MassChallenge Announces Global Board of Advisors

The global boards role is to help advise MassChallenge on its global strategy and expansion plans. MassChallenge committed to scale its no-equity accelerator program to ten new cities by the end of 2019 as part of its 2014 Clinton Global Initiative commitment, beginning with MassChallenge UK in London. The global advisory board supplements the global board of directors and program-specific boards of advisors supporting local activities.

We are extremely honored to work with such an illustrious group of global innovation leaders, said MassChallenge Founder and CEO John Harthorne. As we continue to launch new accelerators and unlock immense opportunity for more entrepreneurs around the world, our global board of advisors will play a key role in driving our vision forward.

The MassChallenge Global Board of Advisors include:


Sherry Coutu

Founder and Executive of Founders4Schools, Non-Executive Director of the London Stock Exchange, and Advisory Board member of LinkedIn


Desh Deshpande

Mentor, Co-Founder of the Deshpande Center at MIT and the Deshpande Foundation, Co-founder and Chairman Sycamore Networks, and Life-Member of the MIT Corporation, the Board of Trustees at MIT


Fiona Murray

Associate Dean for Innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Co-Director of MIT Innovation Initiative, William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship, Faculty Director Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and Faculty Director Legatum Center


Akhil Nigam

Cofounder of MassChallenge and Member of the Board of Directors at Goodwill International


Deval Patrick

Former Governor of Massachusetts, Rockefeller Fellow, Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, Author, and Managing Director at Bain Capital


Jeff Swartz

Former CEO of The Timberland Company, Social Entrepreneur, and Member of the Executive Board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee


Lord Rumi Verjee

Member of the UK House of Lords, Founder of The Rumi Foundation, Founder of Dominos Pizza in the United Kingdom, and Proprietor and Chairman of Thomas Goode & Co Ltd


The former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick who has worked with MassChallenge since its founding in 2010 said, MassChallenge is the most exciting business accelerator in the world. I want to be where great ideas are being hatched.


There are several business plan competitions that pick winners. MassChallenge is the first non-profit organization in the world to make winners as opposed to just pick them, said Desh Deshpande, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. MassChallenge not only has the passion for encouraging entrepreneurs but the execution excellence second to none in the business. I am very proud to be associated with this organization.


Biographies of the Board of Advisors can be found on the MassChallenge website:


In May, MassChallenge accepted 218 startups for MassChallenge Boston and MassChallenge UK accelerators. In October, MassChallenge will award over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to winning startups in Boston and London.

About MassChallenge:

MassChallenge runs startup accelerators designed to catalyze a global renaissance by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed. Anyone can apply to MassChallenge, with any early-stage startup, in any industry, from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports.

With programs in Boston, Israel and the UK, MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, office space, education, access to a vast network, and other resources during four months of acceleration. MassChallenge awards over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to the startups demonstrating the highest impact and highest potential. A nonprofit organization, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners. To date, the 617 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $947 million in funding, generated $485 million in revenue and created 5,105 jobs. For more information, visit

Top MassChallenge Boston partners include: Fidelity Investments, Verizon, Microsoft, Bose, IBM, the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, CASIS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The Deshpande Foundation, Jamestown, The Boston Foundation, Bler, American Airlines, Boehringer Ingelheim, Henkel, iNNpulsa Colombia, Zapopan, Pfizer, Smith & Nephew, Turnstone, WGBH Boston, John Hancock, and Honda.

Top MADE@ MassChallenge Sponsors include: Jabil, Lightspeed MFG, MassDevelopment, and Analog Devices.

Top MassChallenge UK partners include: NatWest, Unilever, Visa Europe Collab, Satellite Application Catapult, Digital Catapult, Hult International Business School, Tech City UK, EMC, The Manchester Growth Company, GCHQ, ViiV, UK Business Angels Association, Angels Den, Media City UK, The Landing, Fried Frank Technology, Taylor Wessing, The BIG Partnership, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The Collective, Crowdcube and Tobacco Dock.

Top MassChallenge Israel partners include: The Kraft Group, EMC, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), The Israeli Ministry of Economy, and the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA).


Boston Media Contact

Shannon Sullivan

+ 1 888 782 7820 x 726

UK Media Contact

Hailey Woldt

+ 44(0) 7872 629 960


# # #