MassChallenge awards $100K in grants to two R.I. startups

PROVIDENCE – MassChallenge has awarded $100,000 in equity-free prizes to two Rhode Island startups, Graphene Composites USA and Nautilus Defense LLC, the organization announced Thursday at the 2020 MassChallenge U.S. Virtual Awards Ceremony.

GC USA was awarded the $75,000 Platinum award while Nautilus Dense was awarded the $25,000 Gold award at the virtual ceremony.

GC USA combines graphene and aerogel to make light, resilient products, while Nautilus Defense builds advanced textile and composite-integrated systems for monitoring structural assets and their environments, MassChallenge said.

The organization’s most recent Rhode Island program cohort included 30 startups from three countries and six states.

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“Over the last four months, we’ve seen the Rhode Island ecosystem double-down on its commitment to founders, entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Hope Hopkins, managing director of MassChallenge Rhode Island. “These stakeholders are the cornerstone of our community and their efforts to advance startups from areas in and outside of New England has helped spark entrepreneur-driven economic growth during this uncertain time. These efforts were a success. The 30 startups ended the program with $12.2 million in funding, $2.7 million in revenue, and 167 jobs across the cohort.”