Innovation Blog

Catching Up with Our 2017 Winners Guardion

Meet Guardion, a 2017 alum, $50K winner, and CASIS/Boeing winner that helps governments reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.

By developing and strategically placing networked radiation detectors across cities, the team can enable federal and local security departments to better protect borders, while dramatically reducing the cost, size, and portability of the solution.

We had a chance to catch up with Dan Esposito, Founder, about his experience going through the MC accelerator:

Take us back to MassChallenge Awards… what was going through your mind when you heard your startup name called to the stage?
I was standing backstage, busy celebrating with everyone else, and completely unfocused on whether our company would be called. We all quieted down as they began to announce the 3rd winner of our heat when I heard Guardion. I thought it would take a few seconds to sink in, but it was immediate. I was jumping back stage and ran towards the ramp surprised, ecstatic, and grateful. When we got called up for the CASIS/Boeing award, my co-founder and I just looked at each other in disbelief and then I was jumping out of my space patterned shoes. Space! What an amazing night.

As a winner, how do you plan to use the cash prize to further accelerate growth?
We are using the prize money to expand our team, buy equipment, and to handle some general business expenses. As a small team, we realized we had a human capital bottle neck and this money will help us start to solve that issue.

What would you say has been the key driver of your success throughout the program?
Being at MassChallenge and taking advantage of all the demos, meetings, partnership connections, and mentors really helped me get the most out of the opportunity. The money is amazing, but the connections we made at MassChallenge are worth so much more.

What has been the hardest lesson to learn?
You can’t go after every opportunity and that time is one of your biggest limiting resources.

What advice do you have for startups thinking about applying to MC?
This is advice I give to anyone working on a new startup: go do face-to-face interviews with potential customers and make sure you are solving a real problem, make sure you have time to really commit yourself, and make sure you love the process and the people you are working with.


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