VVM Accelerator Attracts the Eco-Minded

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Six of the 36 teams offer eco-friendly business solutions

This year's VVM Accelerator roster includes an impressive list of environmentally focused startups, including eco-friendly beauty, cleaning, and fashion products, a trash-free diaper service, alternative transportation, and a fog-reducer made from recycled paper waste. These companies fill real market needs while treading lightly on the earth.

For example:

  •     Simple Diaper and Linen of Holyoke MA has diverted 70 tons of diaper trash from local landfills last year. "We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the VVM Accelerator because the program is helping us grow the business which in turn helps us divert even more trash," says Angie Gregory, Owner/Operator at Simple Diaper and Linen in Holyoke.
  •     Celia Grace, the country's first line of eco and Fair Trade wedding dresses, make their dresses from low-impact, hand woven eco silks made with no electricity, no toxic chemicals, and very little water. "Our heirloom eco silks are not only environmentally-responsible," says Celia Grace Co-Founder and CEO Marcie Muehlke, "they preserve a traditional skill and provide fair wages to women in poor, rural villages in Cambodia."
  •     Treaty, whose green, high-tech FogKicker coating prevents fogging on a range of products, also diverts a waste stream by using recycled paper to create their patent-pending formula.

Other environmentally focused VVM Accelerator startups include Better Bike, Dilaura Naturals and Homebody Holistics. VVM General Manager Liz Roberts says, "We are very proud of our double impact startups—those creating exciting innovation in their industries and making a difference for our planet."

In only its second year, the Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) Accelerator program boasts impressive statistics. This year's cohort of 36 teams is 50% female-lead and 36% minority-lead—well above national averages for business accelerator programs. This year's program will culminate with the 2016 VVM Accelerator Awards on Thursday May 26th at 5pm in Springfield, where these eco-conscious companies, along with a diverse group of other startups, will compete for $250,000.

Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) is building, supporting and maintaining a community to launch an entrepreneurial renaissance. By nurturing startups, VVM impacts the employees they hire, the customers they serve, and the neighborhoods they revitalize. Everyone involved—VVM, startups, the mentors who guide them and the community—can give, get and grow.


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Paul Silva

Liz Roberts
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