Our Origins

MassChallenge was founded with a singular purpose – to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to launch and grow new ventures. 

MassChallenge co-founders John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam were working as strategy consultants at Bain & Company during the global economic recession in 2008. It was at this time that John and Akhil envisioned a creative, inspired society in which everyone is empowered and has the resources to maximize their impact. 

In 2010, John and Akhil launched the nonprofit MassChallenge to create a global movement to support entrepreneurship. With a proven no-strings attached model and global reach, MassChallenge works to reprioritize impact and to put value creation at the heart of the global economy.





MassChallenge strengthens the global innovation ecosystem by accelerating high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world.