By: Michael D. Kane
The Accelerator Division, co-founded by Chairman Joe Vignaly and Program Committee member Rosemarie Boulanger, has been established to operate the Innovation Center, a small business incubator located in the former Telegram & Gazette Building at 20 Franklin St.
"The Venture Forum is delighted to be named (the Innovation Center of Worcester's) operator because it expands and formalizes the work that we have been doing for the past 25 years, including mentoring, matching start-ups with funding and other resources, and running educational programs and contests to accelerate the start-ups' lifecycle," Dick Prince, The Venture Forum secretary, said through a press release.
The Accelerator Division will be responsible for "developing customized mentoring and educational programs, collaborating with local colleges who will refer or sponsor student startups, and partnering with local corporations to spark innovation and train entrepreneurial employees," the release states. "Through this new initiative, (the) Accelerator Division will expand the organization's focus beyond technology-based companies to include startups and small businesses in all industries."
Vignaly and Boulanger will share the role of co-founding Directors of the Innovation Center, the release states.
In the press release, The Venture Forum Treasurer, Rick Powell, states Vignaly and Boulanger "are particularly well-suited for this position."
"They are active entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, both were educated locally, they mentor students and startups, and have successful track records with start-ups," Powell said.
Vignaly received his bachelor's degree from WPI and a master's in business from Babson.
Boulanger received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Clark University.
The Innovation Center will host an open house on Wednesday April 29, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event will feature a celebration of entrepreneurship past, present and future with local startups, facility tours and speed mentoring.
Information can be found and registration may be done online.