MassChallenge Boston Launches 2017 Applications With Direction From Kiki Mills Johnston

Promising startups are encouraged to apply to the zero-equity accelerator by March 28

BOSTON, FEB. 8 - MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, today announced that it has named Kiki Mills Johnston as Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston, which is now accepting applications for its 2017 accelerator. With this appointment, Scott Bailey will transition to focus on exploring new opportunities within MassChallenge to amplify support for startups across North America.

Mills Johnston joins MassChallenge from Mission Capital, an Austin-based nonprofit that helps solve community problems and drive social change. Prior, she was CEO of Full Circle Fund and served as President of the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX), where she worked for over 10 years in various leadership positions.

“Startups are the driver of innovation in Massachusetts and around the world. This community has the most forward-thinking corporations, policy makers, investors, and more, that demonstrate their support for startups everyday as they bring their ideas to life,” said Mills Johnston. “I’ve had the unique opportunity to work in entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and truly believe there’s no better place to launch and grow a business than here. I’m excited to join MassChallenge and work with the community to expand the impact of the program and accelerate the growth of high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurs.”

“We’re excited to welcome Kiki back to Boston, where she had been actively involved in our city’s growing innovation community,” said Scott Bailey, Executive Director, North America for MassChallenge. “Entrepreneurs are the key to driving economic growth, job creation, and impact around the world, and I’m confident we’ll see the continued growth of MassChallenge Boston under Kiki’s leadership.”   

In addition to overseeing the MassChallenge Boston accelerator, Mills Johnston will also support PULSE@MassChallenge, which connects digital health startups to world-class strategic partners and resources for zero-equity, MADE@MassChallenge, the organization’s startup-friendly R&D lab, and the Newton Innovation Center, a community-driven collaborative workspace that aims to catalyze a global startup renaissance, beginning on a local scale.

Since 2010, the MassChallenge Boston accelerator has supported more than 873 promising startups across all industries through expert mentorship, corporate and nonprofit partnerships, valuable programming, free office space, and more -- all for zero equity.

Applications for the 2017 MassChallenge Boston accelerator are open until March 28. Through generous partnerships with Microsoft, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, (MassCEC), Cydan Development, EYP, P&G - Gillette, and Zipcar, eligible startups have the opportunity to apply for $5,000 and $10,000 pre-program scholarships to help with expenses like travel, rent, and pilots. At the culmination of the four-month program, the most promising startups are awarded shares of grant prizes, totaling $1.5M in 2016.

To apply for MassChallenge’s accelerator, visit: masschallenge.org/apply

About MassChallenge:
MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. 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, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico, 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 $1.8 billion in funding, generated over $700 million in revenue, and created more than 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. For more information, please visit masschallenge.org.

Top MassChallenge Boston Partners:
Fidelity Investments, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Microsoft, CASIS, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Deshpande Foundation, GE, John Hancock, Jamestown, The Boston Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, American Airlines, L'Oreal, Swiss Re, PepsiCo, Altria, Henkel, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Draper, PTC, MassMutual, Pfizer, CVS Health, Analog Devices, Autodesk, and Honda.