More and more accelerators are popping up. Short term programs to give an intensive boast to startup companies or even just start up ideas. Most accelerators have a theme, often linked to their sponsoring corporations.
One accelerator has become a brand. MassChallenge, described as the world’s most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet and the first to support entrepreneurs with no strings attached, started as a startup competition in 2009 and was officially launched in 2010. With support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a host of public and private partners, MassChallenge has accompanied hundreds of companies through its four month program in Boston including startups from countries all over the world. The participants get mentors, training, advice, access to investors, global channels – and all on levels that would have been beyond their reach.
And there is the competition. At the end of each cycle, winners get cash prizes. No strings, no equity. Prizes don’t only come from MassChallenge – other sponsors provide cash incentives for companies to develop in targeted areas like improvements for people with disabilities and other social impact ventures.
It is impossible to ignore the magnet of Israel in the global hi-tech community. As a reflection, MassChallenge opened an office in Israel in 2013 to attract Israeli startups to participate in its Boston program.
Now MassChallenge has gone so much further. After opening a branch in London to conduct its accelerator, MassChallenge launched its Jerusalem branch on a snowy night in January 2016.
Applications are now being accepted for the first Jerusalem program. Have you applied yet?