Boston
24 October 2019

MassChallenge Awards over $1M in Cash Prizes to Top Boston and Rhode Island Startups

BOSTON, October 24, 2019 – MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, tonight awarded more than $1M to 12 startups from its 10th annual Boston accelerator and second annual Rhode Island accelerator. Through a partnership with Boeing and ISSNL, MassChallenge provided $500K to 2 startups to support research projects on the International Space Station. The zero-equity cash prizes were awarded at the 2019 MassChallenge Awards Ceremony, which brought together more than 1600 members of the regional innovation community and featured a keynote address from Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-Founder and CSO of Airbnb. 

“Behind any successful company are years of hard work, lessons learned, tenacity -- and most importantly, individuals and organizations who recognize and support their vision. I know all too well from Airbnb how crucial resources like tonight’s awards are to startups, helping to turn their inspiring ideas into game-changing businesses,” said Blecharczyk. “As a Boston native, I am so proud of the innovation demonstrated by award recipients, and I am grateful to MassChallenge for continuing to support this region’s thriving tech ecosystem.”

Over the last four months, more than 130 startups from 5 countries and 18 US states participated in MassChallenge accelerator programs in Boston and Rhode Island where they received unrivaled access to expert mentorship, top corporate partners, co-working space, and an evidence-based curriculum all at zero cost and for zero equity. The prize winners were selected by an elite group of expert judges who assessed each of the top finalists on their potential to make long-lasting impact in their industry.

The MassChallenge Boston and Rhode Island Awards is a culminating event to recognize the groundbreaking startups in the 2019 cohorts, convene a global community of innovation leaders, and, this year, celebrate MassChallenge’s first decade of impact. Kicking off with a showcase of startups in the 2019 Boston and Rhode Island programs, the event featured onstage pitches from the top startups in each program and inspiring remarks from Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary Mike Kennealy, Governor Gina M. Raimondo, and Secretary Stefan Pryor. As part of his remarks, Secretary Kennealy announced that the Commonwealth has expanded its funding for the MassChallenge HealthTech program to $250,000 to further support programming, and that the Commonwealth is committed to making a substantial additional investment in MassChallenge over the next two years.  

Since 2009, MassChallenge has had a transformative impact on the global innovation ecosystem: now with nine accelerators across seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge annually supports more than 400 startups that are solving some of the world’s most massive challenges.

MASSCHALLENGE RHODE ISLAND PRIZE WINNERS

“It has been an incredible honor to work so closely with this year’s cohort of startups. They are not only shaping and, in some cases, re-shaping the future of the world, but of Rhode Island too,” said Hope Hopkins, Program Director, MassChallenge Rhode Island. “Over these last four months I have witnessed the commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation amongst key stakeholders across the region. That this was only our second year running a full Rhode Island accelerator program it’s been amazing to see the emerging strength of our ecosystem. The growth and traction these incredible companies have had to date comes as no surprise; congratulations to all of our Rhode Island companies!”  

Up to $50K Gold Winners

GoTeff

Rhode Island | General 

Uses Teff, a super-food from Ethiopia, with the vision to sell Teff products in US while investing in Ethiopian farmers. 

 

Legably

Rhode Island | High Tech

Marketplace that connects freelance attorneys with other lawyers, law firms, and legal staffing agencies for short-term work.

 

Intus Care

Rhode Island | Healthcare/Life Sciences

Mobile and online platform connecting home care providers with the elderly and disabled in need of care.

MASSCHALLENGE BOSTON WINNERS 

“MassChallenge Boston’s 2019 winners reaffirm that entrepreneurs are an essential force for creating a more positive and productive future” said Caitlin Brumme, Managing Director, MassChallenge Boston. “It is true privilege to have supported these entrepreneurs take critical steps in bringing their business closer to scale from their initial insight. And we are grateful to the ecosystem of mentors, corporate and public partners, whose participation has been and will be essential to the success of our entrepreneurs.”

$100K Diamond Winners

Tellus Therapeutics

North Carolina | Healthcare/Life Sciences

Developing novel small molecules derived from human breast milk to reverse the neonatal brain injury that leads to cerebral palsy.

 

$75K Platinum Winners

Ashored Innovations

Nova Scotia | Healthcare/Life Sciences

Developing sustainable fishing technology to reduce/prevent marine entanglements, ghost gear, and ocean waste in commercial fishing.

 

EnVision Endoscopy, Inc.

Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences

Developing a novel image guided suturing device to allow gastrointestinal endoluminal surgeries & reduce cost of care.

 

Up to $50K Gold Winners

JobGet 

Massachusetts | High Tech 

Reduces the time to hire a staff down to less than 24 hours, compared to the normal process of several weeks. 

 

Lab Grown Source

Utah | High Tech 

Directly connecting buyers and sellers of lab grown diamonds.

 

Legacy

Massachusetts | Healthcare/ Life Sciences 

Helping men preserve their fertility by providing an affordable, at-home kit that they can use to test and freeze their sperm.

 

Pison 

Massachusetts | High Tech 

 

Rezztek by SPECTER HOCKEY 

Slovakia | General 

Introducing a next generation material for the blade of the hockey stick that makes you a better player. 

 

United Aircraft Technologies, Inc.

New York | High Tech

Developing a novel lightweight Smart Fastener for aircraft to improve fuel economy and simplify maintenance.

BOEING AND ISS NATIONAL LAB TECHNOLOGY IN SPACE PRIZE

Axonis

Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences

Translating breakthrough regeneration research to groundbreaking paralysis therapy, to transform lives of spinal cord injury patients.

Encapsulate

Healthcare/Life Sciences 

An automated tumor-on-a-chip system that can grow patients cancer cells outside the body, and test the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.

 

About MassChallenge 

MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, our 2,344 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $5 billion in funding, generated more than $2.7 billion in revenue, and created more than 136,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.  

About Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 6+ million unique places to stay in 100,000+ cities and 191+ countries and regions. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests through 40,000+ unique, handcrafted activities run by hosts across 1,000+ markets around the world. Airbnb’s people-to-people platform benefits all its stakeholders, including hosts, guests, employees and the communities in which it operates.
 

MassChallenge Partners 

Adler Pollock & Sheehan, Altus Dental, Amica Insurance, Analog Devices, Arrow Electronics, Autodesk, Babson College, BAE Systems, BNY Mellon, The Boston Foundation, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brex, Chewsi, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cydan, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, Deshpande Foundation, Draper, Duane Morris, First Data Corporation, FM Global, Foley Hoag, Foley & Lardner, GlaxoSmithKline, Halliburton, Hasbro, Henkel, the ISS National Lab, Jamestown, John W. Henry Family Foundation, KPMG, Microsoft, MITRE, Mitsubishi (Americas), the National Security Innovation Network, Nutter, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Sanofi, and the U.S. Air Force.  

 

Mission

MassChallenge strengthens the global innovation ecosystem by accelerating high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world.