MassChallenge Celebrates Highest-Impact Startups from 2014

MassChallenge and ~1,700 members of the Boston startup community gathered to celebrate entrepreneurship at the fifth-annual MassChallenge Awards Ceremony. The event featured pitches from the Top 26 startups, and speeches from Governor Deval Patrick, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Co-Creator Nancy Frates, and WGBH and Public Radio International’s “Innovation Hub” Host Kara Miller.

Since 2010, the 617 startups accelerated by MassChallenge have raised $706 million in funding, generated $404 million in revenue and created 4,800 jobs.
 

At the Awards Ceremony, MassChallenge honored Governor Deval Patrick by creating the Deval L. Patrick Commonwealth Innovation Award to be granted every five years to the individual who most empowers the innovation economy. Governor Patrick was also announced as the first recipient of the award for his contributions to the innovation community in Massachusetts and beyond.
 

"Massachusetts is home to one of the largest and most diverse innovation economies in the world, and MassChallenge entrepreneurs are central to that,” said Governor Patrick. “I thank MassChallenge for this very special honor and congratulate them on the immense success they have had."
 

$100K Diamond Winners

  • Catie's Closet - Social Impact - USA: MA

    • Catie's Closet improves school attendance and removes social stigmas by providing clothing and necessities to students living in poverty.

  • Disease Diagnostic Group - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: OH

    • Disease Diagnostic Group’s reusable, mechanical device offers a handheld, quantitative malaria diagnosis.

  • Drinkwell - Social Impact - USA: MA

    • Drinkwell transforms the global arsenic and fluoride water crisis into economic opportunity.

  • SQZ Biotech - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: MA

    • SQZ Biotech's CellSqueeze (invented at MIT) enables delivery of molecules into cells by a gentle squeezing. That's right, we squeeze cells.

 

$50K Gold Winners

  • 3Derm - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: CT

    • 3Derm takes 3D pictures of skin with an inexpensive handheld imager to help detect skin cancer at the earlier more treatable stages.

  • Anfiro - Energy / Clean Tech - USA: MA

    • Clean and affordable water for a better tomorrow.

  • Ashton Instruments - High Tech - USA: MA

    • Ashton Instruments: We're making the first affordable cycling power meter. Think of it as a super Fitbit for cyclists.

  • Cam Med LLC - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: MA

    • Evopump - the first soft, flexible, bandage-like patch pump for active and simultaneous subcutaneous delivery of one or more medications.

  • Dimples - High Tech - USA: PA

    • With Dimples, it's like printing money. Dimples reduces ink costs when printing documents.

  • DropWise - Energy / Clean Tech - USA: MA

    • DropWise: on a mission to avert metagons of CO2 with a nanoengineered coating for power plants.

  • Fluid-Screen - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: CT

    • Fluid-Screen makes the world a safer place by enabling faster, more sensitive microbial detection from fluid samples.

  • Grapevine - High Tech - USA: MA

    • Grapevine's advocate marketing platform helps consumer facing brands generate sales by working with relevant YouTubers.

  • KnipBio - General - USA: MA

    • KnipBio: Our proprietary biotechnology makes animal feed more nutritious & sustainable.

  • Sano LLC - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: MA

    • Sano offers a disposable, low cost, Point-of-Care (POC) diagnostic platform with first focus on chronic wounds.

  • Ustraap - High Tech - Mexico

    • The smart and simple way to sense your surroundings with style.

  • Voxel8 - High Tech - USA: MA

    • Voxel8 is a startup company focused on multimaterial 3D printing of electronics that has recently spun out of Jennifer Lewis's lab at Harvard University.
       

In-Kind Silver Winners

  • ArtLifting - Social Impact - USA: MA

    • Empower homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork! ArtLifting is uplifting art.

  • AutoAgronom - Energy / Clean Tech - Israel

    • AutoAgronom increases agriculture yields while providing savings of up to 50% water and 70% fertilizers by "listening" to growth roots.

  • CareerVillage.org - Social Impact - USA: MA

    • CareerVillage crowd-sources career advice for students in low-income communities. Now *every* student can get the personal advice they need.

  • EdTrips - Social Impact - USA: MA

    • EdTrips helps field trip venues manage their visitors and reach more teachers.

  • Gecko Health Innovations - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: MA

    • GeckoCap is a connected mobile device that improves management of chronic respiratory diseases for better outcomes and costs.

  • Jisto Inc. - High Tech - USA: MA

    • Transforming idle computation cycles in organizations into a powerful cloud computing platform capable of taking on massive computations.

  • Oncolinx - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA: NJ

    • Oncolinx is developing next-generation cancer therapeutics that safely and effectively treat the most aggressive types of cancer.

  • ReFleece - Social Impact - USA: MA

    • ReFleece is a scalable model for upcycling: we make beautiful, modern accessories from clothes that would otherwise go to waste.

