How to Apply to MassChallenge!
Applying to the MassChallenge 2014 Accelerator Program involves creating a simple “Startup Profile” on our web site, paying an Application Fee, and submitting an “Application.” Refund Codes may be available to enable startups to reduce or potentially completely offset their application fee.
Applications for the MassChallenge 2014 Accelerator Program are now OPEN (The last day to apply is April 3, 2014). In addition, we welcome you to engage with our community throughout the year at our educational and networking events. We hope that you'll consider applying once applications for the 2014 season are open!
The application process for 2014 included these steps:
Each of these steps are described in more detail below:
Step 1. Register & Complete A “User Profile”
The first step in applying is to register on the MassChallenge web site, creating your
“User Profile” containing your basic contact information. Click here to register!
Step 2. Create a “Startup Profile”
Create a Startup Profile with basic information about your Startup.
The basic information on the Startup Profile is what will be shown on the public MassChallenge web site (unless you choose to mark your Startup Profile in
You also are prompted to answer several eligibility questions as part of creating your Startup Profile.
Once you create your profile, you can manage all subsequent steps of the application process from your Startup’s “Dashboard,” which you can always find by clicking on the “Dashboard” link at the top right corner of the page.
Note that you may apply to MassChallenge with multiple startups, all from one User Profile. For each startup, you must create a separate Startup Profile, pay a separate Application Fee, and create a separate Application. Each startup will be judged independently.
Step 3. Pay the Application Fee
Paying the Application Fee enables several next steps:
- The ability to create and submit your Application online (you may download, review, and even start working offline on your application before paying)
Publishing your Startup Profile on the MassChallenge web site
- Submitting names/emails of individuals who can be References for your Application
- Submitting Refund Codes you may have received from MassChallenge sponsors or other organizations, enabling you to receive a refund of part (or possibly even all) of your Application Fee
The 2014 Application Fee, paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx) is:
- $99 – EARLY BIRD RATE – Before 12:00 Noon EDT March 6! *
- $199 – STANDARD FEE – After 12:00 Noon EDT March 6
* Note: You will be charged the $199 Application Fee when you pay; if you then SUBMIT your application by the Early Bird Deadline (March 6) you will be automatically refunded a $100 Early Bird Refund.
There are two opportunities for Instant Discounts, which are applied at the time of your payment, and reduce the amount you are charged by $5 each:
- $5 Twitter Instant Discount – For tweeting (as part of the Application Fee payment process) that you have applied to MassChallenge
- $5 Facebook Instant Discount – For posting on Facebook (as part of the Application Fee payment process) that you have applied to MassChallenge
Any Refund Codes you submit will be processed and your credit card will be refunded the amount represented by your Refund Codes.
If you have problems regarding payment, email email@example.com
Step 4. Create, Complete and Submit Your Application
Once you have paid the Application Fee, you may start to edit and complete your Application online (you may download, review, and even start working offline on your application before paying, and then paste them into the online form later – questions are here, but please note the character limits stated with each question on the application.)
You may continue to update and revise your answers in your Application up until you submit your Application. Once you submit your Application, you are no longer able to edit it.
If you submit your Application by the Early Bird Deadline of March 6, 12:00 Noon EDT, you will receive an automatic Early Bird Refund of $100 (but you will not be able to edit it once you submit).
The final deadline for Application submission is April 3, 12:00 Noon EDT.No Applications will be accepted following this Application Deadline.
Although your Startup Profile IS published on the MassChallenge web site, the information in your Application is NOT published on the MassChallenge web site; it is only viewed by the judges.
After you pay the Application Fee, there are several optional steps you may take, each described below:
Promote Your Startup Profile
Once your Startup Profile is published on the MassChallenge web site we strongly encourage you to promote that you have applied to MassChallenge. Use MassChallenge as a platform to help attract attention to your startup. Tweet, post on Facebook, blog – make some noise!
If you choose to keep your Startup Profile in “Stealth”* mode it will not be published on the MassChallenge web site.
After you pay the Application Fee you may submit the names and email addresses of one or more individuals who you would like to act as References for you and your Startup.
Please note that references are optional but provide additional data points to evaluate the application. Please use them only if you think they will provide additional value to your application. Ideal reference writers are recognized experts who know you and your company well and can provide genuine insight about your potential.
MassChallenge will contact these individuals on your behalf and ask for their simple input, including questions such as:
- Confirm that you are willing to be a reference
On a scale of 1-7 how would you rate the economical impact of this company if it succeeds in achieving its goals? Rate the company relative to peers in its industry.
On a scale of 1-7 how would you rate the likelihood that this company will succeed in achieving its goals? Rate the company relative to peers in its industry and at its stage of development.
- Additional comments the reference may want to provide
You may submit a maximum of 5 references – either all at once or incrementally over time – and can see from your Startup Dashboard if a given reference has responded to MassChallenge (however, you are not able to see the content of their response). Note that we send an email only once to each reference, shortly after you submit their name/email address. You may want to give references a heads-up that they will be contacted by MassChallenge, and to check their spam folder if they don’t see anything.
The last date for references to respond to MassChallenge is April 24.
After you pay the Application Fee, you may submit one or more unique Refund Codes that you acquire from MassChallenge sponsors or other organizations after March 1.
Each Refund Code you submit prior to the Application Deadline of April 3 will entitle you to a certain refund amount (for example, $25).
Note that Refund Codes are unique – each code can be applied to only one Startup Application. If you attempt to submit a Refund Code that has already been applied to another Startup Application, the Refund Code will not validate for you.
You may accumulate and submit as many Refund Codes as you like – it is possible to completely refund your entire Application Fee (but not more than you paid!)
Although you may submit multiple Refund Codes, you may not submit more than one Refund Code from the same MassChallenge sponsor/partner.
Please be thoughtful in how you pursue acquiring Refund Codes -- it is NOT wise to "spam" request Refund Codes, as such an action will probably not endear you to those spam recipients. The goal of Refund Codes is to 1) reduce your application fee, and 2) promote thoughtful engagement between you and the organizations who have Refund Codes.
The Application Judging Process
Following the Application Deadline on April 3, the judging process commences. Judging proceeds in two Rounds:
- Round 1 – Online review of all Applications. Your Application will be reviewed online by multiple judges. After Round 1 is complete, you will receive any feedback provided by these judges on your Application. Round 1 will take several weeks, completing around April 24, with notification of results on or around May 3.
- Round 2 – In-Person Judging. The top ~300 applications will be invited to pitch in-person to panels of judges at the MassChallenge offices in Boston on specific dates that will be arranged between May 7 and 14. Although in-person pitching is strongly recommended, those who cannot get to Boston for an in-person pitch (such as international companies) may pitch via Video Skype. Following Round 2 judging, approximately 125 “Finalists” will be invited to participate in the MassChallenge 2014 Accelerator Program that beings in June.
Eligibility criteria are listed here.
Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
If you don’t find answers to your questions in the FAQ, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you succeed!