MassChallenge Launches Applications for the 2018 Boston and Rhode Island Accelerators

BOSTON, FEB. 8 – MassChallenge a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, today announced that applications for the Boston and Rhode Island programs are now open. Collectively, these accelerators will support up to 150 high-impact startups through access to top corporates, expert mentors, and more – all at zero cost and for zero equity. At the culmination of the programs, top startups will compete for cash prizes and in-kind support, totaling more than $1.5M in Boston and up to $50,000 in Rhode Island.

In its eighth year, MassChallenge Boston has accelerated over 1,000 startups, including Ginkgo Bioworks, the first MassChallenge alum valued at over $1 billion. Since 2010, the program’s alumni have gone on to create widespread impact across industries and regions around the world. To further support the most-promising startups at an early stage, MassChallenge is introducing program tracks aimed at deepening startup and corporate engagement in both the food & beverage and social impact spaces, where they’ve seen an uptick in activity. 

In addition to connecting entrepreneurs to a community of support, scholarship opportunities, and resources, MassChallenge Boston also provides the working space necessary to ideate, collaborate, and accelerate. Through generous support from Jamestown, the 128-startup cohort will spend the summer working from The Innovation and Design Building, the entrepreneurial center of Boston’s Seaport District. Startups working to build physical products will also have access to the 5,000 square foot MADE@MassChallenge R&D lab, which provides the equipment and support needed to scale solutions.

“MassChallenge has built a foundation that strengthens ideas at the earliest stage and ensures that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds are well-positioned for steady growth and impact in the future,” said Kiki Mills Johnston, Managing Director, MassChallenge Boston. “With support from Boston’s passionate innovation community, young startups have scaled to make cities around the world safer, patients healthier, and workplaces more efficient. I’m excited to kick off our 2018 applications season and begin our search for our next cohort of game-changing ideas.”

Expanding early-stage support throughout the region, MassChallenge launched its first-ever accelerator in Rhode Island to further strengthen the state’s innovation economy. Through collaboration with founding partners, including Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and FM Global, and support from Delta Dental, Rhode Island Foundation, and Verizon Foundation, MassChallenge Rhode Island will accelerate approximately 20 early-stage startups across industries in its first year. MassChallenge Rhode Island is the first hub and spoke model program that will activate local resources and expertise, while also providing the inaugural cohort with access to a powerful network of support from the flagship MassChallenge Boston accelerator.

“I am thrilled to collaborate with Rhode Island’s innovation community to ensure that local startups have the opportunity to successfully launch, grow, and create impact in this state and beyond,” said Dr. Mallon, Program Director, MassChallenge Rhode Island. “As a former entrepreneur, I understand first-hand the challenges that many founders face, including access to capital, talent, customers, and expert advice. MassChallenge’s proven model has created thousands of startup successes and has activated innovation communities around the world. I look forward to meeting our 2018 cohort.”

Startups interested in applying can visit masschallenge.org/apply to get started on their application, which must be submitted by March 1 (Early Bird) and March 28 (Final Deadline). 

MassChallenge invites the community to its
2018 Applications Launch Event, which is being held tonight (February 8) from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Hatch Fenway.    

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 Partners:
Altria, Autodesk, The Boston Consulting Group, The Boston Foundation, CASIS, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, CVS Health, Delta Dental, Deshpande Foundation, Draper, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Fidelity Investments, FM Global, GE, Henkel, Honda, Jamestown, John Hancock, Microsoft, Molex, PAN Communications, PepsiCo, PTC, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Rhode Island Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, and Verizon Foundation.