News & Updates

Mass Challenge Partners with Startup America

Feb 01, 2011

Washington D.C.– January 31, 2011 –Today, the White House celebrated the MassChallenge Startup Competition and Accelerator as one of the most promising initiatives in the country for supporting entrepreneurs, and announced MassChallenge as a partner in the new Startup America Partnership, an independent entity co-funded by the Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation. MassChallenge is the world’s largest global startup competition and accelerator program. The Startup America Partnership is a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. The launch of the Startup America Partnership comes less than a week after the 2011 State of the Union Address, in which President Obama spoke boldly about America’s history and future as a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. “We're the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. We're a nation that says, I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company .... We Do Big Things. " Startup America Partnership The core goals of Startup America Partnership are to: increase the number of new high-growth firms that are creating economic growth, innovation, and quality jobs; celebrate and honor entrepreneurship as a core American value and source of competitive advantage; and inspire and empower an ever-greater diversity of communities and individuals to build great American companies. As a partner organization, MassChallenge is engaged in a coordinated public/private effort that brings together an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders, working in concert with a wide range of federal agencies to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of American entrepreneurs. “MassChallenge is an efficient and effective model for helping entrepreneurs succeed, and is an ideal means for America to harness and showcase the expertise and collaborative strength of our universities, investors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and businesses — after all, we’ve been providing revolutionary ideas since 1776.” - John Harthorne, Founder & CEO, MassChallenge Other organizations involved in the Startup America Partnership include: The Deshpande Foundation, The Case Foundation, The Kauffman Foundation, Intel, IBM, The Blackstone Foundation, TechStars and JumpStart. You can learn more about the Startup America Partnership here: MassChallenge Background In April 2010, MassChallenge launched a $1M startup competition and accelerator in the Boston Innovation District and attracted 446 applications from 26 countries and 24 U.S. states. In October 2010, following a 3-month intensive accelerator program in which expert mentors advised each startup and connected them with key resources, judges identified16 startups to receive cash awards totaling $1M. The startups were judged on impact, scalability, competitive positioning, and execution. “Startup competitions and accelerators play an important role in nurturing and promoting entrepreneurship. MassChallenge has built a great model and found a way to create winners rather than just picking winners. ” - Desh Deshpande, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-founder, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovationat MIT and the Deshpande Foundation MassChallenge was founded in 2009 with planning grants from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, The Deshpande Foundation, Microsoft and The Kauffman Foundation. MassChallenge ran it’s first startup competition and accelerator in 2010. Since the start of the first accelerator in August 2010, MassChallenge teams have secured $20M+ in outside funding. The startups involved have already produced hundreds of direct jobs, representing less than $2,000 public funding per job created – and their highest-growth stages still lie ahead. “The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was pleased to be a supporter of MassChallenge in its very successful inaugural year and looks forward to continuing to work together to nurture high-growth new businesses and bring this model elsewhere.” - Amy Stursberg, Blackstone Foundation 2011 MassChallenge Startup Competition and Accelerator New support from The Blackstone Foundation, The Fallon Company, MassMutual, Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Office of Science & Technology (COSAT), Microsoft, Xerox, Foley & Lardner and others will enable MassChallenge to support 1,000+ entrepreneurs directly in 2011, and provide a platform for significant national expansion in 2012 and beyond. The 2011 competition will officially launch on March 8, with the deadline for applications April 11. Every entrant receives training, feedback, PR and networking support via experts, and the highest-potential startups receive 3 months of intensive mentorship and free services in 22,000 sq ft of premium office space. The 2011 accelerator phase will take place from July through September and winners will be announced on October 20. The competition is open to anyone in the world, with any startup, in any industry. MassChallenge is designed to identify, strengthen and facilitate funding for the world’s highest impact startups. Engagement in the Startup America Partnership will enable MassChallenge to provide even greater access to key resources, information and people. MassChallenge does not take equity from entrants or place any restrictions on winners – there are no strings attached to the competition or awards. We just help entrepreneurs win.

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