Challenge 4: Connect Tech Innovations

The Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge is a six-week business accelerator program to identify and grow Massachusetts companies developing innovative solutions to challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ideal candidates for this accelerator are entrepreneurs developing connective technologies with potential to spark economic recovery and strengthen resiliency in the flow of goods, services, and information.

Program Format

A six-week accelerator beginning March 3, 2021 and ending with a final pitch event on April 9, 2021. During this time, the entrepreneurs will attend a series of 4 innovation workshops and gain access to a network of mentors.  The competition is supported by the Innovation Institute at the MassTech Collaborative and managed by Lever, Inc.  The final event will be juried by a panel of independent experts who will award $40,000 to the winning company and $10,000 to the runner-up.

Participation Requirements

  1. Tech and Innovation: Products and services must fall within the theme of Connection Technology related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  2. Massachusetts-based: Only companies headquartered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are eligible.
  3. Start-ups:  Companies must be less than 2 years old with less than $500,000 in annual revenue.
  4. Economic Recovery & Job Creation: Participating companies must demonstrate a strong potential to commercialize scalable technologies and to create high-quality, high-wage jobs.

Priorities for Selecting Finalists

Priority will be given to applicants demonstrating:

  1. Product/market fit: Ability to develop innovative goods or services that directly support long-term adaptations to conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Potential to aid economic recovery:  Innovations with potential for job creation at both the host company AND at other companies or organizations in the Commonwealth.

Business Models We Hope to See

The following is a list of the types of innovations we hope to see in this Challenge.  It is not an exhaustive list, but rather an idea set intended to spark the imagination of innovators eager to support economic recovery with ConnectTech innovations.

Business Type Graphics: Ecommerce & Retail, Manufacturing, Digital Health, Fintech, and EdTech


Release RFA

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Application Deadline Friday, February 19, 2021
Finalists selected Friday, February 26, 2021
Kickoff Meeting* Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Workshop 1* Friday, March 5, 2021
Workshop 2* Friday, March 12, 2021
Workshop 3* Friday, March 19, 2021
Workshop 4* Friday, April 2, 2021
Pitch Practice* Thursday, April 8, 2021
Pitch Event* Friday, April 9, 2021

*Entrepreneurs must attend each of these sessions. Kickoff meeting will take one hour. Workshops will take two hours.




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