Next week, Boston’s Seaport District will be buzzing with innovation as entrepreneurship A-listers prepare for the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, October 28th.
The ceremony, which is basically the Super Bowl for the start-up community, features the top ventures and entrepreneurs that could walk away with $50,000 or $100,000 of equity-free, non-dilutive grants totaling $1 million.
The top 26 ventures were announced in a statement from MassChallenge on October 14th, ranging in categories from a marijuana potency analyzer to a glasses-free 3D display to a sporting goods marketplace.
“Our entrepreneurs had a game-changing summer and I’m very proud of all of the 2015 finalists,” MassChallenge Founder and CEO John Harthorne said in the statement. “These top 26 startups are poised to make a tremendous impact across a variety of industries – from transportation to healthcare to robotics. Each of these startups has great potential, and I look forward to celebrating their achievements with the community at the Awards Ceremony.”
Although the entire judge’s panel was not announced in MassChallenge’s formal announcement, the sneak preview did not disappoint: the panel will include industry leaders such as Josh Boger (Vertex Pharmaceuticals Founder), Desh Deshpande (Deshpande Foundation Founder), Sandra Fenwick (Boston Children's Hospital President and CEO), and Gail Goodman (Constant Contact CEO) among others.
In addition to distributing $1 million in grants and $500,000 from MassChallenge partners CASIS and Boeing, the 2015 Awards Ceremony will include pitches from the 26 startups and a showcase of all 128 MassChallenge Boston finalists. Featured speakers at the ceremony will include Chobani Founder & CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.
Several 2014 MassChallenge winners have had some big wins in the last year, including Voxel8 raising $12 million in funding, Gecko Health Innovations becoming acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Disease Diagnostic Group being named a TechCrunch Europe Disrupt Runner-Up.
Since its inception in 2010, MassChallenge has helped launch 835 startups that have raised over $1.1 billion in funding, generated over $520 million in revenue, and created over 6,500 jobs.
* Images from MassChallenge Facebook page.
Sarah Urbonas is a student at Northeastern University and a Contributor for VentureFizz.