U.S. Early Stage

Our U.S. Early-Stage program attracts top founders from around the world and provides access to the tools, resources, and talent founders and corporate innovators needed to make transformational impact, without taking any equity. MassChallenge is committed to advancing new technologies and innovations that will have a widespread impact across business, industry, and economic growth.   

Get to know MassChallenge and our team at an upcoming Meet MassChallenge event.
Learn more about our US office locations  here.  

“I learned so much in that four-month period. I was able to greatly build upon my business acumen, increase my confidence to sit at the bigger tables and have access to those nuanced cheat codes that are more available to the typical white cis-male entrepreneur. It was a game-changing experience for me.”

Janice Omadeke, Founder and CEO of The Mentor Method.


  • Unrivaled access to 40+ global corporate partners including BAE Systems, Carta, First Republic Bank, Fundify, IBM, and more
  • World-class mentoring from 400+ experts and tailored programming provided with no equity taken in return 
  • The opportunity to compete for non-dilutive cash prizes and other in-kind awards 
  • United States-specific advice on regulations and tax, easy access to the international markets, and strong trade links 
  • A proven model that has helped more than 65% of finalists raise funds during or immediately after the program 
  • Participation in location-based market access program 
  • Residency opportunities by location 

Find more information and answers to frequently asked questions here



Application Drive

March 8 - April 22

R1 Judging

April 11 - May 2

R1 Selections Notified

May 9

R2 Judging

June 1 - June 15

R2 Selections Notified

June 22

Accelerator Program

July 11 - Sep 23

Startups Eligibility Guidelines

Early-stage startups, in general, have raised less than ~$1M in equity-based funding and generated less than ~$2M in revenue in the last 12 months. Please note these are guidelines, not firm requirements. While funding and revenue are important factors, we also look at team strength, product/market fit, customer traction, and the potential for impact. 

What are Industry Tracks?

Operating within the MassChallenge Early Stage program, Industry Tracks leverage MassChallenge's infrastructure to surface and connect select early-stage startups to specialized resources and curriculum. Startups interested in participating will be invited to apply to specific tracks upon their acceptance into the EarlyStage program. Startups DO NOT need to be in any of these industries to apply to MassChallenge. Industry Tracks are simply an option. In 2022, our tracks include: 

Safety and Security 

Startups with a direct or potential relevance to national security and public safety challenges, also known as “dual-use” application in the commercial and governmental/military sectors. This year’s Safety and Security track will include a blue tech focus for those working on undersea technologies and innovations.

Space Commercialization 

Startups ushering in the next era of space innovation with technologies across human health, performance, recovery, materials science, analytics, advanced manufacturing, and robotics that have an application in space. 

Climate Solutions 

Startups  with technologies that impact GHG emissions and similar climate challenges. 

"If you asked me in 2016 if I thought that NASA would be one of our bigger funders or partners, the answer would have been no. Not because I could not imagine it, but because there was no direct path to doing any of that research.”
Dr. Nicole Wagner, President and CEO

"Our mentors really pushed us to take the next step with our company. As MassChallenge grows, they have a bigger and bigger network that we can leverage. Making that step and seeing the impact our product had was incredible." 

Erin Keaney, COO of Nonspec, Boston Cohort 2017 


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“Startups in our U.S. Earl Stage accelerators represent innovation at its core. From addressing mental health, to electric vehicles, and new ways to pay for education, MassChallenge entrepreneurs will greatly impact how we effectively and efficiently address global challenges. Every incoming cohort never ceases to amaze me with their ingenuity and commitment to leverage the intersection of business and technology and create sustainable change.”

Cait Brumme, CEO of MassChallenge 

Early Stage Partners

You can find more information on Partner Benefits here.



Learn more about the program and eligibility requirements in our FAQ.





Our mission is to equip bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change.