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Startup Worcester

StartUp Worcester, now in its 7th year, is an initiative of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Venture Forum, and WorcLab to launch and to provide support as well as co-working space for the region’s budding entrepreneurs.

The program helps to incubate new businesses and to retain the bright young graduates of the area’s college and universities. StartUp Worcester encourages entrepreneurs from around the world to grow their business in Central Massachusetts, where they have access to everything they need to succeed. The program was initially geared towards college-age entrepreneurs, but now the program accepts applicants of all ages. The program supports entrepreneurs from a wide range of backgrounds, talents, and industries.

2022-2023 Cohort


Senware specializes in providing affordable Color Measurement which means that your company can control product quality without passing on added costs to the consumer. It’s that simple.

Senware offers a variety of tools in order to accommodate your current factory layout. If you’d like to discuss which tool might work for you

Our products can be applied to various industries and countless products. Whatever you manufacture, Senware has a product that can help quality control your products. Search our application database to see how you might integrate Senware products into your production line.  And did we mention that our products are a fraction of the cost of the leading competitor?

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Nataiwi Products

We are a black owned small business. All our products are made with natural and organic ingredients. Here at S.J. Health & Beauty LLC we focus on keeping both your hair and your skin looking both health and flawless at the same time! We also cater to both men and women! You may wonder why some orders say by S.J. Health & Beauty and why some say “Nataiwi products”. Well to answer this important question, Nataiwi (na – ta – why) products is under the umbrella of S.J. Health & Beauty. It is a brand that focuses majority on skin care products.

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Bloom by JLouise

“HEAL yourself. THRIVE in Life. CELEBRATE the wins. “

Bloom By JLouise is a bodycare, wellness, and events company based in Worcester, MA.

Our all natural, well-crafted in small batches botanically infused skin, home and wellness product line is intended to help you create a self-care routine We believe in the power of natural ingredients to take care of our skin like nature intended. We offer events services including consulting, design and decor to help you celebrate your wins in life.

Our mission is to inspire more people to embrace curative plants and find deeper levels of unapologetic self-love; encouraging celebrations and self-care routines.

We have the Remedy!

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At EcommBeam E-commerce Solutions we pride ourselves on one thing and that is to provide value to businesses that need our services. At EcommBeam we have a variety of services such as Lead Generation, SEO, Website Development, and Social Media Growth, to name a few. Our in-house videography and cinematography team makes the process for any video project easy and cohesive with our developed marketing strategy for your business. Each service is specifically designed to perform and get results for our clients. Our mission is to reach as many businesses that require our services and try to guide them to the best course of action to help them reach their goals as easily as possible. Our aim is not to be a distant element in our client’s businesses, we strive to be involved with our clients as much as we can via superior customer service and close relationships. Take the weight of marketing online off of your shoulders, we’ll take care of it for you! We want to be your marketing team not just simply a marketer that you use.

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Kommon Sense Co

Kommon Sense or K Sense Co. was founded in August of 2019, when owner Katherine began cutting bottles & filling them with uniquely scented, natural soy wax. Growing from just an online custom candle site we have expanded into a full retail eco-conscious gift boutique.

Our 16 partners are all woman owned, and are US based. Vast majority of our partners come from Worcester, Massachusetts! K Sense specializes in custom, and handmade gifts that are ethically & locally-sourced. Visit us in person inside the Worcester Public Market 160 Green St 01604, or shop online for high-quality body and home adornments!

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Factorize – (verb): To empower a maker with the tools of a factory. We are scaling Machinists into Factories. We are software designed by machinists for machinists!

  • Factorize is browser first.

  • No downloads.

  • No license servers.

  • No spinning laptop fans.

Factorize handles software so you can focus on what you do best.

80% of the headache is 20% of the wrong customers in your address book. Let us help you find quality customers, ready to hit the ground running.

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Culture Redesigned

Culture Redesigned was created because there was a gap in the way that companies do business. While most companies have their values posted on the wall and their main focus is customer satisfaction, in most cases those values don’t affect the decision-making process or the daily activities of the employees which negatively impacts the final customer.

We specifically target the lack of performance and engagement from employees and bring the focus inward. We believe that highly motivated and engaged teams deliver exceptional products and services which ultimately leads to high levels of customer satisfaction and retention.

By creating a winning culture that is tangible in everyday activities and lived by every member of the team we offer real solutions in a competitive market. Culture is something that your competitors can’t copy or offer at a lower price- your company culture.

