Today, the White House is kicking off a brand new initiative called Startup America to celebrate and fuel entrepreneurship across our nation. Startup America is a coordinated effort among innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and federal agencies to “inspire and empower an ever greater diversity of communities and individuals to build great American companies”.
At Microsoft we are proud to take part in this new campaign through our continued investment and support of MassChallenge which is being recognized this morning in Washington D.C. as a key partner in Startup America. MassChallenge has made incredible progress since its launch in April 2010 in spurring innovation in our Commonwealth and beyond. Here are just a few of the outstanding results:
- MassChallenge received 446 applications from 26 countries and 24 states
- MassChallenge supported 111 startups in their accelerator program
- MassChallenge teams have secured $20M+ in outside funding within three months following the accelerator
- MassChallenge startups have also produced 300 direct jobs representing less than $2K public funding per job created
Microsoft’s continued sponsorship of MassChallenge (along with the BlackStone Foundation and Fallon Company) will enable support of 100+ startups in 2011 and also provide a platform for significant national expansion in 2012 and beyond.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are the cornerstone of the American economy. MassChallenge is proud to support entrepreneurs and help accelerate the next generation of high growth companies. Microsoft has been a key sponsor and partner of MassChallenge since the beginning, and has been absolutely vital for our success to date. Microsoft has truly taken a leadership role in supporting new ideas and entrepreneurs in Massachusetts, nationally, and around the world.
Akhil Nigam – Founder and President, MassChallenge
The inclusion of MassChallenge in the Startup America campaign is a further testament to the positive impact that MassChallenge is having in Massachusetts and our nation’s innovation economy. Microsoft is excited to continue our partnership and we look forward to seeing all the promising MassChallenge startups reach their full potential.
Sara Spalding – Senior Director, Microsoft New England Research & Development Center