Massachusetts is at the forefront of innovation and there’s no better example of that than MassChallenge. The startup accelerator officially opened applications for its 2014 class on Wednesday, February 12th. Now celebrating its 5th anniversary, MassChallenge will be welcoming its upcoming class into its brand new office space at the Innovation & Design Building in Boston’s Innovation District. The new space is a short walk from the current headquarters at One Marina Park. In officially launching its 2014 class, MassChallenge also made a couple of big announcements. This year’s prize pot will be increased from $1M to $1.5M and, more importantly, after a successful implementation of MassChallenge Israel, a new program in London will be launched in 2015.
From its start 5 years ago, Governor Deval Patrick has been a strong supporter of MassChallenge, and he was there Wednesday to not only celebrate the 2014 launch, but also to celebrate, as MassChallenge Founder & President Akhil Nigam noted, the fact that Massachusetts is “the best place in the world if you’re thinking about launching your business.” Governor Patrick highlighted the fact that Massachusetts is poised to continue its economic growth due to our “education, innovation, and infrastructure,” which truly sets us part.
What MassChallenge is doing, and has been doing for the past 5 years, is not only supporting and helping startups grow, but also, showcasing to some of the world’s brightest and most innovative entrepreneurs, just how wonderful a place Massachusetts is to start, run and grow a business. MassChallenge finalists come from all over the country and even the world, and many of them choose to continue the growth of their business in Massachusetts after leaving the MassChallenge program. The resources & network these companies are exposed to while a part of the program only helps to further enhance the state’s reputation as a great place to do business.
A recent study by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative revealed that, in comparison to nine other states studied, Massachusetts leads everyone with 38% of jobs in the innovation economy. The study also found that Massachusetts has added 50,000 new innovation-economy jobs since 2006. MassChallenge is surely playing some role in those statistics as their alumni have accounted for the creation of some 4,000 jobs since their inception.
MassChallenge is just one of the many organizations helping to put Massachusetts at the forefront of both innovation and economic growth. The organization has done a great job in its first 4 years and seems poised to continue with the same level of energy and impact in 2014.
To learn more about MassChallenge or to apply for their 2014 accelerator, visit their website here.