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July 2013

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Oracle Sponsors MassChallenge, the World's Largest Start-Up Accelerator

This year, Oracle has become a gold-level sponsor of MassChallenge, the world's largest global start-up accelerator—and the first of its kind that supports early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached.

As a gold-level sponsor, Oracle has given US$60,000 to MassChallenge. In addition, a range of Oracle leaders will serve as mentors, educators, and judges for the four-month-long program, which provides more than 125 startups with

  • Mentorship with world-class business leaders
  • A strong community of like-minded colleagues
  • Hundreds of educational and social events
  • Access to investor, marketing, and media resources
  • US$1 million in annual cash prizes, without any equity required
  • Highly desirable office space in downtown Boston

“Oracle’s commitment to the MassChallenge program with both financial and human capital is a testament to the value that the MassChallenge program provides, not only to New England but to the global start-up ecosystem,” says Matt Benelli, group vice president, Oracle.

Creating Value Versus Capturing Value
MassChallenge was created in 2009, just as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was hitting bottom. “The crash got the founders of MassChallenge thinking about the fact that people were focused too much on capturing value rather than creating value,” says Scott Bailey, director of partnerships for MassChallenge.

In response, MassChallenge focuses on high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs, whom studies show contribute a disproportionate amount of net job growth.

So far, the results speak for themselves. Since its inception in 2009, MassChallenge alumni have collectively raised more than US$360 million in outside funding, generating nearly US$100 million in revenue and creating about 3,000 jobs.

Diversity Encouraged, No Strings Attached
MassChallenge differs from other entrepreneurial support programs in several ways. First, prizes and other benefits are given as grants. Organizers do not receive any equity in return. “No strings attached,” says Bailey.

Second, the program serves a more diverse range of participants. Rather than focusing on high tech and biomedical startups, MassChallenge also serves nonprofits as well as clean energy, consumer products, and other industries not traditionally supported by accelerator programs.

Sheer size is another key differentiator. “Scale is also another important advantage for our program,” adds Bailey. “We are about twice as big as the next-largest similar program, which means we can provide a richer and broader set of resources our participants can draw on.”

Find out more about MassChallenge.

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