NE Innovation Mentors & Mentorship


The aim of this program is to provide Nominees with an "incubation period", in which they will undergo a series of intense Mentorship modules that will prepare them with a range of business-critical skills from presenting a pitch to investors, to optimizing the halo-effect of winning. Each Nominee Company will be coached by an Industry-Leader Mentor who will enable them to effectively communicate their product pitch, create riveting value propositions, identify and seize opportunities and persuasively talk to potential investors. Moving the Awards Ceremony from May to October allows Nominees a whole 3 months of a fully-immersive experience with an Industry-Leader, who may forever change their business and personal future.

Although the Mentorship program was much shorter in previous years, the testimonials below (click on the image for sound) offer an insight on the tremendous impact of this program to winners and mentors, alike.


Thank you to the 2019 Mentorship Team who will be coaching the Nominees and preparing them for the September 19th, Innovation Showcase.



Jon is a Partner in the Commercial Business group and has more than 15 years of experience. He provides accounting, internal control analysis and business advisory services for closely held businesses.

Jon has extensive experience working with high-growth companies in the technology, manufacturing and services industries. Jon is focused on working with his clients' stakeholders to help them achieve their goals. He has advised clients in numerous successful strategic exits, capital raises and IPOs. Jon's business acumen enables him to implement revenue recognition policies and assist his clients with navigating the complexities that come with a growing organization.

He is a graduate of Stonewall College. Jon has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. His Professional and Civic Activities include the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The New Hampshire High Tech Council, and the Boston Chamber of Commerce - Small Business of the Year Awards Committee Member 2013-2016. 



Vona Hill is a Strategy and Implementation specialist who partners with businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives to help them create and achieve goals. She knows that success is driven by an ability to effectively leverage a unique value proposition in a given marketplace.  With a comprehensive approach that is as tactical as it is strategic, she helps each client articulate a vision, formulate an action plan, and execute through to completion. Vona received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Ohio University. She then joined the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a financial director and corporate-partner liaison, where she advised corporate executives on how to optimize workplace environments to attract and transition highly-coveted graduating students into employment. Vona founded Managing Perspectives LLC in 2010 and has since worked to help businesses, corporations, and professional individuals find success using applied strategy. Managing Perspectives provides consulting in areas such as corporate planning, marketing, and negotiations, as well as implementation support services such as training and project management. Vona is an energetic mom of three boys. She resides near Boston, Massachusetts, where she has also founded the Red Zone Youth Football Program which serves over 200 families in her community.


Eliot Klein is a commercial banker with TD Bank, specializing in managing the bank's relationships with family and entrepreneur-owned companies in the area. Eliot joined TD in 2012, and pro to TD held similar roles at other banks in the area. His clients typically have annual revenues between $5 and 75 million.

Earlier in his career, Eliot worked with not-for-profit clients in healthcare and higher education and has served on several not-for-profit boards. Eliot now serves as a Trustee of Cotting School in Lexington. Cotting serves kids from 5 to 22, with physical and learning challenges.


Matt LeLacheur has been enhancing growth and protecting the rights of business owners since 2004. His experience in sales, marketing, business management, finance, government affairs and media relations has been utilized by more than 1900 hundreds of business. He spent 11 years as the Executive Director of the New England Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (NESSARA), 2 years as Director of National Business Development for Environmental Compliance Services, and is the Co-Owner of a merchant services firm, Association Merchant Services. His experience in assisting companies across many industries has poisoned KDE Consulting to be a valuable strategic partner for businesses of all sizes.


Robin is Co-Chair of the firm’s Environmental and Energy Practice Groups with over 28 years of experience in advising clients on regulatory and permitting matters. Robin represents clients in proceedings before administrative agencies in addition to state and federal courts. Robin has handled some of the most complex and significant environmental and energy matters in the region including permitting for the first offshore wind farm in the United States, the largest tort suit for groundwater contamination in Rhode Island, and the redevelopment of many acres of contaminated land for the construction of a national bank’s headquarters. Robin’s experience in transactional and litigation matters, as well as her training as a mediator, provides her clients with unique guidance to solve their issues efficiently and creatively.
Robin serves on Hinckley Allen’s Executive Committee.


Timothy J. Steiner has been in banking for over 15 years, currently as Vice President of Commercial Lending at Brookline Bank, specializing in commercial and industrial lending. His office is in Waltham and his clients are in Greater Boston and New York City. These include healthcare, leasing companies, food production, tow truck companies and business-occupied real estate.

He is a graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, the PNC Management Trainee Program, The Mass Bankers Credit Training Program, and Rutgers University. In addition to lending, he also writes white papers on specific industries. Tim lives with his wife and daughter in Acton, MA. His spare time has him traveling, writing, and hiking in the woods around his house. He may be contacted at



Joe Varraso, Vice President Commercial Lending for The Provident Bank’s Greater Boston Regional Team focuses on Commercial and Industrial and Commercial Real Estate lending.  With over 25 years of finance and commercial lending experience, he understands the importance of being a true business banking partner to his clients.

At The Provident Bank we put our customers first and foster an environment of collaboration, ideas and teamwork.  We are your business partner, not just a bank.

Joe earned his BS in Finance from Bentley University.  He resides in Hanover, MA with his wife Maureen and their two labs and is the father of 5 children.


2019 Innovation Sponsors 

Impact Area Sponsors


Mentorship Sponsors 


Event Host Sponsor