MassChallenge Texas in Austin Announces 2020 Cohort – 2 June 2020
“Today’s entrepreneurs will have a fundamental impact on how efficiently the world recovers from the current economic crisis, and the game-changing startups in this year’s Austin-based cohort are poised to do just that,” said Mike Millard, Managing Director of MassChallenge Texas. “I am incredibly impressed by the founders’ abilities to navigate their businesses through the coronavirus crisis, leveraging the intersection of business and technology to create solutions across agriculture, internet of things, medical devices, manufacturing, and more. These startups have a place helping large organizations recalibrate as they adapt to the new digital-first world. They will pave the way for economic development by getting companies back online, creating jobs, and generating wealth.”
Since March, MassChallenge’s world-class network of investors, serial entrepreneurs, corporate executives, academics, and more have evaluated applications based on each startup’s ability to demonstrate high impact and high potential in their fields. The cohort selected for the Austin program represent:
- 43% healthcare and life sciences
- 31% are high tech
- 22% are general, retail and consumer goods
- 2% are cleantech and energy
- 2% are social impact
- 65% female founded
This year’s cohort includes a new focus area for startups with dual-use solutions in commercial and defense industry applications. The Safety & Security track accelerates, connects, and educates startups with direct or relevance to national defense and public safety, and accelerates their pathways to market and scale. The track provides partners a demonstrated platform to access the next generation of defense-relevant technologies to strengthen the defense innovation ecosystem. Serving as a sub-cohort, startups selected for this track will receive specialized content and connections, tailored to help them grow within the national defense industry.
“Central Texas has is uniquely suited to reach and support emerging commercial tech because of the access to the fast-expanding innovation community here,” said Zach Walker, Defense Innovation Unit Texas Lead. “This includes a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs building useful technologies across different industries. We are excited to connect with the startups in this year’s cohort and help scale the most successful prototypes across the Department for the greatest impact; saving time, money and lives.”
To mitigate the public health risks presented by the novel coronavirus, MassChallenge Texas in Austin’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. This premier experience and access is made available at zero cost and for zero equity.
“MassChallenge Texas has done incredible work since their launch in 2017. Their work with more than 150 startups in Austin has far reaching impact across Central Texas,” said Dana Harris, Vice President of Federal/State Advocacy for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and MassChalleng Texas board member. “I’m excited to see the program make a fast pivot to a virtual accelerator experience in the wake of COVID-19. This further demonstrates their commitment and promise to help organizations manage change and drive economic growth.”
There will be two opportunities for the public to connect with the participating startups at the MassChallenge Virtual Startup Showcase on July 16 and 17 and the MassChallenge Texas in Austin 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.