We are serial entrepreneurs and development professionals that transform nonprofits to scale their impact and fulfill their mission because nonprofits solve the problems no one else can.


Heather Bell
Co-Founder, Instructor

Heather brings decades of experience helping people improve existing processes and build new things. After working in both the corporate world and public higher education, she is thrilled to return to her roots working with small businesses and startup organizations.

Adventures during the first half of her career have included: coordinating a successful $375M+ fundraising campaign for a top-25 public university and improving their principal gift process leading to a doubling of principal gifts over four years. Serving as board president for a pre-k to grade-6 Montessori school and beginning their due diligence process for a major school expansion. And, working as an intrapreneur in a variety of organizations, including the world’s largest chocolate company, a new brokerage network within an old mutual insurance company, and a large performing arts road-house

She thrives on working with amazing teams, constantly learning, and building bridges with humans.


Kelly Minton
Co-Founder & Director of Operations

Kelly brings experience from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She has worked as a marketing associate in the corporate world, launched two startups and has worked in nonprofit advancement. She is well versed in traditional fundraising and board governance. She is immersed in entrepreneurial life, often finding dinner conversations with her family centered on that subject.


Paul Silva
Co-Founder, Instructor

After completing his education as a physicist at UMass Amherst, Paul started his entrepreneurial journey when he co-founded a socially-responsible internet company that helped the blind connect with their fully-sighted friends and families as equals. The company’s products touched the lives of the visually impaired community globally.

While at UMass Paul co-founded the UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative to help students become exposed to an entrepreneurial career path. With the help of an amazing team of fellow volunteers he grew it to serve 400 students per year.

Paul served as interim president of Click Workspace, the first coworking space in Hampshire & Hampden counties. There he doubled membership.

Paul is the manager of the River Valley Investors (RVI), a network of executives and entrepreneurs who invest in innovation (think of it as the local version of the TV show Shark Tank). RVI has invested in over 40 startups, including a number of local companies. At RVI he created an alliance of similar investor groups from throughout New England that invest in each other’s companies.

In 2014 he co-founded Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), a nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs turn their dreams into scalable businesses and nonprofits. There Paul developed the curriculum at the heart of Innovation Accelerator. In 2017 The Global Accelerator Network recognized VVM as one of the top 100 programs of its kind in the world.

In 2017 Paul founded Innovation Accelerator to bring his experience to help nonprofits increase their financial independence and impact.