MassChallenge Awards $1.7M in Cash Prizes to Top Startups in Boston and Rhode Island

October 17, 2018, BOSTON – MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, tonight awarded $1 million in cash prizes to 15 of the highest-impact startups from the 2018 Boston accelerator and $500,000 to two startups in partnership with CASIS & Boeing to fund research projects on the International Space Station. New this year, PepsiCo also awarded $150,000 to two startups that are developing innovative solutions in the business services and food & beverage spaces.

In addition to celebrating the most-promising startups in Boston, the ninth-annual MassChallenge Awards also honored winners from the inaugural MassChallenge Rhode Island accelerator, which awarded shares of $50,000 to three startups.

“Everyone dreams of changing the world, but very few people actually set out to do it,” said Kiki Mills Johnston, Managing Director, MassChallenge Boston. “It’s been incredible to engage with top entrepreneurs as they develop solutions to dramatically improve our society – from the way we live to the way we work. We are proud to collaborate with the powerful innovation communities in Boston, Rhode Island, and around the world to ensure that any entrepreneur – regardless of background or industry – has the opportunity to turn their world-changing ideas into realities. Congratulations to this year’s winners and to all of the startups from our 2018 cohort!”

Held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the 2018 MassChallenge Awards brought together more than 1,600 corporates, policy makers, and innovation enthusiasts across industries and from regions around the world. Kicking off with a showcase of more than 150 startups (128 in the Boston cohort and 30 in Rhode Island), the night also featured on-stage pitches from the accelerator’s top startups and an inspiring keynote from Stefania Mallett, Co-Founder and CEO of ezCater.

Over the course of the four-months, startups in the Boston and Rhode Island accelerators have leveraged expert mentorship, tailored programming, corporate partnerships, and industry resources to accelerate their efforts – all at zero cost and for zero equity. In addition, entrepreneurs in Boston also had the opportunity to build and refine physical products in the MADE@MassChallenge R&D lab.

To select this year’s prize winners, MassChallenge tapped the expertise of industry visionaries who evaluated each startup based on their ability to demonstrate growth and impact. To follow the accelerator journey and conversation, search the hashtag #MCAwards18.



Massachusetts | High Tech

Provides aerial intelligence and analytics to the construction industry to yield time and cost efficiencies.


CBC Wind Energy

Rhode Island | Clean Tech 

Cost effectively produces renewable, resilient power in built environments, including urban and coastal areas.


T-Var EdTech

Rhode Island | High Tech 

Designs and sells devices that teach children of all abilities how to read.


$100K Diamond Winners

EBT Medical

Canada | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Develops novel, discreet, non-invasive neurostimulation therapies for the enormous under treated overactive bladder market.


Infinite Cooling

Massachusetts | Clean Tech

Disrupts the way power plants use water by capturing and recycling evaporative losses in cooling towers.


Mobile Pixels

Massachusetts | General

Lets users pack their productivity anywhere you go – whether you’re working ina. Hotel room or in a café.


WatchTower Robotics

Massachusetts | High Tech

Uses robots to help water pipe operators find leaks, save water, and protect infrastructure.


$75K Platinum Winners

Oxalo Therapeutics

Illinois | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Biotech company developing a novel drug to prevent kidney stones using breakthroughs in microbiome research.



Massachusetts | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Creates the Operating Room in a Backpack, protecting patients and providers any time, any place.


$50K Gold Winners


Massachusetts | High Tech

Provides user experience-as-a-service for customers.


Boston Materials LLC

Massachusetts | General

Creating a revolutionary three-dimensionally reinforced carbon fiber composite.



Massachusetts | General

Makes household green cleaners that actually clean.


IQ Bar

Massachusetts | General

Makes and sells brain fuel nutrition bars packed with six functional nutrients and hit the Keto + Paleo + Vegan trifecta.



Massachusetts | Social Impact

Creates magnetic markers for zero waste plastic packaging.



Massachusetts | General

Empowers media artists and businesses with a complete blockchain infrastructure to publish, license, and monetize their content directly.



Massachusetts | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Revolutionizing treatment of ear infections with minimally invasive, antifouling, drug delivery ear tube implants.


Project Alianza

Massachusetts | Social Impact

Fills the rural education gap in Nicaragua by building, developing, and staffing robust primary schools on privately-owned coffee farms.



New York | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Provides fast, accurate, and mobile nutrition deficiency testing.


CASIS and Boeing Prize

Kernal Biologics

Massachusetts | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Developing onco-selective mRNA therapeutics for cancer.



England | Healthcare / Life Sciences

Creates targeted delivery of chemotherapy with a fast time-to-market.


PepsiCo Prize


Massachusetts | General

Excites palates with authentic, delicious, and nutrient-rich beverages in hibiscus, moringa, and baobab.



Maine | Social Impact

Social app and global community connecting breastfeeding women over milk, motherhood, and the best places to nurse and pump.


About MassChallenge:

MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, Texas, and the UK, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, more than 1,500 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $3 billion in funding, generated over $2 billion in revenue, and created over 80,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at

Top MassChallenge Boston Partners:

Altria, Autodesk, Bose, BNY Mellon, The Boston Consulting Group, The Boston Foundation, CASIS, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, CVS Health, Deshpande Foundation, Draper, FM Global, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Henkel, Honda, Jamestown, Microsoft, MITRE, PAN Communications, PepsiCo, PTC, PwC, Stanley, Black & Decker.

MassChallenge Rhode Island Partners:

Altus Dental, Amica Mutual Insurance, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, FM Global, Rhode Island Foundation, Verizon Foundation.