Applications Open for MassChallenge and IBM Second Cohort of Their Mentorship Program for Underrepresented Founders

Boston, MA – April 5, 2022: After an incredibly successful initial cohort (read more HERE), MassChallenge and IBM are excited to announce applications are open for a second round. This cohort will similarly be providing AI mentoring support and resources to high-impact startup with historically underrepresented founders.  In addition to artificial intelligence, IBM is expanding this program to invite startups innovating with cyber and data security. 

Artificial intelligence and security continue to be at the forefront to solve the world’s largest challenges. This program leverages the expertise of IBM volunteers in both of these fields, along with the MassChallenge community committed to cultivating early-stage entrepreneurs. Together, this partnership provides equitable access for underrepresented founders, across all industries, continuing our combined effort to build an inclusive innovation environment for all.

As previously stated, this program strengthens both MassChallenge and IBM’s commitment to support entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations and create more equitable distribution of and access to key resources for growth. 

Applications for the IBM Mentorship program close at 11:59pm ET April 13, 2022.  Accepted startups will be notified by May 3, 2022.

Entrepreneurs interested in the program can start an application here.

The IBM Mentorship program will take place over the course of 3 months beginning May 11 with a virtual kickoff for the cohort. Early-stage startups enrolled in the program will be matched with IBM Mentors who will share their expertise helping them advance their businesses.

Select participating startups will be invited to participate in a Prize Competition where IBM will award $50k in non-cap-table cash prizes. 

AI focus areas that will be prioritized for consideration with this cohort include: 5G Cellular Networks, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), Big Data Analytics, Blockchain, Business Process Automation, Carbon Capture, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Customer Retention / Customer Loyalty, Cybersecurity, Digital, Marketing, Digital Payment, eCommerce, Enterprise Management Software, Imaging, Internet of Things (IOT), Inventory Management, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Predictive Maintenance, Robotics.

  • Apply by 11:59pm ET April 13, 2022. 


About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,900 MassChallenge alumni have raised $8.6B in funding, generated $3.6B in revenue, and created more than 186,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at  

About IBM

IBM’s support of MassChallenge is part of Reigniting Small Business from IBM, a program that provides no-cost education and coaching designed to help small businesses run their companies more effectively as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. As part of the program, IBM volunteers and other industry professionals are available to coach individual entrepreneurs at no cost. Reigniting Small Business from IBM also offers live and on-demand tutorial sessions from program partners and IBM that include primers on topics such as human resources; accounting; funding; legal; and digital branding, marketing and customer relationship strategy.