MassChallenge Boston Announces 2020 Cohort – 2 June, 2020
“The MassChallenge Boston program stands on more than a decade’s worth of proven experience working with entrepreneurs and corporate organizations to help accelerate innovation and drive economic growth,” stated Damon Cox, Assistant Secretary for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Commonwealth of Massachusetts and MassChallenge Advisory Board member. “I am excited that the program has pivoted to a virtual model to continue the essential work of supporting startups that eventually go on to create jobs and drive economic growth in Massachusettes and beyond.”
“MassChallege’s mission is to solve massive challenges by unlocking the power of entrepreneurs and innovators. This cohort is leveraging frontier technology to take on the challenges of our time – affordable housing, Alzheimer’s disease, the extreme cost of clinical trials, and climate change. We are 100% committed to playing our role in helping Massachusetts and the world recover by accelerating this next generation of founders,” said Cait Brumme, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston. “Additionally, we remain committed to our role in driving towards a more inclusive ecosystem.” This year, we are proud to share that 58% of the Boston cohort has at least one female founder.
Since March, MassChallenge’s world-class network of investors, serial entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and academics have evaluated applications based on each startup’s ability to demonstrate high impact and high potential in their fields. This year’s 2020 Boston cohort reflects an exceptional cross-section of innovators from all industries and from 12 countries around the globe. Top industries include:
- 34% High Tech
- 32% Healthcare and Life sciences
- 19% General, which includes materials, hardware, retail and consumer goods
- 11% Social Impact
- 4% Cleantech and Energy
MassChallenge’s 2020 cohort represents several emerging industry trends including:
- The meteoric increase in artificial intelligence and machine learning across all industries
- Biotechnology as the life science category to watch
- Sustainability across industries and sectors, with 20% of applicants and finalists having a green or clean focus
2020 PROGRAM + FOCUS AREAS
To accelerate innovation in emerging industries, MassChallenge Boston will accelerate its second sub-cohort in the Safety and Security track and has introduced a new opportunity to strengthen innovation across the Enterprise Technology, where there has been a strong uptick in activity. Serving as a sub-cohort within the MassChallenge Boston program, these tracks support promising startups with specialized content and connections, tailored to help them grow within these industries.
Safety and Security
Select startups will receive specialized support and resources as part of the program’s Safety and Security track. The Safety and Security track accelerates, connects and educates startups with direct or potential relevance to national defense and public safety applications accelerate their commercial and defense pathways to scale. S&S track, now in its second year, provides partners a demonstrated platform to access the next generation of defense-relevant technologies and strengthen the defense innovation ecosystem. S&S is sponsored by BAE Systems, Mitre, Draper, Mitsubishi America, the U.S Airforce, and Raytheon.
The Enterprise Technology Fellowship will support a select group of early stage companies build towards the next generation of enterprise technology and service platforms related to security, data management and artificial intelligence. Fellows will receive specialized support from sponsors and a select network of experts addressing critical startup-barriers to success. Enterprise Technology is sponsored also by KPMG, LLC.
The Blue Tech track is a new focus area for that will help select startups from across our US-based programs explore, develop, and deploy new technologies that will help us harness the power of the ocean. It is MassChallenge’s goal to bring together maritime leaders with startups that have the ideas and tools needed to deepen our use of the ocean including aquaculture, ballast water, defense and security, fishing, logistics and supply chain, marine pharmaceuticals, and more. Participants will have access specific experts in the local Blue Tech space including government organizations, research and development centers, and innovation groups.
To mitigate the public health risks presented by the novel coronavirus, MassChallenge Boston’s 2020 accelerator will begin virtually and will transition to a hybrid of digital and in-person programming when the organization can ensure the health and safety of its community. Participating startups will engage in an evidence-based curriculum designed to address key challenges across the early-stage lifecycle and will receive unrivaled access to experienced mentors, a global network of experts, top corporate partners, and more – all provided at zero cost and for zero equity.
The public will have two opportunities to connect with the cohort at the MassChallenge Virtual Startup Showcase on July 16 and 17 and the MassChallenge Boston 2020 Awards at the end of the program. More information and RSVP details will be shared on the MassChallegne website when the accelerator kicks off later this month.