Last updated: April 23, 2020
An “Expert” at MassChallenge is either a Mentor, a Judge or a Speaker at a MassChallenge event or competition. Please review this Expert Agreement carefully for the terms of participating in the MassChallenge Expert program.
Experts are critical to the success of MassChallenge startups. As part of a global community, MassChallenge Experts have a tremendous opportunity to impact success – not only for the companies that they select and/or work with, but also across a wide range of industries.
Judging: Help identify the next generation of high-impact startups. MassChallenge Judges are industry experts, lawyers, entrepreneurs and investors who review applications and participate on judging panels during the length of a competition.
Mentoring: MassChallenge Mentors serve as strategic sounding boards, connectors, and trusted advisers for some of the highest-impact, highest-potential early-stage companies in the world. Mentors help empower these companies to achieve their goals, both during the accelerator program and beyond.
As a MassChallenge Mentor, you recognize the magnitude of supporting these early-stage companies and agree to provide the best guidance in accordance with the highest ethical standards at all times as you support these companies.
Speaking: MassChallenge Speakers are experts who want to share their knowledge with our startups via structured curriculum events or speaking opportunities.
By participating in the MassChallenge Expert program, you agree to the following:
1.1 Judge Selection
Once you are approved as a Judge, you will have the opportunity to engage in online and in-person rounds of judging with an assigned competition in the location(s) where you expressed an interest. Judging occurs both “online” where Judges assess applications for entry into the program, and “in-person” where Judges watch teams present (in-person or remotely). You must sign up for Round 1 Online Judging to be considered for Round 2 or later Judging.
For in-person rounds, your name and credentials may be provided to pitching startups prior to their pitch in a printed “judge bio book”.
We will do our best to take your primary industry into account when allocating startups to you; however, some of the startups assigned to you may be in fields outside of your primary focus.
1.2 Judge Commitment
This is a completely volunteer program. By participating, you indicate your understanding that Judges are not paid for their time, and that you do not expect anything in return (no equity, no cash, no future contact, etc.).
- Judges will read and rate executive summaries (applications) online
- Judges are expected to provide at least 30 words of written feedback on each application
- Each judge is expected to read a minimum of 10 applications per competition
- Judges may commit to read 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 or more applications
In-Person or Virtual Judging:
- In-person Judging takes place at the MassChallenge offices, partner offices, or online via Zoom.
- Each participating judge may sign up for one or more 4-hour sessions (morning or afternoon)
- Each judge will review 6-8 teams per session (3-4 hours each)
- Each team will have 20 minutes to present (10 min presentation, 10 min Q&A)
- Depending on the competition, there may be subsequent rounds of judging; Judges for subsequent rounds (after in-person judging) must have participated in online judging
- Judges for in-person judging will be invited and confirmed once the demographics of the startup pool and judging needs have been determined
1.3 Judge Confidentiality, Trust, & Openness
All information shared with the Judge by the Startup – either online in their application or in-person/virtually in their pitch – must be treated as confidential and cannot be disclosed by the Judge without the Startup’s permission. Recording, photographing, or “screen-shotting” startup pitches, presentations, applications or other materials is prohibited.
2.1 Mentor Selection
Once you are approved as a Mentor, your name and credentials will be provided to participating teams, as well as MassChallenge alumni members. Teams and alumni will then have the opportunity to select you as their mentor. Importantly, we do not guarantee that you will be “matched” to a team or any alumni, only that such individuals will have the opportunity to match their interests and needs with your skillset.
2.2 Mentor Commitment
- This is a completely volunteer program. By participating you indicate your understanding that Mentors are not paid for their time, and that you do not expect anything in return (no equity, no cash, no future contact, etc.), other than the satisfaction of helping those teams or participants with whom you are matched to assist in developing talents and skills.
- Each Mentorship relationship is different and depending on the team or person to whom you are assigned, you may find that you need to give more, or less time to the commitment. As this arrangement is voluntary, if you find that the needed time commitment exceeds what you are able to give, please let us know so we can work with you and the assigned team or individual to assign adequate resources. In general, the mentoring relationship will continue as long as the team remains in the accelerator program, or for as long as alumni remain participants in MassChallenge. If, after a relationship ends, you are interested in continuing as a mentor, you may be matched with a new mentee.
- Relationships may develop that lead to business transactions after the accelerator program or even after the mentorship relationship ends (for example. teams could use the legal services of a law firm over time). However, by agreeing to be a Mentor, you are acknowledging and agree that the teams shall have no obligation to engage in any compensation-based relationship with Mentors now or in the future.
2.3 Mentor Confidentiality, Trust, & Openness
- All information shared with the Mentor by the Startup team must be treated as confidential and cannot be disclosed by the Mentor without the Startup’s permission.
- Startups may choose to have the Mentors sign a separate Non-Disclosure Agreement setting forth more details concerning the obligations of the Mentor to keep information confidential.
- Notwithstanding the obligation of confidentiality, the relationship between the Startup and the Mentor should be as open as possible so the Mentor can provide the best support.
3.1 Speaker Selection
Once you are approved as a Speaker, you will have the opportunity to engage with the global MassChallenge Finalist cohorts. Your name and credentials will be provided to the startups prior to your presentation via our internal Website.
3.2 Speaker Commitment
This is a completely volunteer program. By participating, you indicate your understanding that Speakers are not paid for their time, and that you do not expect anything in return (no equity, no cash, no future contact, etc.).
MassChallenge will take pictures and create films throughout your presentation, and also make the slide deck available to our startups via the internal website.
3.3 Speaker Confidentiality, Trust, & Openness
All information shared with the Speaker by the Startup team must be treated as confidential and cannot be disclosed by the Speaker without the Startup’s permission.
- The MassChallenge team communicates with Experts through emails with updates, calls to action, and key date reminders throughout the year.
- Experts will also receive the MassChallenge newsletter with information about alumni, partnership events, and other initiatives at MassChallenge.
Use of Expert’s Names, Images and Biographical Data
During the competitions and MassChallenge Programs, we occasionally take photos, make videotapes, and/or make recordings of the events for our records and for promotional purposes. By clicking below and participating as an Expert, you agree that we may use your name, photo, likeness and information about you on our website(s) for the purpose of informing visitors about our programs. We will not use this information for any purpose other than in connection with promoting our services and programs and to document the programs unless we ask you and you permit us to do so in advance.
MassChallenge deeply appreciates the time, commitment and passion of its Experts. Nevertheless, we reserve the right at any time to terminate this agreement and remove an Expert either in the event that an Expert violates these terms (or any of MassChallenge’s other policies) or if, in MassChallenge’s sole discretion, the Expert’s continued affiliation with MassChallenge is not in the best interests of MassChallenge or its participants.
Other MassChallenge Policies and Terms