Innovation Blog

On Diversity at MassChallenge


We’ve been dedicated to increasing transparency with our data in order to solicit feedback — both positive and negative — from our community so we can do all that we can be the best at what we do. Last week, we released some encouraging data on our women founders (44% in Boston, 39% overall in MassChallenge 2015); this week, weve dug a little deeper to unveil some promising metrics around the ethnic makeup of our 2015 Boston program. See below:


MassChallenge Boston startups with at least one Black/African American founder:

  • 2012-2015: 5.5%

  • 2012: 5.0%

  • 2013: 5.4%

  • 2014: 1.7%

  • 2015: 9.8%

MassChallenge Boston startups with at least one Asian founder:

  • 2012-2015: 21.4%

  • 2012: 21.8%

  • 2013: 18.8%

  • 2014: 20.9%

  • 2015: 24.1%

MassChallenge Boston startups with at least one Hispanic/Latino founder:

  • 2012-2015: 11.4%

  • 2012: 6.9%

  • 2013: 10.7%

  • 2014: 14.8%

  • 2015: 12.5%

According to the University of New Hampshires Center for Venture Research, just 8.5% of pitches made to Angel Investors in 2013 were from minority entrepreneurs*. In 2015, Y Combinator reported that 7.89% of startups in their 2015 Winter Batch had a black founder, and 5.26% of startups had a hispanic founder.


This year, we announced a partnership with the Boston Foundation in order to identify and support more entrepreneurs in communities such as Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester, and these numbers are an encouraging start in bridging the glaring diversity gap that exists in tech. However, it is only with the support of the the entire innovation community needs to double down on opening access to entrepreneurial resources for all


Disclaimer: MassChallenge data vary from year to year, but the trend is toward increased gender, race and geographic diversity since 2012. MassChallenge lacks clear demographic data prior to 2012.


*Editors Note: If you have any info on updated numbers regarding minority entrepreneurs, please feel free to reach out via commenting below!

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