By SHELAGH BRALEY
BOSTON—The incubator known around the world for “helping entrepreneurs win” handed out more than $1.5 million in equity-free prizes to 16 of them tonight. The seventh annual MassChallenge Boston Awards recognized the best of Boston’s innovation community at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center—the culmination of another year of catalyzing growth.
“I’m so proud to announce this year’s winning startups, which have leveraged our global network of resources, mentors, partners, and more to truly change the world,” said Scott Bailey, managing director of MassChallenge Boston, who has been with the program since its inception in 2010. “Tonight is not only a celebration of them, but of all our startups and key players across the ecosystem who have made a commitment to work together in order to create enormous impact.”
Speaker Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani yogurt, spoke to the growing companies like members of the same club, founder-to-founder, offering lessons in leadership and compassion: “Reset the tone,” he said. “As entrepreneurs, our behavior every day determines how our companies will be.”
Big Diamond winners of $100,000 each included Adhesys Medical, EYL and Telluslabs, handed out by the Deshpande Foundation.
Prizes of $75,000 went to Analytic Space and TapLink, while MassChallenge alumni Sensulin, Localytics and FreshPaper awarded $50,000 prizes to 3D Fortify, BeautyLynk, BrainRobotics, Cool Composites, Joulez, RateGravity, Tranquilo, Sea Machines Robotics, Signature Orthodontics, Tembo Education and Whole Heart Provisions.
In-kind silver winners were AR Spirit, Battery Resourcers, Coeo Labs, Electra Vehicles, Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Luminopia, Neuromotion, Polis, QSM Diagnostics and Solstice.
An extra category was added this year—the CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space, which awarded $500,000 total to three startups working on research projects on the International Space Station. Those winners were Angiex, Inc., Dover Life Sciences and LambdaVision.
“We have come a long way since 2010 when we ran our first accelerator in Boston,” said John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallenge. “We now have accelerators in five countries and growing, and have helped accelerate over 1,200 startups. They are truly making an impact on the world, addressing some of the world’s biggest problems through innovation and creating jobs of the future.
“This is only the beginning, and I’m excited to watch what our alumni continue to accomplish in the years to come,” he said.
Charlotte Emslie contributed to this report.