Guest post from Phil Santoro, Verizon’s media relations guy in MA.
In case you have not heard about the MassChallenge, it is the largest-ever startup program/competition that offers high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to accelerate their business. Once an entrepreneur is selected into this challenge, s/he will have access to key resources, mentorship, and office space during the accelerator program and the opportunity to win part of the $1.1 million.
Verizon is playing a major role in this year’s MassChallengeas a diamond (top) sponsor. This is an exciting opportunity for us as we continue to seek out startups with whom we can partner so that we are able to innovate and bring more cutting edge products and services to market. (Side note, for those not in the know, Verizon provides funding to select startups, check out this post about Verizon Ventures.)
Last week, I attended the launch ceremony of this challenge held at MassChallenge’s very cool digs overlooking Boston Harbor in the new Fan Pier building.
MassChallenge will award $1.1 million in grants and $4 million in in-kind contributions, including mentoring, to a number of high tech start-ups across the country. President Obama honored MassChallenge in January of 2011 as one of the nation's best organizations for supporting high-growth entrepreneurs.
Sam Bastia (photo on the left), the VP/Managing Director of Verizon’s Global Strategy and Innovation Group, also introduced Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who joined Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Kraft Group President Jonathan Kraft, who also is president of the New England Patriots. I was honored to be in such fine company.
Dr. Peter Tippet, Vice President – Strategic Development and Innovation, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, describes Verizon’s involvement in MassChallenge: “Verizon is constantly looking for new ways to leverage information technology to innovate and make a positive impact on communities across the United States and around the globe. MassChallenge, through its creation of a program that effectively brings innovative ideas to fruition, clearly shares this philosophy. Our collaboration with MassChallenge is intended to contribute to an already successful program by fostering an environment of entrepreneurialism.”
Verizon has been involved in and supported MassChallenge since its inception two years ago. MassChallenge has helped more than 200 start-ups get off the ground, providing each with intensive mentoring, access to hundreds of events, and the use of prime office space in Boston, all for free.
Those startups have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and have created hundreds of jobs. They have also contributed to an increasing energy and excitement about entrepreneurship in the Boston area. This summer, MassChallenge will accelerate another 125 startups. If there is interest, the deadline to register is April 11. Click here for more information or visit http://masschallenge.org/apply.
If you have ever entered your business in a challenge share that experience with us.