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MassChallenge and MITRE Select 10 Startups for the MITRE Social Innovation Mentorship Program

The selected cohort will work with and receive mentorship from MITRE experts across five challenge areas: advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI), BlueTech, cybersecurity, and digital health.

Boston, MA (January 17, 2023) – MassChallenge, in partnership with MITRE, today announced a cohort of ten startups participating in the MITRE Social Innovation Mentorship Program. The selected companies, all led by founders from under-represented backgrounds, impressed judges with their high-impact, innovative work. The startups’ solutions fit within the program’s five challenge areas, derived from MITRE’s horizon strategies: advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI), BlueTech, cybersecurity, and digital health.

Meet the ten startups here.

“Collaborative innovation, and equitable access to resources, are at the heart of MassChallenge’s mission. This program will pair high-potential startups with MITRE’s subject matter experts, breaking down barriers to partnership in hopes of fostering outsized impact on some of our nation’s greatest challenges,” said Hope Hopkins, Head of Global Accelerator Programs, MassChallenge.

Over the course of the program’s two-month working period, startups will work with mentors and subject matter experts at MITRE. They will meet at least bi-weekly, working together on the technical aspects of the startups’ solutions, their strategic growth plans, and potential synergies with MITRE’s research interests and federal sponsors.

 Supriya Jaiswal, founder of Astrileux, one of the ten startups selected for the program remarked, “welcoming a new era in computing performance, Astrileux is excited to work with the MITRE Corporation to catalyze the resurgence of US leadership in advanced manufacturing, re-imagine the semiconductor landscape and accelerate the future.”

Program activities also include an orientation boot camp, “fireside chats” on technical topics and social innovation from MITRE experts, and access to MassChallenge’s proven acceleration resources and network. The program will culminate in a final showcase with private and public sector stakeholder attendees. Save the date and register now for the event on March 14, from 2-3:15pm ET.

KG Charles-Harris, co-founder and CEO of Quarrio, another company in the program, said “it’s an honor to be selected for the MITRE mentorship program. As a central driver of innovation and social advancement across the public and private sectors, we expect to learn how to participate in building our nation for the next generation.”

As MassChallenge launches this program with MITRE one day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the imperative to promote a diverse, inclusive, and impactful entrepreneurship ecosystem is strongly felt. This program reflects a commitment to supporting entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations, and dismantling barriers founders may face. 100% of the startups indicate they are led by a BIPOC-founder, and 60% are led by a female-identifying founder. Previous, similarly-focused mentorship programs led by MassChallenge have been tremendously successful, including two recent cohorts of the IBM AI and Security Mentorship Program for Historically Underrepresented Founders. 

Titilayo Ogunyale, principal at MITRE and leader of the company’s corporate social innovation program, said, “effective mentorships can be the greatest difference between a startup that struggles and one that succeeds. This is especially true for entrepreneurs of color who have traditionally experienced more barriers to entry than their peers. By pairing MITRE’s subject matter experts with BIPOC founders, we are aiming to create a more supportive and inclusive eco-system for these startups to thrive and help strengthen our nation’s STEM infrastructure.”

Please join us for a concluding showcase to hear directly from the ten startups, and their MITRE mentors on March 14, 2023. Save the date and register here!

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with eight locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 3,000 startups have participated in a MassChallenge program and non-profit has awarded over $17M in equity-free cash and prizes. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.

About MITRE

MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and as an operator of federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. Learn more at mitre.org.