Maria Vasco is the recipient of UMass Boston’s inaugural Entrepreneur Scholarship. She is a School for the Environment major in the Honors College passionate about changing plastic packaging in the beauty industry, and eventually founding a plastics alternative company.

She spent the whole summer learning about entrepreneurship by reading books, attending startup events and pitching her business. And then she read the announcement about the Entrepreneur Scholarship that was sent to UMass Boston students.

She immediately wrote to Dean Rajini Srikanth, and expressed her interest. “Have you seen this opportunity?? I have not stopped thinking about this scholarship since I found out about it last month.” Dean Srikanth called her “a person of incredible drive and energy.”

“I am interested in the innovation economy because I know innovation is what has made the most positive changes in the world,” said Maria. “I am seeking a mentor with experience to help me pursue my dream career.”

Maria will have a top-tier mentor to guide her journey in Dan Phillips, founder of the Entrepreneur Scholarship. He recently sold his 6-year-old company, CloudHealth Technologies, to VMware for $500M. Dan is an advisor to the Venture Development Center and was previously the founding director of the Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Management.

Fourteen other students applied for the Entrepreneur Scholarship. They will receive mentoring to learn the skills required for them to get an internship and ultimately their first job.

If you know students like Maria interested in the Entrepreneur Scholarship, applications for the spring semester will be accepted during the period 11/5/2018 – 2/15/2019. An Info Session featuring Dan Phillips is on Wednesday, 2/6/2019, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Venture Development Center, Third Floor, Wheatley Hall.

The Entrepreneur Scholarship is open to juniors and beyond from any major who have a desire to work for a venture capital backed startup, and potentially start their own company someday.