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Alumni News

By: Brian Fitzgerald | Published: March 03, 2017 | Categories: Alumni

Young Alumni Entrepreneurs: Nominate Yourselves for a Grinspoon Foundation Award


If you are a Western New England student (undergraduate or graduate) or alumnus (graduated within the last five years) and you have launched your own for-profit small business, you can nominate yourself to be considered for a Grinspoon Foundation Award this month.

The awards are direct cash awards for eligible students and alumni (must be non-employees of the University) who have taken the initiative to start their own small business. To be considered for a cash award, interested students and alumni should submit a two- to three-page typed nomination using the Award Nomination Form attached hereAll nominations are due by midnight on Monday, March 20. Submit all entries by email to Cash awards range up to $500 for pre-revenue business ventures and up to $1500 for revenue generating ventures.

Nominees in this contest may be asked to talk with the Grinspoon faculty advisor, Mary Schoonmaker, to discuss their nominations, businesses or progress. If chosen by the Grinspoon Foundation to receive an award, the awardee will be asked to create a table top display exhibit about his or her business and must participate in the annual Entrepreneurship Awards Banquet sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation on Wednesday, April 26 at the Log Cabin Banquet Facility in Easthampton, MA, and at the annual Collegiate Conference in Fall 2017. Both events are free for award winners, and they will be honored at them. Applicants who are unable to attend the Awards Banquet on the April 26 should not apply. 

Proposals submitted by student nominees will undergo an internal review and proposals of finalists will undergo a review by the Grinspoon Foundation Spirit Award board. Final decisions regarding the winners and the size of monetary awards will be communicated in April. Not all applicants are guaranteed selection to receive an award. Each applicant will be notified of the decision regarding his or her nomination.

Examples of Past Award Recipients from Western New England University   

  • Any Café, a pre-manufacturing start-up firm that designed a travel mug that brews coffee using a battery or USB port
  • Hemoflux, a prenatal genetic testing company that helps expectant mothers determine the risk of newborn abnormalities by a non-invasive blood test
  • Natural Chew, a pre-revenue start-up company that developed an herb-based chewing product that is an alternative to harmful chewing tobacco
  • PeerVote, a pre-revenue start-up company that designed a mobile app serving as a tool for vital information on politicians, making it faster than ever to become an informed voter on a local or national level