New partnership designed to bolster startups in emerging technology

September 7, 2022 : The Center Square, by Brent Addleman

A new partnership in Massachusetts is designed to bolster high-growth businesses in the technology sector.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance agency for development and land bank, is joining forces with MassChallenge, a global network of innovators, to seek and aid new high-growth, high-impact businesses by providing technological assistance and financing resources.

The partnership, according to the release, is designed to support MassChallenge’s yearly grouping of more than 200 startups by providing them with education, mentoring programs, networking initiatives, and collaborations. The partnership will be situated at a new office at 10 Fan Pier in Boston and will use key staff from MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund.

“Massachusetts can take pride in its reputation as a state where innovative companies are able to turn bold ideas into solutions that change our world for the better,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chairman of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors, said in the release. “MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund is a key resource for early-stage businesses looking to ramp up operations and create jobs, and the agency’s new partnership with MassChallenge will provide a framework to better support our growing technology sector.”

Dan Rivera, who serves as president and chief executive officer at MassDevelopment, said the Emerging Technology Fund has aided dozens of businesses over the past two decades with the funding needed to expand or relocate to the state.

“MassChallenge has created a world-class professional network of innovators and this partnership will allow our MassDevelopment team to work even closer with businesses in the early stages of their growth,” River said.

According to the release, the Emerging Technology Fund assists businesses with low-cost, long-term venture debt for businesses that are new emerging technology companies focused on advanced materials, communications, defense and homeland security, electronics, environment, and more.

Through June 30, the fund has aided 58 companies more than $96.9 million since it was created in 2003, according to the release.

“Facilitating meaningful connections to bridge the gap between founders, industry leaders and experts is the very crux of why MassChallenge exists,” MassChallenge CEO Cait Brumme said in a release. “This partnership with MassDevelopment and welcoming them into the Fan Pier space to work directly with the startups in this year’s program is a critical step in accelerating startup growth and stimulating the innovation ecosystem in the Boston area.”

Dating back to 2009, MassChallenge has operated in 18 countries and helped more than 3,000 startups while doling out more than $17 million in equity-free cash and prizes.

In fiscal year 2022, according to the release, MassChallenge has invested nearly $1.7 billion in 356 projects in the state’s economy, supporting 11,080 jobs.