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November 3, 2017

And the Winner Is... - MassChallenge Awards 2017 Recap

On November 2, MassChallenge held the 2017 MassChallenge Boston Awards at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. In addition to using their eighth-annual event as a means to celebrate the accelerator's success this year, MassChallenge Boston also handed out $1M in equity-free prizes to winners of its Top 26 startups (of 128 total). 

In addition to the $100K and $50K prizes given to 16 winners, CASIS and Boeing awarded three startups $500K in total grant money (split between the three based on project proposals) to fund research projects on the International Space Station. 

In the middle of the event, WeWork Co-Founder and CEO Adam Neumann took the stage to discuss career inspiration and what drives him and other entrepreneurs with MassChallenge Founder and CEO John Harthorne. Neumann spoke about how his parents were hard-working, despite their living situation, and how that has been the driving force behind his success as an entrepreneur.

Adam Neumann
Adam Neumann (Left) and John Harthorne (Right) discuss their careers as entrepreneurs.

When asked about having WeWork locations in Boston, Neumann simply said, "We couldn't be happier."

Without further ado, here is the complete list of winners (company descriptions come from this press release):

$50,000 Prizes

  • Adeo Health Science: "Prevents food allergies in infants."
  • Athletes of Valor: "Helps servicemen and women transition into collegiate sports and later into careers by providing an online platform, resources, and community."
  • CareAline: "Functional line and risk management garments for PICC and Central Lines."
  • Guardion: "Helps governments reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism with networkable, low cost, ultra-sensitive ionizing radiation sensors."
  • Girls Health Champions: "Works to mitigate gender inequality and its impact on health outcomes by training teen girls as peer health educators."
  • Miracle Messages: "Builds social support systems for the homeless."
  • Nonspec: "Provides affordable, adjustable prosthetic limb kits for amputees and clinicians worldwide."
  • Reveal Pharma: "Addresses the $1B need for safe gadolinium-free MRI contrast agents for all patients who need crucial diagnostic imaging."
  • Veripad: "Creates an affordable and portable solution that allows for rapid screening of medication quality."
  • Voatz: "A mobile election platform, secured via smart biometrics, real-time ID verification, and the blockchain for irrefutability."
  • W8X: "Develops a smart and compact weight lifting system that empowers athletes to reach their limits."
  • Y2Y: "Interrupts a generation of chronic homelessness by providing sanctuary from the streets and supportive pathways out of homelessness."

$100,000 Prizes

  • OffGridBox: "Modular and compact units that provide renewable energy and treated water in remote areas." The company was previously profiled on VentureFizz here.
  • CozyKin: "Creates the sharing economy for childcare by matching local families together and placing them with Montessori-trained nannies in in-home nanny shares."
  • Vence: "A hardware and software solution for livestock farmers which increases revenues, eliminates fencing costs/capex and reduces labor expenses."
  • Pykus Therapeutics: "Developing a dissolvable intraocular device to make retinal surgery less painful and more successful."

$500,000 (Combined) Grant Prize Winners

  • Cellino: "Cellino’s goal is to enable gene therapy companies and research labs to deliver gene-editing cargo to cells with exceptional performance, which is a major challenge today."
  • Guardion
  • MakerHealth: "MakerHealth builds the tools and hospital makerspaces to support a global community of health device makers."

    Alexander Culafi is a Staff Writer for VentureFizz. You can follow him on Twitter @culafia.​