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MassChallenge is a $1M global startup competition and accelerator designed to catalyze the launch and success of high-growth, high-impact new businesses. MassChallenge is a 501(c)(3) (non-profit) and does not take equity from startups or place any restrictions on winners. President Obama honored MassChallenge in January of 2011 as one of the nation's best organizations for supporting high-growth entrepreneurs, and MassChallenge was the youngest inaugural member of the Startup America Partnership.
The second annual MassChallenge Competition launched on March 7, 2010 and received ~733 entries by the application deadline on April 11. Ten to twenty winners will be announced on October 20, 2011 and will split $1M in cash awards. The competition is open to anyone in the world, with any new startup, in any industry. Physical activities are based in Massachusetts where innovation resources are highly concentrated -- but there is no requirement for teams to create a physical presence in Massachusetts following the accelerator. Every entrant receives training, feedback, PR and networking support via expert volunteers from partner organizations. 125 of the highest-potential startups receive 3+ months of intensive mentorship and other free resources, including office space and targeted introductions to customers and funding sources. The very best startups are identified by expert judges to receive cash awards toward launching their businesses along with enhanced PR and privileged access to top investors seeking to place seed capital to work in high-growth firms.