Secretary Bialecki Celebrates Interise’s Mentoring Initiative, Participates In Roundtable Discussion
Roundtable highlights importance of entrepreneurship and mentoring
NEW BEDFORD – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki today joined the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) in New Bedford to celebrate Interise’s award of nearly $150,000 to expand its mentoring program for local companies. Bialecki and MassTech held a roundtable discussion with entrepreneurs, private sector partners, collaborators and Interise staff members on the importance of entrepreneurship and mentoring on the South Coast.
“Investing in organizations, incubators and programs that support start-up entrepreneurs and strengthen mentoring partnerships is a winning strategy that will grow our Massachusetts economy,” said Secretary Bialecki. “We remain committed to supporting economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth.”
Interise is an organization that helps established small businesses grow by using practices and applied research to promote job creation, wealth generation and community building.
“For the last decade, Interise and its partners have worked to create jobs, grow revenues and support communities – particularly lower-income communities – by helping established small business owners grow and expand in Massachusetts,” said Interise CEO Jean Horstman. “We are thrilled to have the support of the Commonwealth to support and boost our successful local mentoring program. Through this work, more local South Coast businesses will have greater access to mentors to help make our South Coast classes even more impactful.”
Earlier this year, Interise received funding through the Massachusetts Innovation Mentoring Initiative at MassTech, which aims to strengthen entrepreneur and startup mentoring activities across underserved populations, regions and industries in the Commonwealth, with a goal of encouraging the growth of new jobs, startups and business. These grants were awarded from the program to boost entrepreneur mentoring activities in the Merrimack Valley, the South Coast and the Pioneer Valley. Additional awardees include the Merrimack Valley Sandbox and Valley Venture Mentors.
“Organizations like Interise are helping grow our Commonwealth’s culture of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Pamela Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer of MassTech. “This mentorship initiative is designed to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and knowledge they need to grow their business. Ultimately, we hope participants in this initiative can transition from entrepreneur, to growth company owner, and eventually becoming mentor to other entrepreneurs in the South Coast region. By investing in that cycle, we can help increase jobs in our innovation economy.”
With the funding, Interise will expand its efforts into the South Coast region, providing executive education, including extensive mentoring to 15 established entrepreneurs in the area.
The organization will also now be able to administer a new program, StreetWise MBA, a seven month certificate program that helps facilitates participants’ access to new markets, capital and knowledge through management training, peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and networking.
Through this program entrepreneurs spend over 100 hours in classes and CEO mentoring groups to learn the management practices needed to grow their business strategically. At the end of each curriculum, each business produces a three-year ‘Strategic Growth Action Plan’ that is reviewed by a panel of business peers, experts and investors. The plan serves as a roadmap for each business’ growth, while keeping each business owner accountable for their goals and outcomes.
Earlier this month, Governor Deval Patrick filed An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity, which creates tools and training so our workforce is prepared to meet the needs of employers, invests in our Gateway Cities to promote economic development across the entire state and provides incentives to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The bill furthers the Administration’s proven growth strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure that has led to record job creation in Massachusetts and has made the Commonwealth a global leader in key innovation economy sectors. The legislation includes $10 million to recapitalize MassTech and expand its successful internship and mentoring program, which provides grants to qualifying high tech companies to hire interns, providing students with experience and networking opportunities. In addition, it provides $20 million for an Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology Training Trust Fund to train 4,000 workers for middle-skill careers in manufacturing and information technology fields, that will address shortages in these industries and help employers continue to grow and innovation.
For more on the bill, please visit www.mass.gov/compete.