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5-Minute Pitch Contest

  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016
  • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • WPI Campus Center, Odeum PARKING: Best parking is the lot on Park Ave. under the rooftop field


  • $15 for pre-registration, $25 at the door
  • Advance registration is required
    College/University ID required at check-in
    There will be a $5.00 registration fee for student walk-ins

Registration is closed

5-Minute Pitch

Gold Sponsors:

Bronze Sponsors:

In-Kind Sponsors


Winners Get:

1 hour with Cherrystone Angels member

1 hour with Boynton Angels member

MassChallenge coaching session

6 months free desk space at Worcester Clean Tech Incubator (WCTI)

Cash: $2500 Judges Choice 1st place; $1500 Judges Choice 2nd place; $1000 Audience Choice

This is The Venture Forum’s 10th Annual 5 Minute Pitch Contest that has been so incredibly powerful in getting startups the outlet that they need to launch their business to the next level.

On April 12th we will have 8 of New England’s finest pitching for you, the audience, and our team of judges. In addition, the room will have approximately 20 other businesses displaying their ideas before the event and during networking time. With food, wine, coffee, and dessert, the atmosphere couldn’t be better.

Setup for the evening will begin around 4:30 with networking and food available beginning at 5 PM. At 6 PM the presentations will start. Each will have five minutes to tell their story and three minutes to answer judges questions, all in an effort to convince you and the judges why their idea is the next great business.

See the WPI Campus map for directions.

PARKING: Best parking is the lot on Park Ave. under the rooftop field

Meet the Five-Minute Pitch Contest Judges

Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures

Jerry is the president of MassVentures, a firm he joined in 2005. He has over 25 years of experience advising and financing entrepreneurial-driven companies, the past 18 in venture capital.

Throughout his professional career, Jerry has operated both as an investor and an active partner to entrepreneurs building their companies. His direct investment experience covers dozens of companies and in many cases as the lead or co-lead investor. Several of these companies were acquired by significant publicly-traded companies. Among the companies Jerry has been on the board of are e-Travel (acquired by Oracle), Andover.net (Nasdaq: ANDV, purchased by VA Linux), LinkSoft Technologies (purchased by QuadraMed), NexCen Technologies (purchased by UCMS), and Bitpipe Inc. (purchased by TechTarget).

He currently is a board member or board observer at MassVentures’ portfolio companies Forerun, lifeIMAGE, and Applause. He also serves on the advisory board of MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund, and the Board of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center.

He’s on the boards of Massachusetts Audubon, Crossroads for Kids, and the Massachusetts chapter of the Trust for Public Land. In his free time, Jerry spends time in the mountains on his bike or skiing or hiking.

James Geshwiler, Managing Director, Converge Venture Partners

James has been an active seed-stage investor in mobile, cloud, consumer and enterprise software for more than 15 years. He has been on the boards of many early stage technology companies and is passionate how companies can best transition from seed to scaling.

He helped shape the transformation from Converge Venture Partners’ predecessor organization, CommonAngels, and has been a leader in shaping the professionalization of angel investing, co-founding two associations with the help of the Kauffman Foundation.

James has been on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and the Board of the MIT Alumni Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program at the UT-Austin, a master’s degree in political science from UCLA, and an MBA from MIT. James also is an avid rower and member of Cambridge Boat Club.

Tripp Peake - General Partner, Long River Ventures

Tripp brings over 20 years of venture building and investing experience to the funds.

Immediately prior to Long River, Tripp was a partner at Kestrel Venture Management, where he focused on the management of Mass Ventures Equity Fund, a $14 million early stage fund established in western Massachusetts in 1997. Tripp serves or has served on numerous boards, including Extreme Reach, Health Guru, Optasite (acquired by SBA Communications), Profile Systems (acquired by Comergent), Protedyne (acquired by LabCorp), Qteros, Sovereign Hill Software (acquired by Dataware), and Western Mass Radio Group (acquired by Pamal Broadcasting). Before joining Kestrel, Tripp was co-founder and CEO of two venture development consulting companies: Mass Ventures, based in Amherst, MA and associated with the University of Massachusetts; and Science Park Associates, based in New Haven, CT and associated with Yale University. Both of these companies provided university spin-offs and regional entrepreneurs with strategic and financing advice and helped raise over $50 million in private equity for 18 different early stage ventures. Tripp holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A from Yale University.

Jennifer Schwall Rousseau, Executive Director, Cherrystone Angel Group

At Cherrystone, she manages the angel group's operations as well as serves on the Steering, Screening and Due Diligence Committees. She has experience in screening deals, determining valuation models and conducting market research for several verticals including pharmaceutical, medical devices, software, hardware and internet/mobile applications. She advises portfolio companies on fundraising strategies and works with the CEOs to keep investors updated.

Jenn also serves as a representative of Cherrystone in the Boston and New York markets at various fundraising and networking events.

Jenn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bryant University with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Legal Studies. She received the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key, awarded to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative academic average, as well as the Jack H. Rubens Leadership in Finance Award.

Previous Winners

10 Pitches
5 Minutes
$2500 Cash Prize

Where will you be?


The Venture Forum -- 306 Main Street, #400 -- Worcester, MA 01608 innovation@theventureforum.org

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