MassChallenge Texas in Austin Awards $500K In Equity-Free Cash Prizes to Top 5 Startups from Second Accelerator

(AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 18, 2019) – MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, last night awarded $500,000 in equity-free cash prizes to five startups: Collective Liberty, Mens Gold Boxx, Olifant Medical, teleCalm, and Traxyl. The announcement – made during the MassChallenge Texas in Austin Awards Ceremony at the Hilton Austin – caps the second Austin-based program and third MassChallenge Texas accelerator since MassChallenge’s Texas launch in 2017.

In June, MassChallenge Texas invited 74 early-stage startups from around the globe to participate in the Austin-based program. The participating startups received expert mentorship, a tailored curriculum, access to MassChallenge’s global corporate partner network, a six-month complimentary community membership to WeWork, and deals and discounts for industry resources worth more than $250K – all at zero cost and with zero equity taken.

“It’s been a journey to bring MassChallenge Texas to where it is now. Our goal has been to build a connected ecosystem that attracts the world to the Lone Star State to innovate at an accelerated pace. Through this community, we can provide startups the access they need to achieve milestones and goals. It’s been great to see how much we’ve accomplished together in under two years,” said Mike Millard, Managing Director of MassChallenge Texas. “Our efforts have brought together some of the most creative minds from startups, corporates, and local governments to work toward the future by solving problems that will create positive, widespread impact. I’m incredibly proud of everything these startups have achieved in this year’s program, and I’m grateful for everything the community has done to help them. Congratulations to this year’s winners and all of the startups from the 2019 Austin cohort.” 

The 2019 MassChallenge Texas in Austin Awards Ceremony brought together more than 400 top influencers from the Texas innovation community, including potential investors and customers, MassChallenge mentors, and VIP community leaders, to celebrate entrepreneurship and startup innovation. The Awards Ceremony included keynotes from Texas-based influencers Sara T Brand of True Wealth Ventures and whurley about their experiences from working with entrepreneurs, key findings they’ve gleaned from working with successful startups, and insights on how to apply information to influence change and create impact in Texas. The ceremony ended with an interactive startup showcase and afterparty highlighting the participating companies from this year’s Austin program.

Other awards presented include Alumni in Residence recognition of two distinguished alumni from MassChallenge Texas’ inaugural cohort: Sam Lillie, CEO and Founder of Vinder, and John Higley, CEO and Founder of EQO. In addition, the accelerator acknowledged two top experts: Ada Ryland, Founder of Ada Ryland Consulting and Kenan Rappuchi, Founder and Chief Acceleration Officer at Sellerant. MassChallenge Texas also presented the Distinguished Community Leader Award to Robert Pieroni, Director of Economic Development of Central Houston, for his efforts in helping the Austin-based accelerator expand its presence to Houston, Texas.

This year’s MassChallenge Texas prize winners include: 

$150K Diamond Winner

TRAXyL, Inc: (Warrenton, Virginia) Traxyl is dramatically reducing the cost of broadband communications by “painting” optical fiber onto the road surface.

$100K Diamond Winners

Collective Liberty: (Washington, D.C.) Collective Liberty facilitates anti-trafficking collaboration across industries and stakeholders to create ground-breaking, data-driven approaches that work.

Mens Gold Boxx: (Austin, Texas) MensGoldBoxx is a Big & Tall ecommerce revolution. Intuitive customer profiles make finding your fit and style easy. Technology built to be licensed. 

teleCalm, Inc: (Allen, Texas) teleCalm’s phone service can be life-changing for seniors living at home and those in senior living. Keep your elderly loved ones connected longer and protected. 

$50K Gold Winner

Olifant Medical: (San Antonio, Texas) Olifant Medical has developed a stylet technology that overcomes the current barriers to successful tracheal intubation.

About the 2019 MassChallenge Texas Accelerator

In June 2019, 74 of the world’s highest impact, highest potential early-stage startups joined MassChallenge Texas’ second Austin-based cohort.

The 74 startups selected to participate represent the top 10.7% of the applicant pool, as well as:

Five countries
14 U.S. states
Five industries

  • 42% High Tech
  • 26% General 
  • 19% Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • 8% Social Impact 
  • 5% Energy/Clean Tech 

And are 56% female founded

The 74 companies have worked out of the new WeWork Barton Springs space and have access to complimentary, world-wide WeWork community membership for six months. 

MassChallenge Texas Founding Partners

Southwest Airlines, TMAC, WeWork, Upstream, USAA

MassChallenge Texas Civic + Corporate Partners

BAE Systems, Brex, BHP, Central Houston, City of Houston, Ingram Micro, Lionstone, Midway, Houston Texans, San Antonio Spurs, Reliant, Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities, Winstead Attorneys

MassChallenge Texas Event Supporters

AMD, A Player Media, Centrica, Insperity, Juice Consulting, Mattress Firm, Southwest Research Institute, Texas Squared Startup Newsletter

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, 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 2,300 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $5 billion in funding, generated more than $2.7 billion in revenue, and created more than 136,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at