BOSTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, MassChallenge unveiled 128 Global Finalists for the 2013 MassChallenge Accelerator Program at its finalist announcement event. The 2013 class was selected over a six-week evaluation process led by hundreds of industry professionals in the Boston community and dozens in Israel. In June, the finalist companies will convene in Boston to engage in the four-month accelerator program. The 2013 season is poised to draw the most community engagement to date.
"Based on feedback from the judges, this will be the highest-quality MassChallenge finalist pool yet," said MassChallenge Founder and President Akhil Nigam. "Very high-potential startups from around the world are choosing to join MassChallenge to participate in the uniquely collaborative and engaged Boston startup community."
MassChallenge increased its class size from 125 to 128 this year as a tribute to Route 128, underscoring the continued innovation renaissance in Boston. The 128 startups hail from eighteen U.S. states and eleven international locations.
"These 128 remarkable startups show the economic vitality of the Innovation District and this city," says Honorable Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston. "We welcome these bold thinkers and the creative energy they bring to the strong Boston Community."
During the rigorous selection process, over 300 globally renowned experts volunteered their time as MassChallenge judges to evaluate ~1,200 applicant companies from 40 countries and 30 states. These judges provided 500,000 words of written feedback during an estimated 3,000 judge-hours of evaluation.
Many key partners from the MassChallenge community attended the announcement event, which highlighted the most engaged partners from the community who helped source applications and secure key resources for the program. MassChallenge also introduced two new funders, Pfizer and the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, who will join the notable assembly of existing sponsors, including Fidelity Investments, Verizon, The Deshpande Foundation, and Fan Pier.
"Like Pfizer, MassChallenge is a global organization with a mission focused on driving innovation," says Pfizer Vice President of Worldwide Innovation Wendy Mayer. "We are proud to continue a long tradition of innovation and eager to leverage our resources to support high-impact entrepreneurs alongside our new accelerator partner."
An abundance of high-profile speakers and mentors engage with MassChallenge finalists throughout the four-month program, including Robert Kraft, Colin Angle, Linda Henry, Dharmesh Shah, Diane Hessan, and many more. The program culminates on October 30 at the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony where winners will be awarded over $1 million in cash prizes.
Full Global Finalist List & PDF: http://masschallenge.org/startups/2013
MassChallenge is the largest-ever startup accelerator, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Over $1 million in cash prizes is awarded to winning startups, with zero equity taken. Additional benefits for startups include world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, legal advice, media and over $15 million of in-kind support.
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