We live in a competitive market and your job is to prioritize bringing top talent to your business by offering employees a powerful Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that invites them to develop their career and your company while feeling aligned with your vision.

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“A mathematical theory is not considered complete until you have made it so simple that you can explain it to the first man whom you meet on the street.”

Our technology applies a mathematical approach similar to wave-particle duality, our proprietary algorithms simplify previously solved problems and deliver solutions to unsolved problems. Our APIs harness the power algorithms to deliver solutions that enable new levels of precision, efficiency, and cost savings.

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“The World’s First Marketplace donating 100% Profits to Charity”

We believe by creating a handmade marketplace that donates 100% Profits to Charity there’s an opportunity to transform the online economy into an engine for social good.

We are focusing solely on charities that have a mission to help children in need. Our two charity partners are Horizons for Homeless Children and Relief Nursery.

As we grow and have the ability to increase our monetary donations our goal is to have children’s charity partners represented throughout the United States. Ultimately, we hope to open things up where sellers can choose which children’s charity their transaction fees will go to.

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Girly Girl Soaps

My company makes vegan handmade soaps. The soaps are all made with plant-based oils and coconut milk. My soaps are made in small batches with natural ingredients that leave your skin moisturized and nourished. They are made with natural ingredients from nature that leave your skin moisturized and nourished. Unlike some commercial soaps that take the glycerin out of the soap, my soaps are kept in its natural state with no harsh chemicals added. I also have a line of handmade bath and body products. I use natural moisturizing ingredients to help hydrate and nourish your skin.

I have always been drawn to creating beauty, and once I discovered soap making, I have not able to stop. The idea that the oils, aromas, and moisturizing ingredients that I mix will reach your hands and offer you the opportunity to pamper yourself each day brings me happiness! Here is to many luxurious soap moments!

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BrainFed Skateboards

Brain Fed Skateboards was founded by Josh in Hanover PA 2021. Serving the local area and online with custom skate wax, decks, sticks, and t-shirts. Later Adam from Worcester MA joined the company after being encouraged to start skating by Josh. Adam and Josh have known each other online over the years through the PC gaming and 3D printing communities , now we are combining all our passions and skills to bring some unique skateboarding gear to the scene!

Maintaining an honest business, manufacturing unique and high-quality skateboard decks and accessories, and spreading goodwill throughout the skating community.

We see a future of positive relationships with skate parks, skate shops, and skaters to uphold that skating is for everyone.

Powered by people – Our community is strong, supportive, and amazing. We are skaters seeking to promote creativity and positivity for all.

  • Skating is for everyone – Inclusivity is vital. We are committed to impartial treatment for all humans and to the elimination of discrimination in all its forms.

  • A great skateboard starts and ends with quality parts – High quality skating equipment with a distinct style that speaks for itself

  • Go Big or Go Home – We give our all to designing and developing the very best products.

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CoverOrigin is an independent insurance agency based out of Worcester, Massachusetts. We are a customer-centric insurance agency, launched to help insurance buyers understand insurance on their terms so that they can make informed insurance buying decisions; we do not stop there!

We also partner with best-in-class technology, insurance, and business solutions providers to bring the very best services, in the most effective way possible. No matter your insurance needs, we can help you find the perfect policy to give you peace of mind without breaking the bank. Contact us for a quote today!

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Success Stories

If there is one entrepreneur in Worcester who you can say has done it all, it’s Giselle Rivera-Flores. Giselle began her entrepreneurial journey with The Learning Hub, a STEAM learning program that was focused on increasing the accessibility of STEM and arts to elementary school students. Giselle started The Learning Hub during her time as a 2016-17 class member of StartUp Worcester. Giselle never wanted to be an entrepreneur growing up in Brooklyn, New York, telling her family that she wanted to be an attorney. Things changed when she and her husband moved to Worcester. After graduating from Quinsigamond Community College, she found a position as a leasing agent for an apartment complex in downtown Worcester. Giselle appreciated her eight years of experience there, but it dissuaded her from her previous dream of working in the legal profession. She went on to become a full-time entrepreneur in 2016. Giselle initially found work as a digital media strategist for several major local organizations, a role that included social media curation, event management, and productivity coaching. She launched The Learning Hub, inspired by her daughter who was diagnosed with ADHD and had trouble learning in a conventional school setting. The Learning Hub offered out-of-school, hands-on educational sessions for K-6 students, partnering with the Worcester Public Library, the EcoTarium, and after school programs. The Learning Hub was selected to join the 2016 cohort of StartUp Worcester. Giselle hit her entrepreneurial stride in 2016 and started Be Studios, a coworking photography studio for local artists. She also began to manage a personal consultancy brand. The pandemic changed things for many business owners, Giselle included. Giselle began to focus more on Be Studios, a space that seeks to provide accessibility to the arts for people of color and spark dialogue about racial inequity and culture. Be Studios is located at 44 Portland Street, the same building where other coworking spaces such as WorcLab and Technocopia are located. Giselle also helped her daughter Brooklyn launch her first business, a dog boutique called Crate & Howl. Crate & Howl, with a storefront located at 16 Portland Street, sells pet accessories, treats, custom art, and offers dog walking services and events for local residents. In 2017, Giselle was named to Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Of her time in StartUp Worcester, Giselle says, “I give a lot of credit to StartUp Worcester for giving me a platform to start my journey because for many entrepreneurs, starting is the hardest part, and this program helped ease the struggle and allowed me to expand beyond my original ideas.”

