Leadership

Meet the leadership team behind the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. The MassChallenge leadership team works tirelessly to ensure the growth and success of our programs. They bring together the brightest minds in the innovation ecosystem to propel breakthrough ideas and initiatives.

Global Executive Team

  1. Scott Bailey
  2. Siobhan Dullea
  3. John Harthorne
  4. Mike LaRhette
  5. Diane Perlman
  • Scott Bailey
    Executive Director, North America

    Scott is a strong advocate for entrepreneurial ecosystems and designs all programs and activity with the entrepreneur first mentality.

    ​He oversees all of MassChallenge’s activity in North America including new program development and geographic expansion.

  • Siobhan Dullea
    Chief Operating Officer

    Siobhan Dullea oversees global operations at MassChallenge and also supports the organization’s future expansion. Siobhan joined MassChallenge from The Grommet, where she served as Chief Growth Officer, responsible for the wholesale business and programs to support entrepreneur growth. Prior, she was a founding member of C Space, formerly Communispace Corporation, where she grew the company’s workforce to nearly 500 employees, managed the global rebrand, and drove profits to $100 million over her 16-year tenure.

  • John Harthorne
    Founder & CEO

    John Harthorne is the Founder and CEO of MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, MassChallenge is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. They also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards.

  • Mike LaRhette
    President

    Mike leads on partnerships and people. He has worked for both early stage startups and established organizations in the design and facilitation of business strategy, sales and marketing effectiveness, client engagement, communications, and leadership development. Yep - he’s just about done it all!

  • Diane Perlman
    Chief Marketing Officer

    Diane is a highly passionate ideas generator and entrepreneur (oh and she’s pretty good at marketing too). Before joining MassChallenge she founded the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London, graduating nearly 40 startups and building Microsoft's presence in the UK startup space.​ ​Diane’s passion for startups stems from her over 25-year marketing career, during which she served as marketing director for American company Cyveillance, which was a startup when Diane joined in 1998, and helped them expand to the UK in 2000.

Global Executive Team

Scott Bailey
Executive Director, North America
Scott Bailey
Executive Director, North America

Scott is a strong advocate for entrepreneurial ecosystems and designs all programs and activity with the entrepreneur first mentality.

Siobhan Dullea
Chief Operating Officer
Siobhan Dullea
Chief Operating Officer

Siobhan Dullea oversees global operations at MassChallenge and also supports the organization’s future expansion.

John Harthorne
Founder & CEO
John Harthorne
Founder & CEO

John Harthorne is the Founder and CEO of MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, MassChallenge is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry.

Mike LaRhette
President
Mike LaRhette
President

Mike leads on partnerships and people.

Diane Perlman
Chief Marketing Officer
Diane Perlman
Chief Marketing Officer

Diane is a highly passionate ideas generator and entrepreneur (oh and she’s pretty good at marketing too).

Global Board of Directors

Joshua Boger
Founder and former CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Joshua Boger
Founder and former CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Joshua Boger is the founder of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX). He retired as Vertex’s chief executive officer and continues to serve on the Board.

Desh Deshpande
Trustee, Deshpande Foundation
Desh Deshpande
Trustee, Deshpande Foundation

Dr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a trustee of Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. Desh is also the president and chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office.

Gail Goodman
Former CEO, Constant Contact
Gail Goodman
Former CEO, Constant Contact

Gail Goodman spent 16 years as CEO of Constant Contact, the trusted provider of online marketing tools for small businesses and nonprofits.

John Harthorne
Founder & CEO
John Harthorne
Founder & CEO

John Harthorne is the Founder and CEO of MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, MassChallenge is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry.

Diane Hessan
Chairman, C Space
Diane Hessan
Chairman, C Space

Diane Hessan is a successful entrepreneur, marketer and author. Most recently, she was CEO of Startup Institute, which is dedicated to helping people transform their careers.

Global Board of Advisors

Desh Deshpande
Trustee, Deshpande Foundation
Desh Deshpande
Trustee, Deshpande Foundation

Dr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a trustee of Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree. Desh is also the president and chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office.

Fiona Murray
Associate Dean,MIT Sloan School of Management
Fiona Murray
Associate Dean,MIT Sloan School of Management

Professor Fiona Murray is the associate dean for innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management; co-director of MIT Innovation Initiative; William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship; faculty director, Martin Trust Center f

Akhil Nigam
Co-founder and former President, MassChallenge
Akhil Nigam
Co-founder and former President, MassChallenge

Akhil Nigam is the co-founder and former President of MassChallenge. Since 2009, Akhil has helped build and scale MassChallenge from an idea to a well-recognized global organization.

Deval Patrick
Managing Director, Bain Capital LLC
Deval Patrick
Managing Director, Bain Capital LLC

Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Deval Patrick came to Massachusetts at age 14, when he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through the Boston-based organization, A Better Chance.

Jeffrey B. Swartz
Former CEO, The Timberland Company
Jeffrey B. Swartz
Former CEO, The Timberland Company

Jeff spent 26 years at The Timberland Company, a publicly traded (NYSE) global brand of footwear and apparel, the last 15 years as CEO, and the third generation of his family to lead the company.