By David Schissler

(February 2014) A rather unique event recently took place at Mount Wachusett. The third annual Mountain Meetup, billed as “where venture meets ad-venture”, brought high stakes venture capitalists together with business entrepreneurs in search of financial backing for a fun day of skiing and snowboarding. The idea is to pair up investors with those pitching their idea for funding. The 5 minute or so chair ride provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity present their “elevator pitch” to a “captive” audience. Participants need to make a polished, to the point pitch by the time the chair reaches the summit.

Organized by a group of Eastern and Central Massachusetts businessmen, this year’s invitation-only event paired up 25 entrepreneurs looking for support along with 25 investors with money to put to work. Promoted as “New England’s Health Care Innovation Day “ ‘Mountain Meetup’ is a full day, non-conference event focused on bringing together the Venture Capital community with life sciences and healthcare entrepreneurs,” explained Chris Palatucci of Executive Search LLC of Worcester, MA. “The day is packed with opportunities to meet new people, share ideas, and explore ways to grow your business on the slopes, in the conference center, or on the lifts. The only agenda is to meet up and have fun!”

“Wachusett’s proximity to the Worcester and Boston business communities make it an ideal location for this type of event,” said Palatucci, who is also an active snowboard instructor on the Wachusett Ski & Snowboard School. In addition to chairlift pitches, conversations can continue in the resort’s Slope Skybox Mountain Suites or even in more unique settings like the Bullock Lodge – the quaint stone hut halfway up the mountain which serves fresh cider donuts. “The mountain provides a relaxed productive atmosphere to bring the interested parties together,” said Palatucci.

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