Ryan Canuel is the exemplification of just how big the video game development industry is in Worcester.

A native of Swansea, MA who moved to Worcester to attend Becker College, Ryan was a self-starter ready to launch his first business the day after his graduation in 2015. He was selected for the inaugural cohort of StartUp Worcester that same year with his company, Petricore.

Petricore focuses on delivering mobile games like Mind the Arrow, a puzzle game which was developed as Petricore’s first foray into the industry. Mind the Arrow had more than 100,000 downloads in its debut week and was named one of the "best iPhone games on the planet" by TechRadar. Now, Petricore’s games have been downloaded on app stores over 750,000 times.

When Becker opened its brand-new innovation and entrepreneurship center in 2018, Petricore moved in as an anchor tenant. Ryan wanted to stay close to the Becker community, even becoming an adjunct professor with the school while he helped game design undergraduates get hands-on experience in the field.

Petricore’s employees, mostly Becker College graduates, include six employees besides Ryan. Petricore’s portfolio of more than 40+ clients that they provide production and design for include the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bose, Mitsubishi, Yale University, and Star Trek. The team has successfully completed over 80 client projects.

Ryan has received much-deserved recognition from the community, including the 2017 Playcrafting Boston Rising Pixel Award, the 2016 Becker College Alumni Association Excellence Award, the 2016 Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and a selection to the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty in 2018.

Ryan continues to serve the community and the game design industry as an advisory board member of MassDiGI, a statewide game design incubator based at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the Venture Forum, a Worcester-based nonprofit focused on promoting the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Aaron Birt is proof that the next generation of high-tech manufacturing is coming out of Worcester. 

In 2015, Aaron was part of StartUp Worcester’s very first cohort while completing his studies for a PhD in Material Science and Engineering at WPI. His first company, which was selected for StartUp Worcester, was a mobile app called EventTree designed to help students in Worcester find events near them.

Upon starting his doctoral studies, Aaron left EventTree to focus on pioneering a new approach to additive manufacturing using machine learning control. He then founded Solvus Global in 2017 with his business partner and fellow WPI graduate Sean Kelly. He also founded a spinoff company, Kinetic Batteries, which soon after received a $40,000 grant to research innovations for lithium-ion batteries. 

Solvus moved into an office space on Rockdale Street and then into lab space at Prescott Street in Worcester. With revenue and staff numbers quickly growing, Solvus was on the lookout for more space.

Solvus settled on purchasing a 32,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in 2021. A ribbon cutting was held in October 2021, featuring local leaders like Congressman Jim McGovern, State Senator John Cronin, Mayor Dean Mazzarella of Leominster, and several WPI administrators all congratulating Solvus and the work of its founders, Aaron and Sean. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative took the opportunity during the event to announce a $1.6 million grant from the state to help Solvus develop new additive manufacturing processes with the help of local students.

In just three years, Aaron had helped grow Solvus from $0 in annual revenue to $5 million.

Aaron and his companies have stayed local and pioneered new manufacturing techniques right here in Central Massachusetts. Solvus specializes in additive manufacturing using in-house AI software to develop computer-controlled cold spray manufacturing. Additive manufacturing is similar to 3D printing in that it adds to a product rather than subtracts, as cutting or sawing would. Cold spray additive manufacturing reduces the waste that is produced by traditional manufacturing by essentially spraying metal particles onto a surface using a cold stream of gas. The technology has significant implications for the defense industry, and the Army Research Lab has helped fund Solvus’s research.

In 2021, Aaron was named to the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Before that, he was named to the 2018 class of Forbes 30 Under 30.


Click here to view the 2021-2022 cohort.