MassChallenge Texas welcomes inaugural cohort to Austin as global accelerator officially kicks off

Art of the Gala Oct 23 Austin
MassChallenge Texas first cohort

MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, welcomes 84 of the world’s highest impact, highest potential early-stage startups to Austin as the nonprofit’s first ever Texas-based accelerator officially begins. Companies are coming to Austin for the next four months from as far away as Greece and Zimbabwe and from all corners of the Lone Star State. The accelerator will culminate on Aug. 15, 2018, at the MassChallenge Texas Awards Ceremony, where the top startups from the accelerator’s inaugural cohort will pitch for the opportunity to win a portion of up to $500,000 in equity-free grants.

Startups that participate in the accelerator will receive a custom curriculum designed to meet them where they are in their entrepreneurial journey, from market research to launching pilot programs, intellectual property and licensing, to fundraising and investor relations, sales and marketing strategy, to working with corporate partners and more.

“We’re incredibly excited about the curriculum and experience we have designed for the startups,” said Mike Millard, managing director of MassChallenge Texas. “Not only are we offering curriculum based on MassChallenge’s extensive experience, we are listening to what the startups ask for to make the experience as relevant and useful as possible. Over the course of the accelerator we will connect our startups to the Texas community by creating opportunities for shared experiences through education, events and networking.”

The 84 companies will call the new WeWork West 6th space home for the accelerator and have access to a complimentary, Texas-wide WeWork community membership for six months; that includes the four months of the accelerator and two months after. MassChallenge Texas and WeWork will host a series of events in the West 6th space to connect both communities to the broader Texas startup ecosystem.
“WeWork is the platform for creators of all kinds,” said Nathan Lenahan, WeWork general manager, of Texas. “We are incredibly excited to kickoff this partnership with MassChallenge to bring their expertise and experience to growing companies in Texas. This is a great partnership for our community, and for Texas. We are committed to Texas, and we are just getting started.”
The custom curriculum and WeWork partnership are two pieces of the total offer for the participating startups. MassChallenge Texas has established a mentor network of over 300 experts from all corners of Texas. The startups will connect with these experts and build dedicated mentor teams over the course of the accelerator. They will also take advantage of more than 50 deals and discounts that represent free hosting services, shipping and digital marketing platforms which have been specifically curated for the cohort.
Art of the Gala Oct 23 Austin
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