Diverse set of early-stage startups poised to accelerate growth and scale through MassChallenges’ unique innovation network
July 11, 2021 – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, today announces the 250 early-stage startups invited to participate in its U.S.-based early-stage accelerator program across its US-hubs in Austin, Boston, Dallas, Houston, and Providence (R.I.).
MassChallenge is a unique innovation network, with five hubs in the U.S., 8 globally, and has had presence in over 20 countries. Startups that go through MassChallenge’s cohorts and programs are given unparalleled mentorship and partnership, as well as equity-free cash prizes up to $1M each year for the startups that compete in the annual competition. This means that MassChallenge takes no financial stake in the future success of the startup and provides founders runway to continue to scale their businesses and use the prize money to put their ideas to work.
“At MassChallenge, we know that innovative ideas come from anywhere, whether they fit or break the traditional venture mold. We are proud to be the global innovation network that provides founders with competition-based accelerator programs and access to mentorship, funding, and enterprise partners for no-equity and no-cost; no strings attached,” said Hope Hopkins, Head of Acceleration for MassChallenge. “We’re in the business of solving massive challenges, and to do that, we must continue to support diverse founders with bold ideas across geographies, industry verticals, and demographics in creative ways that allow them to wholly own their ideas and solve some of our world’s most pressing problems.”
This year’s cohort will have access to MassChallenge’s new residency program which allows founder teams in the cohort the opportunity to travel to MassChallenge’s U.S.-based hubs, using office and collaboration space in key innovation ecosystems. This has already been underway in Boston and Houston and will expand to the non-profit’s other US locations at the start of this cohort, and throughout the year. In addition, founders will be able to take advantage of a newly launched market access program to build their network with key stakeholders in MassChallenge physical communities alongside world-class mentorship, digital curriculum and resources.
This year, 250 startups were invited to participate in the US Early-Stage Cohort, more than one-third are in the healthcare/life sciences space, another third in high tech, and the remainder across energy/clean-tech and social impact. The top three sub-verticals this year are Medical Devices, Enterprise Software, and Healthcare IT, demonstrating recent trends in venture capital funding for High Tech and deep science. Collectively the cohort represents 42 countries.
MassChallenge continues to make strides in diversifying the founders in the network. This year, 46.4% of startups have at least one BIPOC founder and 37.2% have at least one female or non-binary founder. This is core to MassChallenges’ mission of driving equitable outcomes for all founders and expanding access to funding and networks that remain largely in favor of the traditional venture model. You can find out more about MassChallenge’s commitment to DEI here.
To learn more about the startups and the program, visit: https://readymag.com/MassChallenge/USES2022/
MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with eight locations worldwide, it is the non-profit’s mission to help bold entrepreneurs disrupt the status quo and create sustainable change. Since launching in 2009, MassChallenge has run programs in 18 countries, supported more than 3,000 startups from around the world, and awarded over $17M in equity-free cash and prizes. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.