BOSTON – Gov. Deval L. Patrick last week joined Mayor Marty Walsh and MassChallenge founder Akhil Nigam to announce the 2014 startup-accelerator competition, a worldwide contest now in its fifth year.
MassChallenge also announced the anticipated launch of MassChallenge UK in London in December 2014. MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne joined the event via video conference from Tel Aviv to simultaneously kick off the MassChallenge Israel 2014 program.
MassChallenge is the world’s largest startup accelerator, and, according to a statement, the first to support high-impact, early stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. More than $1 million in cash prizes is awarded to winning startups, with zero equity taken. Additional benefits include world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media and more than $15 million of in-kind support.
To date, the competition has supported 489 startups, created more than 3,900 new jobs and raised $472 million in outside funding, Patrick’s office said in a statement. In 2013, MassChallenge received approximately 1,200 applications from 40 countries and 30 states. Twenty-five companies received cash awards through MassChallenge, totaling $1,525,000. •