Russian Venture Company (OJSC) became an official partner of the annual MassChallenge Global Startup Competition, taking place in Boston (USA) from April to October 2010. The aim of the competition is to accelerate the development and success of high-growth, high-impact new businesses, while stimulating job creation and economic growth around the world. The awards, totaling $1 million will be distributed between the winners after the final stage on October 15 in Boston. The key goal of the Russian Venture Company during MassChallenge is to form a steady positive attitude towards Russian innovative-technology companies on the global market.
“Our official partnership with MassChallenge is of key importance as such initiatives have great social value” – comments Igor Agamirzyan, CEO of the Russian Venture Company, - For RVC, as a development institution, social activity aimed at creating and developing a class of successful technological entrepreneurs in the sphere of innovation is a direct responsibility.
“Massachusetts is excited to be working in collaboration with international partners to increase opportunities here in the Commonwealth,” said Greg Bialecki, the Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “The MassChallenge competition is a great place to be strengthening these relationships and we are excited to be working on this initiative with partners like the Russian Venture Company to support entrepreneurship and job growth here in Massachusetts.”
A total of 446 startups entered the MassChallenge competition, with a diverse set of ideas from across the world. The competition is currently conducting activities across Massachusetts where innovation resources are most concentrated. MassChallenge is now in its accelerator phase with 110 finalist teams working from luxury office space on Boston’s waterfront to maximize networking and mentorship opportunities.
Awards totaling $1 million will be allocated to the winning teams at the end of October 2010. MassChallenge will continue to raise additional funds throughout the competition, and in mid-October, an expert panel will identify a dozen or more teams as winners. The Commonwealth has already pledged over $500,000 to MassChallenge via the collaboration of various quasi-governmental organizations dedicated to bolstering entrepreneurship and innovation. Additional funding and support have been secured from multiple sources including Microsoft, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, the Deshpande Foundation, Mass Tech Collaborative, The Fallon Company and the Winvest Group.
According to John Harthorne, CEO and Co-Founder of MassChallenge, this global competition is not focused on creating the best business plan, but on creating and building businesses. He described MassChallenge as a competition for the serious entrepreneur seeking access to key resources to facilitate immediate launch and success. The finalist stage, in which MassChallenge is engaged right now, is an intensive accelerator program, providing entrants with free resources and unparalleled access to leading innovators in Massachusetts. “We’re thrilled to be launching our competition right here in Massachusetts, home to the strongest innovation ecosystem on the planet,” said Harthorne. “MassChallenge is a collaborative effort involving dozens of organizations all committed to igniting a global, startup renaissance and helping entrepreneurs win. We are excited to embrace innovators from around the world and are looking forward to forging connections with great innovation ecosystems around the world such as those in the Russian Federation and Israel.” The Russian Federation produced more MassChallenge applicants than any other country outside the United States. “The Russian people have always been well educated, especially in math and science and the younger generation is highly innovative and entrepreneurial, so we are especially excited to develop these relationships”, said Harthorne.
MassChallenge is running a global startup competition and accelerator to catalyze the launch and success of high-growth, high-impact new businesses. The first contest launched on April 14, 2010 with a total prize pool of $1 Million, and received ~450 entries by the application deadline on June 11. Winners will be announced in early October 2010. The competition is open to anyone in the world, with any new startup, in any industry. Physical activities are based in Massachusetts where innovation resources are highly concentrated. Every entrant receives training, feedback, PR and networking support via expert volunteers from partner organizations. 110 of the highest-potential startups receive 3 months of intensive mentorship and other free resources, including office space and targeted introductions to customers and funding sources. The very best startups will be identified by expert judges to receive cash awards toward launching their businesses along with enhanced PR and privileged access to top investors seeking to place seed capital to work in high-growth firms.
This is an efficient and effective form of stimulus and is an ideal means for Massachusetts and America to harness and showcase the expertise and collaborative strength of our universities, investors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and businesses — after all, we’ve been providing revolutionary ideas since 1776.
You can read more about MassChallenge here: http://www.masschallenge.org/