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By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
BOSTON – More than 1,600 startups from 41 U.S. states and 50 countries have applied for the 2014 MassChallenge competition, a worldwide contest now in its fifth year, the startup accelerator announced Friday.
The 2014 competitors represent MassChallenge’s “largest and most diverse applicant pool to date,” and a 35 percent increase over last year’s competition, which attracted approximately 1,200 entrants from 40 countries.
“Our engaged network of alumni, sponsors and partners helped deliver this substantial increase in applications,” said Karl Büttner, chief mentorship officer for MassChallenge. “Their tremendous support, both here in Boston and in communities across the globe, has enabled the growth of both the program and the value provided to entrepreneurs.”
About half of the 2014 applicants are headquartered in New England, MassChallenge said, while 30 percent are international startups. Israel boasted the highest number of international applicants with more than 150 startups joining the competition. Other leading countries include the United Kingdom, Colombia and Mexico.
One hundred and twenty-eight of the 1,600 entrants will be selected to participate in MassChallenge’s four-month accelerator program beginning in June. Finalists will be announced May 21, and competition winners will receive more than $1.5 million in grants at an awards ceremony on Oct. 21.
Additional benefits for MassChallenge finalists include intensive mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media and more than $15 million of in-kind support.
Last year, Cape Commons Brewing Co. won a $50,000 share of the 2013 competition winnings, the only Rhode Island company to receive a cash award. Another Rhode Island company, Lincoln-based Calista Therapeutics, competed as a MassChallenge finalist but did not win a cash prize.