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MassMutual Announces Springfield Venture Fund

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SOURCE MassMutual

Company to invest $6.5 million to support entrepreneurs and startups

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) announced today a new $5 million Springfield Venture Fund (SVF) to invest in high potential startups in Springfield, Mass. The new seed fund is designed to serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the Springfield community and complement a new accelerator program in the city designed to help startups succeed.

"Since 1851, MassMutual has been proud to call Springfield home.  We see great economic development opportunity in the city, and we're proud to contribute to the positive momentum with this announcement," said Tim Corbett, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, MassMutual. "The Springfield Venture Fund will enhance the city's already strong entrepreneurial environment for startups, as well as help entrepreneurs grow their business, create jobs and generate additional tax revenue for the city."

SVF seeks to invest $5 million over the next five years in startups with business operations currently located in or willing to relocate to Springfield, Mass.  Target companies will have a defined product or service, be no more than three years old, and have strong, committed management teams, well-defined scalable business plans and high growth potential.

In addition to SVF, MassMutual will invest more than $1.5 million over the next three years to support the creation of a startup Accelerator by Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), an entrepreneur-mentoring network in Springfield which will manage the program, and DevelopSpringfield, a non-profit organization dedicated to driving development in Springfield which will build out a physical location for the Accelerator.

The VVM Accelerator, modeled after MassChallenge, will provide startups with the space, training, connections and opportunities they need to succeed, while creating a pool of potentially investable candidates for SVF and other seed funds.  Startups accepted into the Accelerator will be competing for over $200,000 in grants to be awarded at the end of the four-month program. 

"By providing startups with greater access to capital, educational opportunities and valuable mentors, SVF and VVM are a winning combination in helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams while drawing valuable resources and businesses to the Springfield area," said Scott Foster, President of VVM.

The Springfield Venture Fund is expected to start taking proposals in the fall.  The VVM Accelerator will be accepting applications in August and expects to launch in early 2015.

About MassMutual
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

For more information, visit www.massmutual.com or 'Like" MassMutual on Facebook.

About Valley Venture Mentors
Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) has been bringing startups and mentors together at programs and events designed to facilitate creativity and collisions since 2011.  Together we help startups & entrepreneurs to succeed.  To learn more, come to our next meeting, details at www.valleyventurementors.org

About DevelopSpringfield
DevelopSpringfield was formed in 2008 as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation to advance development and redevelopment projects, to stimulate and support economic growth, and to expedite the revitalization process within the City of Springfield. The organization's board of directors includes representatives from the city, state, and local business community. The organization's mission is to help create conditions that encourage private development with a bricks-and-mortar focus and always with an eye toward understanding and meeting Springfield's unique and diverse redevelopment needs.

CRN201606-183935

Contact:
Laura DeMars
413-744-7181
ldemars@massmutual.com

Mike McNamara
413-744-3917
michaelmcnamara@massmutual.com

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