  • Unima - Healthcare / Life Sciences - Mexico

    • Today diagnostic of diseases is a long and expensive process. Unima developed a low cost and 5 minute process usable by anyone, anywhere.

  • ZOOS Greek Iced Teas - General - USA: MA

    • ZOOS is a first-to-market, all natural, real brewed, caffeine free, ready-to-drink Greek Iced Tea that is Yia-Yia approved!
       

SIDECAR PRIZE WINNERS

For the 2014 program, MassChallenge partners provided five additional prizes totaling $775,000. These grants were awarded to teams excelling in areas of interest to the partner organizations as outlined below.
 

CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space ($600,000 total – precise allocation to be determined based on proposals):

  • Cam Med LLC - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA - MA

    • Evopump - the first soft, flexible, bandage-like patch pump for active and simultaneous subcutaneous delivery of one or more medications

  • Droplette by Novopyxis - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA - MA

    • Droplette- effective, portable, painless transdermal delivery of large molecules that generates no waste products and never touches the skin.

  • SQZ Biotech - Healthcare / Life Sciences - USA - MA

    • SQZ Biotech's CellSqueeze (invented at MIT) enables delivery of molecules into cells by a gentle squeezing. That's right, we squeeze cells.
       

Henry Prize for Social Impact ($50,000 total):

$30,000

  • CareerVillage.org - Social Impact - USA - MA

    • CareerVillage crowd-sources career advice for students in low-income communities. Now *every* student can get the personal advice they need.

$10,000

  • Catie's Closet - Social Impact - USA - MA

    • Catie's Closet improves school attendance and removes social stigmas by providing clothing and necessities  to students living in poverty.

$10,000

  • ArtLifting - Social Impact - USA - MA

    • Empower homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork! ArtLifting is uplifting art.
       

Microsoft Prize for Civic Engagement & Leadership ($50,000 total):

$30,000

  • Lengio - High Tech - USA - MA

  • Learn to speak English with confidence at your workplace with Lengio’s personalized and dynamic language-learning technology.

$20,000

  • Kinems Learning Games - Social Impact - Greece

    • Kinems offers engaging & effective learning experiences for children with  learning disabilities  like autism via personalised Kinect games.

 

MassIT Government Innovation Competition ($50,000 total):

$25,000

  • Astra IDentity, Inc. - High Tech - USA - MA

    • Phishing and SPAM are different! Phishing attacks through email cause devastating losses.  Get protected with AstraID's PhishingGuardian!

$25,000

  • CarKnow LLC - High Tech - USA - MA

    • CarKnow LLC liberates information hidden in vehicle networks, enabling a cross-manufacturer API and smart apps for analytics & visualization

 

Perkins Prize for Assistive Technology ($25,000):

$25,000

  • Ustraap - High Tech - Mexico

    • The smart and simple way to sense your surroundings with style.
       

MassChallenge 2014

The MassChallenge Awards Ceremony capped an active, fifth year of the organization. In April, a record 1,657 startups from 50 countries and 40 US states applied to participate in the program. Over 350 judges selected the 128 highest-impact, highest-potential startups, which were invited to participate as finalists in the four-month accelerator program.
 

“The MassChallenge finalists are some of the most inspiring, hardest-working people I’ve ever met,” said MassChallenge Founder and CEO John Harthorne. “The drive of these entrepreneurs and the incredible support of the community continues to amaze me, and is yet more evidence that Boston has one of the greatest startup communities in the world.”
 

In June, MassChallenge committed to scale its accelerator program to ten new cities by 2019, beginning with MassChallenge UK in London. MassChallenge launched MassChallenge Israel in 2013, and has partnerships with Colombia, Russia, Mexico and Switzerland. Delegations from these countries and others attended the first annual “Global Bridge Summit” at MassChallenge on Oct 28 to connect, discuss opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurial ecosystems in their communities, and to help advise MassChallenge on expansion activities.
 

Applications for MassChallenge Boston, MassChallenge Israel and MassChallenge UK open in February 2015. Entrepreneurs can pre-register for 2015 programs at masschallenge.org.
 

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Over $1 million in cash prizes is awarded to winning startups, with zero equity taken. Additional benefits for startups include world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media attention, and over $10 million in in-kind support. MassChallenge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All proceeds support the startup accelerator and MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on any of the participating startups. To learn more about MassChallenge, visit: http://masschallenge.org/
 

MassChallenge top partners include: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Fidelity Investments, The Deshpande Foundation, Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, Jamestown, The Boston Foundation, Verizon, CASIS, iNNpulsa Colombia, Skolkovo Foundation, American Airlines, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bose, Henkel, Mass Tech Collaborative, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Microsoft, Pfizer, Thomson Reuters, Turnstone, WGBH Boston, and Zapopan.