StartUp Worcester will provide resources, space, and support to the region’s young talent to help incubate new business ideas, products and services.

The Chamber’s Higher Education–Business Partnership announced a new initiative aimed at helping entrepreneurial college graduates kick-start their business concepts, with the intent of retaining them in the region. The new initiative, named StartUp Worcester, will award 12 individuals with innovative business plans with the resources, space, and support to develop their ideas and take them from concept to marketplace.

“The goal is to retain these bright, young entrepreneurs and encourage them to grow their business here – in Worcester – where they will soon learn that they have access to everything they need to succeed, including a well-educated and trained workforce,” said Timothy Murray, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has partnered with Running Start, a co-working space located on Prescott Street in Worcester, and The Venture Forum, a not-for-profit community for technology entrepreneurs at any stage to offer 12 entrepreneurs full-year memberships to all three organizations.

In addition to the benefits of membership in Running Start and the Chamber, participants will find support through the monthly events presented by The Venture Forum. According to Joe Vignaly, who chairs The Venture Forum, “meetings will focus on practical topics for these start-ups, including product launches, marketing, sales, funding sources, building teams, and protection of intellectual property as well as networking events with investors and other service providers, business pitches and other events that support these entrepreneurs.”

Ryan Leary, co-founder of Running Start is excited about the idea. “At Running Start, our goal is to provide a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and innovative minds, stated Leary. Complementing this with access to the local Chamber of Commerce and The Venture Forum really takes these members to the next level. Access to the programming and connections they offer will be invaluable.”

The Venture Forum chairman, Joe Vignaly, can’t wait to get started, “The Venture Forum has always attracted many students to the entrepreneurial events that we have held. We applaud the Chamber of Commerce for creating Startup Worcester and leveraging Running Start’s great workspace, it will offer students an opportunity to formalize an interest that has been burning f involvement and give students an organized way to accelerate their ventures.”

StartUp Worcester is financially supported by Chamber members DarrowEverett LLP and Commerce Bank. Brian Thompson, president of Commerce Bank stated, “It’s no small task to start a business. The mission and vision of StartUp Worcester really ties in to the bank’s mission – providing resources to the business community. We want Worcester to be the best place to start a new business and this program goes a long way toward making that a reality.”

Co-sponsor DarrowEverett LLP wholeheartedly agrees. “Along with the team at Commerce Bank, with whom we already have a great working relationship, we saw this as an organic opportunity to team up with the Chamber of Commerce to support initiatives that leverage new technologies and entrepreneurial approaches to drive innovation and encourage individuals to run and grow their businesses here in Worcester,” stated Devon Kinnard an attorney with the firm.

The program is for current students, graduating seniors, and recent alumni from participating area colleges.

Applications for this program are closed for 2105. For more information, please call Karen Pelletier at 508-753-2924, ext. 229.