MassChallenge Boston Awards $1.5M in Equity-Free Prizes to Top Startups from its Eighth Cohort

BOSTON - MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, tonight awarded $1 million in cash prizes to 16 of the highest-impact startups from the 2017 Boston accelerator, its most competitive program to date. In addition, CASIS & Boeing also allocated $500,000 to three startups from the cohort to fund research projects on the International Space Station.

“It’s never been more clear that ideas—even at the earliest stage—have the power to change the world,” said Kiki Mills Johnston, Managing Director, MassChallenge Boston. “With support from the community, these ideas have since grown into capable, profitable, and sustainable ventures. We are proud to award this year’s winners and to celebrate the impact of all our startups, which are disrupting industries and bettering the lives of individuals around the world.”

The eighth-annual event brought together more than 1,700 corporates, policy makers, and innovation enthusiasts at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to celebrate the most-promising solutions and the power of the statewide community in helping these companies thrive. Kicking off with a showcase of the 128-startup cohort and on-stage pitches from the Top 26, the event featured inspiring remarks from Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and keynote speaker Adam Neumann, Co-Founder and CEO of WeWork.

Over the course of the four-month program, startups have leveraged expert mentorship, tailored curriculum, corporate partnerships and industry resources to launch and grow their companies – all at zero cost and for zero equity. In addition, entrepreneurs have also had the opportunity to build and refine physical products in the MADE@MassChallenge R&D lab and to access collaborative workspace at the Newton Innovation Center.

“When we founded MassChallenge in 2010, we set out to convene and mobilize a community to support early-stage entrepreneurs," said John Harthorne, Founder and CEO of MassChallenge. "With the help of this amazing community in Boston, our startups are having a massive impact both at home and around the world."

This year's MassChallenge Boston Winners:

$100K Diamond Winners

CozyKin
Massachusetts | High Tech
Creates the sharing economy for childcare by matching local families together and placing them with Montessori-trained nannies in in-home nanny shares.

OffGridBox
Massachusetts | Energy/Clean Tech
Creates a modular and compact unit that provides renewable energy and treated water in remote areas.

Pykus Therapeutics
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Develops a dissolvable intraocular device to make retinal surgery less painful and more successful.

Vence
California | General/Retail/Consumer Goods
Increases revenues, eliminates fencing costs/capex, and reduces labor expenses for livestock farmers.

$50K Gold Winners

Adeo Health Science
Massachusetts | General/Retail/Consumer Goods
Prevents food allergies in infants.

Athletes of Valor
Massachusetts | Social Impact
Helps servicemen and women transition into collegiate sports and later into careers by providing an online platform, resources, and community.

CareAline
Massachusetts | Healthcare
Creates functional line and risk management garments for PICC and Central Lines.

Girls Health Champions
Massachusetts | Social Impact
Works to mitigate gender inequality and its impact on health outcomes by training teen girls as peer health educators.

Guardion
Massachusetts | High Tech
Helps governments reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism with networkable, low cost, ultra-sensitive ionizing radiation sensors.

Miracle Messages
California | Social Impact
Builds social support systems for the homeless.

Nonspec
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Science
Provides affordable, adjustable prosthetic limb kits for amputees and clinicians worldwide.

Reveal Pharma
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Addresses the $1B need for safe gadolinium-free MRI contrast agents for all patients who need crucial diagnostic imaging.

Veripad
New York | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Creates an affordable and portable solution that allows for rapid screening of medication quality.

Voatz
Massachusetts | High Tech
Develops a mobile election platform, secured via smart biometrics, real-time ID verification, and the blockchain for irrefutability.

W8X
Massachusetts | High Tech
Develops a smart and compact weight lifting system that empowers athletes to reach their limits.

Y2Y
Massachusetts | Social Impact
Interrupts a generation of chronic homelessness by providing sanctuary from the streets and supportive pathways out of homelessness.

In-Kind Silver Winners

ADIFF
New York | General/Retail/Consumer Goods
Creates functional clothing for style and survival.

Cadence
New York | High Tech
Makes event management effortless by helping businesses deliver unforgettable events with purpose.

Ghamut
Massachusetts | High Tech
Introduces Connect, a social-networking service that helps users build new platonic relationships, face-to-face.

OnRout
New York | General/Retail/Consumer Goods
Lowers e-commerce shipping costs by taking trucks off the road.

ReviveMed
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Translates data from small molecules into the right therapeutics for the right patients via machine learning.

Skelmet
Massachusetts | General/Retail/Consumer Goods
Revolutionizes the wearables industry with 3D Fit technology that automatically measures, designs, and produces bespoke products.

Skillist
Massachusetts | Social Impact
Connects untapped talent to in-demand jobs.

Puffin
Massachusetts | High Tech
Enhances the lives of people with disabilities by creating assistive tech that facilitates community inclusion and employment opportunities.

UrSure Inc.
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Makes medical diagnostics to protect vulnerable patients from HIV infections.

VetiVax
Connecticut | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Commercializes personalized cancer immunotherapies for pets.

CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space
($500,000 total – allocation to be based on project proposals):

Cellino
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Enables gene editing with lasers and nanotechnology.

Guardion
Massachusetts | High Tech
Helps governments reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism with networkable, low cost, ultra-sensitive ionizing radiation sensors.

MakerHealth
Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences
Builds the tools and hospital makerspaces to support a global community of health device makers.


About MassChallenge:
MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries, and regions around the world. We also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through our global network of accelerators in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, Texas, and the UK; and unrivaled access to our corporate partners, we can have a massive impact - driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 1,211 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $2 billion in funding, generated approximately $900 million in revenue, and created over 65,000 total jobs. For more information, please visit masschallenge.org.

Top MassChallenge Boston Partners:
Altria, Autodesk, The Boston Consulting Group, The Boston Foundation, CASIS, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, CVS Health, Deshpande Foundation, Draper, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Fidelity Investments, FM Global, GE, Henkel, Honda, Jamestown, John Hancock, Microsoft, Molex, P&G, PAN Communications, PepsiCo, PTC, Stanley Black & Decker, and Swiss Re.