Innovation Blog

MassChallenge is Expanding Access to Industry Tracks


Here are the benefits that founders and partners can expect 

MassChallenge invests in the growth of industry sectors through industry tracks. Tracks provide both startups and corporate partners the opportunity to engage strategically and to accelerate innovations. Our tracks, including Enterprise Tech, Safety and Security, Sports Tech, Space Commercialization, and Mobility (new), provide robust, tangible benefits to participants.

While participating in an Industry Track:

Startups and their founders receive specialized education, mentorship that specifically address the challenges and dynamics specific to the industry. Founders benefit from a curated ecosystem of peers and champions with the knowledge and networks necessary to navigate highly specialized fields.

Partners are introduced to today’s highest potential, highly qualified teams, tools and technologies. They engage intentionally with relevant startup teams and technologies; and connect with other leaders within their field. Industry Track partners have a strategic interest in working alongside the next generation of leaders and engaging their company and brand as a leader in emerging categories.

Enterprise Tech

Sponsored by KPMG,  the Enterprise Tech track focuses on early stage companies that are driving the future of enterprise tech and service platforms related to security, data management, cloud services and AI. First launched in 2020, the Enterprise Tech track matches startups with KPMG mentors who guide cohort teams towards high-impact, scalable businesses.

“In the track’s inaugural year, 20 KPMG mentors collaborated with 12 promising enterprise-ready startups, providing resources and advice to advance their businesses. We are excited to grow the track and support the next generation of startups.” – JJ Malfettone, Director, KPMG

Startup Spotlight: TeamLift’s skills management platform helps businesses quantify and visualize their collaborations. While participating in this industry track, they worked with mentors like KPMG Managing Director Kes Sampanthar and Director Shawn Torkelson to help grow and pivot their business for enterprise readiness. Not only was TeamLift able to better tailor their proprietary software to the needs of enterprise clients, they ultimately received the opportunity to run a pilot program with KPMG.


Safety and Security

MassChallenge’s Safety & Security track is designed to connect the private/public innovation ecosystem to accelerate startups who are creating the next generation of “dual-use” technologies. The Safety & Security track supports startups with a direct or potential relevance to national security and public safety challenges. Startups selected to participate in the track will receive specialized support, resources, education, strategic exposure and connections to MassChallenge partners and experts. This effort is sponsored by the National Security Innovation Network, MITRE, BAE Systems, Draper, and Raytheon. Since 2019, 43 alumni have raised +$50M funding and 77% received a Phase I SBIR/STTR.

“Hanscom directorates get a lot of benefit from programs like the Safety & Security Track,” said Capt. Matthew Ruden, innovation director for PEO Digital. “Startups from programs like this one come to us ready to do business and with a better understanding of our programs and mission needs. When startups take advantage of these dual-use opportunities, they’re able to further develop their technology with government funding under the SBIR program. MassChallenge has played a key role in identifying talented startups and priming them to tackle Air Force needs.”

Startup Spotlight: SimpleSense’s Incident Authority is a secure, cloud-based technology stack that shares critical, real-time information between government, military, and private parties. By participating in this track, the SimpleSense team was introduced to mentors at Fortune 500 companies and government innovation labs like KesselRun and AFWERX. It also connected them with stakeholders that encouraged their pursuit of government contracts. Read more here.

Sports Tech

Professional sports franchises and major sports brands are continually challenged by today’s consumer-facing world. The Stadia Ventures-sponsored Sports Tech track is a pathway to identifying technologies and solutions that can improve human health, athletic performance, fan experiences, stadium tech, as well as scouting and analytics.

“Our team was continually impressed by the MassChallenge startups building solutions to meet some of the biggest challenges professional and big sports brands face today,” said Alex Chalmers, director of partnerships at Stadia Ventures. “The MassChallenge engagements helped us connect relevant ideas and tools to the Stadia Ventures community through industry demo days and bespoke mentorship. We’re excited to deepen our engagement this year and strengthen the continuum of support our partnership offers founders.”

Startup Spotlight: Healium’s drugless solution for the self-management of anxiety allows users to “see feelings” through biometrically-controlled virtual and augmented realities powered by consumer wearables. The 2020 Houston Gold Award winner’s patented technology monitors brain patterns and/or heart rates through EEG headbands or smartwatches to control the VR and augmented reality worlds. In three peer-reviewed journals, Healium has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase brain patterns associated with positivity in as little as four minutes.

Space Commercialization

Ushering in the next era of space tech means developing technologies related to human health, performance, and recovery, as well as materials science, energy storage, robotics, and advanced manufacturing among many others. The Space Commercialization track connects startups and partners—like the NASA Johnson Space Center—in a rapidly evolving sector. Together, they can build the Space Commercialization Innovation Ecosystem and set future trends for the industry.

“As we drive advances in science and technology at NASA, we are eager to better understand trends and sectors that make up the future of space exploration,” said Vanessa Wyche, deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Working with startups connects us to tomorrow’s space innovation leaders and gives our team the opportunity to mentor entrepreneurs as we work to enhance scientific and technological knowledge to benefit all of humankind, catalyze economic growth, propel commercialization of space and extend our presence in the solar system.”

Startup Spotlight: Satellite failures cost billions, leave millions without services, and can put lives at risk. That’s why SCOUT is developing the first commercial in-space satellite inspection service. It was recently announced that the 2020 Houston Gold Award winner would be partnering with Orbit Fab to host the world’s first dedicated commercial in-space situational awareness mission.


Powered by Motional, a global leader in driverless technology, the Mobility track will support startups looking to transform the future of transportation and enable the movement of people and goods in a smarter, sustainable, and more resilient way.

“Motional has been leading driverless innovation for decades, and is dedicated to creating a future of safer transportation. Through the launch of this track with MassChallenge, we are bolstering the next generation high tech startups who will help transform the mobility sector in Massachusetts and beyond.”- Patrick Jamieson, Vice President Strategy & Corporate Development, Motional 

Applications are now open until March 31st, closing at 12pm ET. Start your application TODAY!

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