Fan Pier Boston News – MassChallenge Finale!

MassChallenge gears up for contest’s finale with start-up expo

By Donna Goodison  |   Monday, September 12, 2011  |  Courtesy of:  |  Technology
MassChallenge Boston MA - John Harthorne

A Note From John Harthorne of MassChallenge from MassChallenge on Vimeo.

John Harthorne, Founder & CEO of MassChallenge, talks about the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony 2011. Taking place at the BCEC on Monday, October 24 at 6:00 PM, we will give away a total of $1M to high-impact, high-growth startups from around the world.

The general public can get an insider’s look at Boston’s start-up scene at this month’s MassChallenge Startup Showcase.

The free Sept. 27 event at MassChallenge’s Fan Pier headquarters will include an expo and one- to two-minute pitches from about 30 finalist companies participating in the second year of the $1 million start-up competition and accelerator program.

“It’s essentially an open house where the community is invited to come in and meet with all the finalists and network,” said John Harthorne, MassChallenge’s founder and CEO.

MassChallenge Boston MA - John Harthorne

John Harthorne - CEO MassChallenge

“We realized that teams love pitching, and it’s really good practice for them to pitch in front of a large crowd.”

The 125 MassChallenge finalists are gearing up for the competition’s final judging and ceremony, where the top 26 will make their last pitches and vie for $1 million in cash prizes.

Harthorne is in the process of lining up three high-profile speakers for the Oct. 24 closing event, which this year has been relocated to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Last year’s event attracted some 700 people to the ground floor of MassChallenge’s Fan Pier building. But the second annual ceremony is expected to bring in 1,000 or more because the competition has raised its profile, attracting a larger, deeper field of finalists and more mentors and sponsors, according to Harthorne.

Financial assistance is available to full-time, Massachusetts-based college students interested in attending the final event through Stay in MA, a program funded by Flybridge Capital Partners to foster entrepreneurship and innovation between students and local businesses.

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