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MassChallenge Boston Accelerator

Mentorship and Resource Opportunities to
USA, Canada, and International High-Impact Startups

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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MassChallenge (MC) Early Stage Accelerator Program

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/31/21 12:00 PM ET


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Mentorship and resource opportunities to USA, Canada, and International startup businesses that participate in a cohort-based program in Boston. Registration is required prior to submitting a full application. This program is designed to support innovators from different sectors by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed.

MassChallenge Boston

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators that equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and create meaningful change. With more than a decade of experience, its proven methodology accelerates the innovation potential of high-growth businesses and startups as they address some of the biggest challenges across industries, impacting the way people live, work, and play.

MassChallenge's US-based early-stage organizations in Austin, Boston, Houston, and Rhode Island attract top talent and entrepreneurs to the regions and provide access to the tools and resources founders need to set roots and grow. MassChallenge is committed to advancing new technologies and innovations that will have a widespread impact across business, industry, and economic growth.

Program Benefits + Tracks

  • Zero cost and for zero equity
  • Connections to leading experts and mentors, top corporate innovation teams, and a deep network of investors
  • Evidence-based and tailored curriculum designed to help you excel in each stage of your early lifecycle
  • Join the network of over 2,500 alumni worldwide
  • Scholarships from partner organizations

MassChallenge runs tracks to strengthen innovation across key challenge areas identified by its corporate and government partners. In 2021, the tracks include:

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, partners a demonstrated platform to access the next generation of defense-relevant technologies and strengthen the defense innovation ecosystem. 

Enterprise Technology

The Enterprise Technology Fellowship will support a select group of early stage companies building 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.

The US Air Force Lab

MassChallenge Boston runs The US Air Force Lab on behalf of the U.S Airforce. Labs is an initiative to support the goal of innovation at speed for the defense industry. This select program is designed to de-risk and grow cutting edge technologies and startups awarded that are addressing national security challenges.

Note: MassChallenge plans to host this year’s accelerator and competition in a completely virtual experience, until world events allow.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 152714

Estimated Size of Grant:

Over $1M in cash prizes and scholarships will be given.

Term of Contract:

This is a four-month accelerator.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are accepted for early stage startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. If your startup has raised less than $1M in equity-based funding, generated less than $2M in annual revenue, and is set to make a big impact in your industry or on the world, you’re an eligible candidate.

MassChallenge judges look for high-impact startups, with a viable path to success and some traction/progress in their plans.

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, MassChallenge will remain virtual until world events allow, at which point, hybrid opportunities will be considered.)

Pre-proposal Conference:

Attend the Idea to IPO applications launch event to learn more!

MassChallenge: From Idea to IPO

February 17, 2021, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM ET / 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CT

The journey from idea to IPO is full of twists and turns. Hear how two expert CEOs stayed laser-focused on impact amidst uncertainty, successfully taking their startups public during the COVID pandemic.

This exclusive MassChallenge event will feature Thomas Healy, CEO of Hyliion (MC Boston 2015), and Armon Sharei, CEO of SQZ BioTech (MC Boston 2014).

Speakers will share directly from their combined 20+ years of business and entrepreneurship experience to provide clear takeaways for all founders, whether you are tinkering a new idea or raising your next round. Attendees can expect to gain insight into the key decisions that guided each startup towards IPO, including co-founders, early hires, culture, and investors. Those in attendance will also hear details about the upcoming MassChallenge 2021 program and the application deadline.

3 Reasons To Attend:
- Hear from successful founders who have taken their startup to IPO.
- Take home practical advice for all founders.
- Learn about MassChallenge’s 2021 applications.

Sign up:

Already registered? Log In to access the event:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for MassChallenge’s 2021 early stage programs open Feb 18 and close March 31st, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET.

- Applications Open: 17 February 2021
- Applications Close: 31 March 2021
- Online Judging: April - May 2021
- Finalist Announcement: June 2021
- Accelerator Program: June - October 2021
- Final Judging Rounds: September - October 2021
- MassChallenge Awards: October 2021

MassChallenge uses a competition model to select its startups. Prospective MassChallenge startups submit application(s) for the MassChallenge accelerator program(s) they would like to join. After submitting the application, startups will participate in one or two rounds of judging. At the end of these judging rounds, the highest-impact and highest-potential startups are invited to participate in the accelerator as Finalists.

How to apply:
1. Register at by creating your user profile.
2. Create your startup profile.
3. Submit the application fee ($99 USD before the regular deadline).
4. Complete and submit your application.

How to Apply:
Register as an Entrepreneur:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

To learn more about the program, please contact

Contact Form:

MassChallenge, Inc.
21 Drydock Ave, Suite 610E
Boston MA 02210

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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