I took a tour of Mass Challenge today, an accelerator incubator program. And what is an accelerator incubator program? you ask. An incubator helps small businesses get launched and grow. An accelerator helps them get launched and grow really fast.
The program I visited may be the biggest anywhere. It has a whole floor of a gorgeous new building overlooking Boston Harbor, which the landlord has provided rent-free at least until 2014. It has zillions of sponsors and supporters, including the mayor and the governor, who don’t always see eye to eye on other matters.
Enter by tomorrow to be in the running for this year’s program and the top prize. Every entrant, whether chosen for the program or not, gets three to five professional reviews. You can enter from anywhere in the world. Caveats: there is an entry fee of $200, and your startup has to have made less than $1 million so far. Click here to enter.
From the website: “MassChallenge is the largest-ever startup accelerator and competition, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Benefits for startups include:
* 3 month accelerator program. World-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, media and more.
* $1M in Cash Awards. $4M+ in-kind support.
* Open to all. Any startup can enter, from anywhere, in any industry.
* No equity taken. No restrictions applied.”
And while we’re on the subject of small business, I also saw a great presentation about a new City of Boston website that walks people through all the things they need to do to get a business started in Boston. A wonderful, user-friendly site.