Innovation Blog

Taking Up the Gauntlet — Judging

This week, high-impact startups armed themselves with their best pitches and presentations and took up the Pre-Final Judging Gauntlet with great success. But that’s only the first part of Judging. MassChallenge’s intrepid entrepreneurs have yet to face Final Judging next week.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the top 26 startups who will pitch at the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony for over $1 Million in grants! 
All photos courtesy of Jodi-Tatiana Charles of La Capoise Galerie.
What does it take to be a Winner? 
The MassChallenge Judges this week were tasked with selecting 26 winners from a pool of 125 Finalists. These 26 teams represent the top 2 percent of the original pool of 1,237 MassChallenge entrants and will advance to Final Judging.
Pre-Final judging began on Monday and concluded Wednesday morning. In this round of judging, the full class of MassChallenge Finalists each conducted 20-minute pitches and Q&A’s with panels of expert judges. 
The result will be 26 winners who will then move to Final Judging on October 9 and 12, where the Diamond ($100K), Gold ($50K), and Silver (In-kind) Winners are determined, but not announced until after all 26 teams have pitched at our highest-impact event of the year, the MassChallenge 2012 Awards Ceremony on October 23.
How are Finalists judged? 
When selecting winners, teams are judged on a variety of criteria. Most importantly, the Judges are evaluating the potential for impact and the path to achieving that impact. 
MassChallenge does not define “impact” but encourages the teams to create their own definitions – whether it be to save lives, generate jobs, change an industry, building a massive business or something else affecting change.  
When considering the path to achieving impact, Finalists will be evaluated on their potential for growth, understanding of their industry, customer service, marketing, competitors, team-members and other criteria depending on the industry.
Hear it from the judges themselves! See these two advice pieces from MassChallenge Judges:

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