center for Entrepreneurship, and Mike Frieze, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Gordon Brothers Group. All participants were given free LivePlan from Palo Alto Software.

photo courtesy of Future Boston Alliance

The crowd at the Accelerate Boston awards

Accelerate Boston catered specifically to entrepreneurs looking to build businesses supporting the creative economy. Accelerate Boston facilitated a six-month educational program based on three core areas of development: Strategic mentorships with business leaders including Devin Hill, Managing Director at JP Morgan Securities, Liana Peterson Krupp, communications consultant and Founder of New Brahmin, and Liz Miranda of Bunker Hill Community College; monthly classes based on a traditional MBA-curriculum but taught through storytelling and first-hand experiences; and “Brown Bag Lunches,” casual, interactive sessions focusing on specific aspects of building a business with appearances from experts of industry such as Daymond John from Shark Tank and Founder of FUBU, Bill Warner, Founder of Avid Technology, and Alec Stern of Constant Contact.

Sponsors for Accelerate Boston also included Insight Venture Partners, I am OTHER, and Burns & Levinson.

Social Good WinnerFresh Food Generation - A farm-to-plate food truck that will offer healthy prepared foods in low-income neighborhoods in the Greater Boston Area including Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury. Young adults ages 18-21 from the communities being served will be hired to assist in the food truck's daily operations and business expansion including marketing initiatives and educating consumers on local food systems and healthy food choices. All menu items will be seasonal and made with ingredients sourced from local farms. Fresh Food Generation was started in August 2012 by Cassandria Campbell and Jackson Renshaw, who met as teenagers working together at The Food Project, a nationally recognized model for youth development and sustainable agriculture.

Ready for Market WinnerGHouse - A music and events company based in Boston, MA, that books tours for artists and digitally distributes music/video internationally through The Orchard, and markets each release with Gupta Media. Started four years ago by Tim Luckow while attending Berklee College of Music, GHouse has grown to incorporate a music label group and booking agency. The company is based in Somerville, MA and is currently working a number of music events here in Boston including a city-wide music festival and on developing a Spotify App with The Echo Nest.

Emily Catalano is Program Manager for Future Boston Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the cultural and entrepreneurial environment of Boston.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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