Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By Samantha Vidal
I’m not a founder of a startup, nor do I work for one, but whenever I’m around one or more entrepreneurs I get the urge to start my own business. This is exactly the effect that MassChallenge is trying to capitalize on with the launch of their global startup competition.
On April 14 at One Marina Park Drive on South Boston’s Waterfront, entrepreneurs, investors, business and government leaders, and startup enthusiasts gathered at MassChallenge’s launch event to learn more about the opportunity it is bringing to innovators here in Massachusetts and around the world.
The guidelines for the challenge are simple: anyone can enter, with any idea, from anywhere on the planet. Around 100 finalist teams will be chosen to compete and will be paired with a mentor. They will also be given free resources, including targeted introductions to customers and funding sources, lab space, and office space at One Marina Park Drive overlooking the waterfront. Not too shabby for entrepreneurs just starting out. Up to twenty winners will receive cash awards towards launching their businesses in addition to enhanced PR and privileged access to top investors. But where’s the catch, you ask? None here – MassChallenge places no restrictions and takes no equity stake from winners.
The launch drew an A list of supporters including Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick and even a representative from the Obama Administration, Adolfo Carrión, White House Director of Urban Affairs. Governor Patrick spoke of his support of MassChallenge from its inception and Mayor Menino applauded their efforts as well, citing the contribution the competition adds to his vision of the Innovation District, turning the waterfront into an incubator for creative and emerging industries. John Harthorne, founder of MassChallenge, spoke of a greater mission of solving many of the world’s problems through fostering entrepreneurship. The reception after the announcement buzzed with that contagious energy of entrepreneurs networking, a buzz MassChallenge hopes to be felt around the world.
Samantha Vidal is a Website and Marketing Coordinator at MassINC.