The editorial in the August 2001 edition of BusinessWest, CREATING ENTREPRENEURIAL ENERGY recognized the contribution of the Venture Forum when it said:Another positive step in the Valley's efforts to create and foster entrepreneurial energy was the formation last year of the Western Mass Venture Forum Series. Staged every other month at American International College, the forums were blueprinted with a specific mission: To link entrepreneurs with capital.
In its first year, the program certainly did that, but it also went several steps beyond that initial goal. While some ventures managed to receive money from Angel investors and venture capitalists, dozens of others gained needed attention. This exposure often translated into something that entrepreneurs needed as much as capital - connections.
In addition, the forums featured presentations from some of the regions most noted and successful entrepreneurs, including the principals from Concourse Communications, BusinessWest's Top Entrepreneurs For 2000.
What the speakers impart to their audiences is wisdom, in the form of experience from having been down that dangerous road described earlier. But they provide another important service - inspiration to those who might be thinking that the road to entrepreneurship has a few too many potholes.
Is too early to say that there is another Milton Bradley or S. Prestley Blake presenting ideas at these forums. But suffice it to say that the venture series and other programs are creating an environment in which those who have ideas stand a better chance of beating the odds.
The venture forum series, which will begin its second season in September, has proven that the Valley has a number of talented young men and women looking to turn their ideas into centers of profit - and employment. By giving such ventures the resources they need, the Valley's many entrepreneurial programs are securing a better future for the entire region.
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