MassChallenge, a Boston-based accelerator, has chosen Austin as its second U.S. site and plans to accept up to 100 startups in its first program.
The nonprofit organization is looking for early stage companies in any industry, including high tech, health care, clean energy and social impact.
MassChallenge is targeting startups across Texas for the Austin accelerator. Winners -- who must move to Austin if chosen -- will participate in a three-month accelerator that includes access to mentoring, fellow entrepreneurs and investors, training and networking events and free office space.
At the end of the program, companies will compete for up to $500,000 equity-free cash awards.
“We have a wonderful opportunity in Texas to take this great ecosystem and make it more effective by bringing universities, corporations, venture capitalists, angels as well as other entrepreneurs together,” said Mike Millard, managing director of MassChallenge Austin. “If we can get these folks to collaborate and convene I think we can make an impact in Texas, and make this one of the best centers for entrepreneurship in the world.”
Millard is an Austin tech industry veteran who has held senior positions at Ascension, Austin Ventures and AT&T Knowledge Ventures. He is also founder and CEO of Pitch-a-Kid, an Austin based event series that connects startups with young people who listen to pitches and ask questions.
Millard said the fact that MassChallenge is a nonprofit sets it apart from other incubators because, unlike for-profits, it doesn’t take equity in its portfolio companies.
MassChallenge Texas is supported by a public-private partnership that includes founding corporate partners Southwest Airlines, USAA and Upstream Thinking.
To apply, candidates must be seed stage or early stage, which is defined as having raised less than $500,000 and having annual revenue of less than $1 million.
MassChallenge will begin taking applications for the Austin program when it launches on Oct. 16. The accelerator program will begin on March 1.
The accelerator has not yet secured space in Austin, Millard said, but hopes to have an announcement soon.
In addition to Boston, the nonprofit organization offers programs in London, Israel, Switzerland and Mexico. To date, 1,200 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $2 billion in funding, generated about $900 million in revenue and created more than 65,000 jobs.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.