MassChallenge Launches New Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

EMPOWER@ MassChallenge will support unique needs of startup founders 

BOSTON, FEBRUARY 22, 2017: MassChallenge™, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, today announced a new diversity and inclusion initiative, EMPOWER@ MassChallenge. Through the new initiative, the organization works with startup founders to create programming that supports their unique needs.   
 
“At MassChallenge, we believe that there is strength in embracing and supporting diversity,” said Diane Perlman, Chief Marketing Officer at MassChallenge. “With the launch of EMPOWER@ MassChallenge, we are doubling-down on our commitment to support entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.” 
 
MassChallenge’s Women Founders Network (previously known as Women in MassChallenge) is the first diversity and inclusion initiative under the EMPOWER@ MassChallenge umbrella. The Women Founders’ Network is a holistic program designed to develop and further empower female founders. It is a community-driven program that is tailored to the cohort’s needs in each market.  
 
As an established leader in accelerating women-led startups, MassChallenge is committed to helping female entrepreneurs succeed: 

  • 38% of MassChallenge’s accelerated startups have been founded by women (408 across our 1,211 alumni).  
  • Female-founded startups have raised $379 million and 92% are still active or have been acquired.    
  • In 2016, TechCrunch named MassChallenge the top seed investor of female-founded startups for seed investments made between 2010 and 2015.  

The Women Founders' Network builds on MassChallenge’s seven years of actively supporting female founders. Here are a few examples: 

  • Active since 2012, MassChallenge Boston's well-established program has strong, motivated female founders and a local committee designing the year-round programming. Boston is currently seeking external partnerships to support this initiative.  
  • In 2016, MassChallenge Israel brought together 300+ local female founders for an event featuring a panel of leading female entrepreneurs. 
  • In 2016, 47% of MassChallenge Mexico’s startups were female-founded. The program held a startup showcase for female founders and supported programming during the accelerator.  
  • In 2016, half of MassChallenge Switzerland’s prize winning startups were female-founded.  
  • In 2016, MassChallenge UK created a steering committee of female founders who met weekly, held a startup showcase for female founders, and supported programming during the accelerator.  

To learn more about EMPOWER@ MassChallenge and the Women Founders' Network, please visit: http://masschallenge.org/empower
 
About MassChallenge 
MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. 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, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico, 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 $1.8 billion in funding, generated over $700 million in revenue, and created over 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. For more information, please visit masschallenge.org.  
 
MassChallenge Partners 
Microsoft, Fidelity, Bühler, The Boston Consulting Group, Procter & Gamble, Liberty Mutual, John Hancock, CASIS, Jamestown, Kauffman Foundation, The Boston Foundation, Jobs for NSW, GE, USAA, Shire, AARP, Deshpande Foundation, SENA, OCP Entrepreneurship Network, Wells Fargo, Vertex, Commonwealth of Australia, Biscay Regional Government, Gentera, PTC, Givaudan, Swiss Re, Nestlé, Victorian State Government, PepsiCo, Inartis Foundation, Swiss Economic Forum, Givaudan, Gentera, Promotora Social México, Aeromexico, CDMX, GEA, Bailly Foundation, Barry Callebaut, DELL EMC, INADEM, J.P. Morgan Chase, South Australian Government, Jerusalem Development Authority, Canton de Vaud, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and IBM.