MassChallenge Spotlights Next Practice and Inclusion Arm with Strategic Leadership Hire

The global network for innovators welcomes Damon Cox as head of next practice and inclusive growth to advance MassChallenge’s distinct commitment to a stronger future through collaborative and inclusive innovation. 

MARCH 29, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, today announced that Damon Cox will join the non-profit’s executive team as head of next practice and inclusive growth. In this role, Mr. Cox will lead the organization’s efforts to expand into high-impact emerging technology and industry categories while ensuring that current and new work is led through an inclusive lens. The Next Practice and Inclusive Growth arm of MassChallenge solidifies the organization’s belief that inclusion is a key pillar of business dialogue and needs to be part of the DNA of emerging sectors so that the new solutions are built to solve problems for everyone.  Mr. Cox comes to MassChallenge from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where he led the Commonwealth’s emerging technology portfolio around advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cyber security, digital health, fintech, quantum computing, and robotics. 

“Damon has super unique track record supporting entrepreneurs in generation-defining categories by building unexpected partnerships that align public and private stakeholders around a common goal,” said Cait Brumme, Acting CEO for MassChallenge. “At MassChallenge, we are extremely committed to expanding our support for emerging technology entrepreneurs including with an explicit inclusive lens from the start. I can imagine no one better suited to lead this critical work for us than Damon.”

With over two decades of deep industry experience, Cox has a proven track record for developing managing initiatives that drive economic development and promote community wealth through innovation and entrepreneurship. He has held executive-level positions at leading-edge organizations that support growing businesses, including The Boston Foundation, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and most recently the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Cox’s tenure at the Commonwealth saw the deployment of over twenty million dollars to support diversifying tech through engagements with organizations like Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Hack Diversity, and Tech Foundry. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Cox established the MassCyberCenter and Massachusetts Fintech Hub, was signatory of MassBio’s CEO Pledge to diversify the Life Sciences and Biotech field and shepherded the launch of the Accelerating Coronavirus Testing Solutions which deployed three million dollars to companies addressing COVID testing. Across all these experiences, Cox kept a laser focus on catalyzing continued innovation and growth to provide solutions to all audiences who need them. 

“It is with great excitement that I step into this role with MassChallenge and lead their expansion into new markets with inclusion at the center of the work. MassChallenge’s work in industries like HealthTech, FinTech, Sustainable Food, and Defense Innovation have connected entrepreneurial talent to corporate resources to advance the human experience.” said Damon Cox, Head of Next Practice and Inclusive Growth for MassChallenge. “This work to help identify and support the many existing and emerging tech and industry sectors that will address the challenges of today and tomorrow is needed to create a strong future for all; and it is the perfect continuation of the work I have done within philanthropy and state government. Doing this while intentionally being mindful of diversity, equity and inclusion made it even more appealing and will allow me to continue my personal passion and intention to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators from all backgrounds.”

MassChallenge has over a decade of experience accelerating startups, industries, and ecosystems through its portfolio of unique zero-equity programs. While MassChallenge’s alumni boast several unicorns and IPOs in recent years, MassChallenge programs have been designed to provide on-ramps and a focused support system for founders whether they fit or break the venture mold. The non-profit’s long-standing commitment to supporting unconventional founders through its unique no-equity model and outcomes-focused vertical programs provides a strong foundation on which Cox will build.  

Since 2017, Cox has engaged with MassChallenge as a judge and advisory board member. 

MassChallenge is currently accepting applications for early stage programs in the United States and Mexico. Founders interested in submitting an application for either program start their profile at

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