University News

PeoplesBank Grant Helps Fund Student Startup

Published: August 20, 2020 | Categories: All News, Business, Alumni
Joseph Ferrera founder of Double O Joe, a videography startup.

PeoplesBank and the Western New England University College of Business's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) are working together to help students expand their entrepreneurship education beyond the classroom.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Western New England University works to develop students' entrepreneurial mindset. Through cocurricular efforts, such as Startup Weekend and the cross-disciplinary business/engineering Product Development and Innovation course, students are able to create ideas, products, and services that have market potential. PeoplesBank is taking this one step further by providing grant funding to advance qualifying startups who show promise and demonstrate success.

Joseph Ferrera, a 2020 graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at Western New England University, is the first recipient of a PeoplesBank grant, which was awarded to the University for supporting innovation and entrepreneurial activities, such as Startup Weekend and small grants to student startups.

Joe founded the Double O Joe, a videography startup, in his sophomore year and continued to advance the business model through his entrepreneurship courses at WNE. He is currently serving several local, small businesses in the greater Springfield area. The grant funded a more advanced drone and a camera in order for Joe to continue to grow his customer base and video offerings.

Matthew Bannister, First Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank, congratulated Joe on his success in starting the business and getting it launched. "We are pleased that our grant could assist Double O Joe in continuing to develop his business. Small businesses, powered by entrepreneurs, are vital to the economic health of our region, and we applaud both Double O Joe and Western New England University for their efforts in this area," said Bannister.

"It is rewarding to see Joe's efforts with his startup be acknowledged through this PeoplesBank grant. He has worked hard on growing the business over the past 18 months," said Dr. Mary Schoonmaker, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Western New England University.