Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator Space Opens


Springfield, Mass. - Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) celebrated the grand opening of their new accelerator space on Friday, Jan. 16, with 200 members of the Massachusetts business community in attendance. The 5,000 sqft office space in Springfield’s Tower Square, designed by Steffian Bradley Architects (SBA), is a self-described “community hub” for local startups.

Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, renovations began in fall 2014 to expand VVM’s space and provide co-working, event, and training space to host over 30 startup companies. The colorful, technology driven space allows VVM to provide key support to Western Massachusetts’ entrepreneurial ecosystem by uniting carefully selected startups together with high quality business mentors.  The new accelerator space provides individual workspace, flexible meeting space for classes and lectures, and a lounge for entrepreneurs to mix their passions with food and drink.

The project was designed with three zones in mind: a social zone, co-working zone, and entry zone. Each zone is color coded through the use of a saturated brights color palette echoed on the carpet tiles and walls. Pixelated carpet tile patterns kept with the technology-forward theme of the space, while neutral gray circulation pathways were carved at a diagonal to echo the existing angles of the space, and were offset by long, linear lighting, creating strong 45 degree angles. Special attention was given to visibility into the space from the glass storefront, with designers creating visual interest by using color to activate the view, allowing passersby a glimpse into the working environment.  

VVM educates startups to be “investment ready” through their accelerator program with incentive learning, by awarding $50,000 equity free grants judged on the criteria of their program. VVM Accelerator’s mission “is to give startups the structure, knowledge, and tools to answer core business questions for themselves in a framework that is meaningful to investors.”  

SBA’s design team included Principal Designer Derek Noble, AIA, LEED AP; Project Manager Lindsay Schnarr, and Interior Designer Susan Sclafani, NCIDQ.

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