I want to congratulate all 26 winners of MassChallenge, plus the Sidecar prizewinners an inspiring group innovating in such diverse areas disease diagnostics, fitness sensors, charitable giving even iced tea! Check out all the winners at MassChallenge.org. This was my fourth Awards Ceremony, and I honestly think this years class is the most amazing yet!
I also want to congratulate the hardworking and awesomely fabulous team I have the privilege of working with at MassChallenge. What an incredible collaborative effort this event was! From registration to catering; from the AV run-of-show to the speech writing; from video production to volunteer management; it was remarkable. We do not use an event planning company to help us organize the ceremony. We do it all ourselves, and its just a mind-blowing amount of work and effort and fun!
Finally, I want to thank everyone who came out to support the event! Last year, we had about 1200 guests, so we thought we would get a bit of an increase this year (especially since last year was the winning game of the World Series for the Redsox!) like maybe 1400 or even 1500. The BCEC ballroom holds 1200 comfortably, 1500 tight, and 1720 maximum capacity were talking wall-to-wall tables and not a square inch unused. We had 1720 registered attendees, plus a wait list of over 300 people. It was seriously insane! This is a testament to the power of community and the inspiration of innovation. You dont have to be an entrepreneur to be a change-maker, and you dont have to launch a startup to be a startup supporter.
Today Boston; tomorrow London; soon the World. I am proud to be an entrepreneur. I am proud to be a startup supporter. I am proud to be part of this movement to catalyze a startup renaissance across the world!