Memorable May

Decisions, Decisions

Core Concepts: A judging process that reinforces and adds value to programming / a catalyst for venture maturity and investment readiness.  

Outcomes: A fair, understandable and transparent scoring process that results in the distribution of a pool of equity-free grant funding.

This is listed in a detailed step-by-step fashion. Please be sure to review all portions of this page:


Peer judging will determine the Top 5 Finalists through a fair and transparent scoring process. 

Each startup will present an 8 minute pitch (the same template as April), followed by 5 minute Q & A from your peers who are NOT in their herd using this scoresheet (same as April). Your peers who are not presenting and not in the current herd will be selected randomly to contribute to the Q & A. 

We normalize all of our scores MIT style, so that all scores come out fairly. This includes dropping both the highest and lowest scores from your score and using standard deviation, the mean of the scores and the z-score to come to a final score for you. This allows us to account for individuals and groups that are overly generous or very stingy with their scores. This is the same scoring criteria we used during the Peer Review process. If you would like to review the scoring process to understand it in depth, please email Dorota to set up a call.

Please note: Coming in late, leaving early, missing scoring every team (except for your herd) or refusing to participate when called on in Q &A in any way will disqualify you from the Top 5 Finalists.
Discretion given to VVM Staff and EIRs. Decisions are final.


Presentation Requirements:

  1. No more than eight (8) minutes long (you will see a timer in front of you)

  2. Google Presentation format.

  3. The file name must be named {MyCompanyName}_MAY.  

  4. The rest of your presentation MUST cover all the topics covered in the Peer Percolate Presentation template. You do not have to go in the same order as the template. You should include an ask at the end of your presentation (tips coming soon.)

  5. You must deliver your final version of your presentation into the finals folder by Wednesday, May 15th.

  1. Tips:

    1. Check your peer percolate feedback from last month here.

    2. Review the Scoresheet!


Pitches are grouped by your herd. Startups within each herd will present in random order.  Each startup will present for 8 minutes followed by a 5 minute peer-led Q & A (startups will be randomly selected and should ask a question based on the question they gave the lowest score too) and 1 minute to complete the score sheet.

There will be a 20 minute break in between each herd.

A timer will be visible to each startup from the stage.


Judges are currently being invited to this event. They will be active investors.

They will be given a scoresheet as a point of reference, which will be combined with your peers scores from Thursday.

Judges are not required to award money based on the scoresheet. Judges are not required to award money to all Top 5 Startups. Judges can award money as they see fit. Judges decisions are final.

finals agenda.PNG

Springfield Innovation Fest

What is Springfield Innovation Fest (SIF)?

A first of its kind event showcasing our region’s thriving innovation ecosystem, celebrating entrepreneurs and innovators. We’ve built a full day of programming, speakers, and panels designed to inspire and motivate your own sense of innovation. Naturally, there will be plenty of time for networking. The official lineup of speakers will be posted soon on the VVM website, but until then, the event schedule is set so you can make plans.

Why should you attend?

Top 5 - It’s required for you to attend to accept your Equity-Free Cash Prize! (Flight and lodging stipend available.)
Not Top 5 - $2500 in small increments (called VVM Bucks) will be distributed during the showcase at lunch. The Rocket Boost prize will be decided by the EIRs. They will visit your booth during lunch and ask you “How are you going to take advantage of this opportunity?” Be ready with a short answer.
Final decisions about VVM Bucks and the Rocket Boost prize will all be announced alongside the Big Foam Checks at the end of lunch.

Why are we hosting this event?

It’s time to put greater Springfield on the map as an innovation hub! It should come as no surprise that we’re producing startups and innovation on a par with much larger cities. After all, Springfield was once known as the City of Firsts. It’s part of our DNA. We’ve also got something more – a diverse group of startup founders and a high energy culture that is changing the face of the economy in this region.

Who will be at SIF?

You, of course, and everyone who wants to be part of the sense of energy and possibility that is happening at the Valley Venture Hub on June 12th.  All day passes will be for sale, with limited availability, so be sure to snap up your tickets early. We do expect to sell out.

Who hosts SIF?

Valley Venture Mentors is a community organization offering training, funding, and mentorship to startups and entrepreneurs. They will be our host in the Valley Venture Hub, a brand new innovation and coworking center located in downtown Springfield, MA.

When will Springfield Innovation Fest passes be for sale?

Passes will be for sale on a limited, first come, first served basis at 10 am EST on May 8th ($50 for the public.)

Use access code startup to grab a free ticket before they run out! Tickets are required to attend or showcase at the event.