What does MassChallenge look for in a startup?
MassChallenge judges look for high-impact startups, with a viable path to success and some traction/progress in their plans.
Do you fund companies that are competitive with each other?
MassChallenge is an industry agnostic accelerator that supports early-stage startups across industries. We rely on our community of expert judges to select the highest-potential solutions – regardless of whether startups are in direct or indirect competition with each other.
Do I have to be in the MassChallenge location for the entire 4-month period?
MassChallenge does not require startups to work full time out of its offices. Whether in person or virtual, it is highly recommended given the rigorous programming, active mentorship, and serendipitous encounters that happen often in the space. (Note: In 2021, we will remain virtual until world events allow at which point, we will consider hybrid opportunities.)
Will 2021’s accelerators be virtual?
MassChallenge plans to host this year’s accelerator and competition in a completely virtual experience, until world events allow. If we are able to and comfortable convening in groups later in the year, we are prepared to explore a hybrid option and will keep virtual an option for those who cannot or are not comfortable being in person.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the program?
Acceptance is determined by our diverse community of expert judges who have been recruited and trained to identify the highest-impact startups across industries.
Where will we live while we’re there?
Startups who are accepted and decide to visit or live in the location of your MassChallenge program will have access to a list of resources to support their housing search.
Do I need to send in a business plan?
While a formal business plan is not required to apply, many elements will be incorporated into the application, including the problem, solution, and impact of your venture. Should a startup advance into further judging rounds, a slide deck will be required for the 20-minute in-person pitch.
What is your policy on intellectual property protection?
Protection of intellectual property rights (ex. patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, etc.) of your concept is your responsibility and your responsibility alone. If you have an idea or product that you might want to patent, we strongly recommend speaking to a lawyer before submitting information about this idea to MassChallenge.
Information you include in your application will be shared with the set of expert judges that review your application. Please note that these judges do NOT sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Therefore, you should not include any information in your application that you feel could be harmful to your company should that information be disclosed.
Note that applying to MassChallenge is very similar to presenting your idea to potential investors. Very few investors (Venture Capitalists or "angel investors") will agree to sign an NDA before even hearing your initial pitch. It is up to you to determine the right balance between sharing enough information to get people interested and to give you credibility - and sharing information that could potentially be damaging to your company if it were to be disclosed.