Collegiate Venture Program Guidelines


To be eligible to enter the University of Massachusetts and Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) Collegiate Summer Venture Program each team must meet basic qualifying criteria:

  1. Companies at all stages are welcome, from an awesome "idea on a napkin" up to companies with $0 to $250k of revenue over the last 12 months (at time of application).

  2. Every participating team member must commit to attend all of the minimum in-person required dates at UMass Amherst, Valley Venture Mentors and in Newton, MA. The program runs from May 28, 2019 - July 31, 2019.

  3. All participating team members are committed to working 20+ hours a week on this venture in addition to on-site programming.

  4. All participating team members are 18 years of age or older as of March 21, 2019.

  5. Connected to the University of Massachusetts: Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Westfield State University, Springfield College, Elms College, Bay Path University, American International College, Western New England University, or Springfield Technical Community College in at least one of these ways:

    1. Entering Freshman/First Year student.

    2. Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, or PhD student.

    3. Were a undergraduate, graduate, or PhD student within the last three years.


To enter the UMass Amherst and VVM Collegiate Venture Program, a team must submit an online application. Applications are open from February 11, 2019 to March 29, 2019 until 11:59 PM EST.  Applications submitted after the March 29, 2019 deadline will not be considered.  

Admitted Startups & Opportunities

The UMass Amherst and VVM Collegiate Venture Program seeks to admit high-impact new ventures.  All teams admitted into the 2019 Cohort:

  • Receive free resources in MA including mentorship, workspace, strategic advice, and networking opportunities to further their businesses.

  • Access to mentors, startups and industry experts in Newton/Boston along with free housing and transportation to and from Newton, MA.

  • Access to public relations promotion and marketing exposure for their venture for participation in the program.

  • Each startup is expected to complete at least 1 interview for each day of programming by finals, or they may not be able to participate in the final showcase.


  • Each individual accepted into the program can apply for a needs based scholarship. Each team member (up to three) will need to apply individually. All of the requirements for the program must be met to continue to receive the scholarship throughout the program. Requests for funding (scholarships) will be considered on a case by case basis.

  • Scholarships are paid in installments based on each startup team member's successful program participation (aka: show up, be awesome, work on your great idea). The last scholarship check is paid after successful completion of the program, exit survey and exit interview.

  • In order to receive a scholarship each entrepreneur must be present at each day of programming, on time. Any more than one unannounced absence or late arrival will result in a skipped 'paycheck', or removal from the showcase. If you are going to be late or absent, just inform a member of the Collegiate Summer Venture Program Committee as soon as possible, by text, slack, or email.

Program & Process

See all key dates here.

February - March: Applications open.  

March 29, 2019: Deadline for entry submission.

April, 2019: Application judging completed - cohort of startups selected.

May - July: Collegiate Venture Program.  Each team is assigned to a curated peer sub-cohort, given access and introduction to the UMass and VVM network of advisors, and provided free office space at UMass Amherst. Training is delivered via hands-on, expert-led lectures, peer collaboration, advisory office hours, and practice pitching rounds. 

July 31, 2019: Public Showcase. UMass Amherst and Valley Venture Mentors Collegiate Venture Program Graduation in Springfield, MA.

**Active on-site participation in the program is a prerequisite to eligibility for scholarships.  The showcase will occur in-person in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Legal Action

UMass Amherst and VVM shall be held harmless in the event of any legal action.

Other Agreements

UMass Amherst and VVM take no responsibility for agreements between Collegiate Venture Program participants and third parties.

Intellectual Property

UMass Amherst and VVM take no part in, and have no liability for, the domestic or international intellectual property rights of competition participants.

Participants are responsible for their own intellectual property.

Participants must keep confidential information confidential.


Entry materials become the property of UMass Amherst and VVM, however the submission of the application does not transfer any rights, material or interest in any intellectual property contained in or referenced in the submitted materials, other than the copyright to the submitted materials as submitted.


Participants who engage in immoral activities, including lying and cheating, or any activity that may adversely affect the image of UMass Amherst, VVM or other participants, become ineligible for the participation in the Collegiate Venture Program.


All work and submissions of Entrants must be original to the Entrant/team, or currently owned by the Entrant/team.

Compliance, Disqualification

All participants must comply with the Rules. Any violation of the Rules will disqualify an entrant’s team from the Collegiate Venture Program, and result in forfeiture of any awards or scholarships awarded to the team.


Participants must be legally present in the United States. UMass Amherst and VVM take no responsibility for immigration status of participants. Recipients of any scholarships are responsible for all taxes relating to the receipt of such award. UMass Amherst and VVM are not responsible for any tax obligations imposed on any Participant as a result of their participation in the Collegiate Venture Program.


Each participant warrants that he or she does not participate in any terrorist activities. UMass Amherst and VVM shall not be held responsible for any harm resulting breach of this warranty.


The Collegiate Summer Venture Program Committee may update the Collegiate Venture Program and Competition Rules throughout the Program.  All updates will be posted on the website. These Rules include by incorporation any material posted on the website; in the case of conflict, the "Collegiate Venture Program and Competition Rules" supersede any other claims.