MassChallenge Rhode Island Announces 2020 Cohort – 2 June, 2020

30 early-stage, high-impact startups to access global network of support and resources. Two dates set for the public to connect with the new cohort online. MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, today announced the 30 early-stage startups invited to participate in the 2020 MassChallenge Rhode Island program. Selected by a community of more than 100 expert judges, this year’s cohort is extremely competitive and represents the top 10% of applications from around the world.

“Congratulations to the 30 incredible companies accepted into our 2020 cohort,” said Hope Hopkins, Managing Director of MassChallenge Rhode Island. “MassChallenge has a longstanding mandate of empowering entrepreneurs – this year, that mandate is critical: we look forward to working with you closely and ensuring that you are successful agents of progress.”

“Hasbro is excited to partner with MassChallenge Rhode Island again this year.  As a homegrown Rhode Island company where innovation is our lifeblood, we understand the needs of startups and how important access to the mentorship, funding opportunities, and curriculum are to help these startups set roots and grow,” Brian Chapman, President and Head of Global Design and Development, Toy/Game/Consumer Products at Hasbro stated. “We are excited to help them connect here in Rhode Island and look forward to working with these startups in developing their businesses.”

At the beginning of the year MassChallenge set out to meet top startups around the globeas for this year’s program. Since March, the program’s world-class network of investors, serial entrepreneurs, corporate executives, academics, and more have evaluated the Rhode Island applicants based on each startup’s ability to demonstrate high impact and high potential in their fields.

The cohort selected for this year’s Rhode Island program represent:

  • 3 Countries
  • 5 Industries
    • 37% High Tech
    • 30% Healthcare/Life Sciences
    • 13% General, Retail and Consumer Goods
    • 10% Energy/Clean Tech
  • 10% Social Impact
  • 56% of startups have a female founder

A Focus on Blue Tech

To accelerate the tools and technologies that could transform how we understand and leverage the power of the ocean, MassChallenge Rhode Island is taking the lead in launching MassChallenge’s Blue Tech track.  This pilot highlights a new focus area for the program 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.

Addressing COVID-19

To mitigate the public health risks presented by the novel coronavirus, MassChallenge Rhode Island’s 2020 accelerator will begin virtually and plans to 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 at zero cost and for zero equity.

The public will have two opportunities to connect with the cohort the first is during the MassChallenge Virtual Startup Showcase on July 16 and 17 and the latter at the  2020 Awards ceremony to be held in October. . More information and RSVP details will be shared on the MassChallegne website when the accelerator kicks off later this month.

Click to read the press release and the full list of companies in the Rhode Island 2020 cohort