Competition Rules


To be eligible to enter the MassChallenge competition, a business entry must be at an early stage of development, and each team must pay the entry fee. The entry fee is intended to prevent entry from teams who are not committed to launching their business.

Ineligible to apply:

  • Past MassChallenge cash-prize winners
  • Companies that have been through the accelerator program twice


To enter the MassChallenge competition, a team must submit an application through the MassChallenge website, from April 26, 2017 to May 30, 2017. Applications submitted after the May 30, 2017 deadline will not be considered.


MassChallenge seeks to award high-impact, high-potential new ventures.

  • Finalists in each program receive free resources including mentorship, work space, strategic advice, and networking opportunities to further their businesses.
  • MassChallenge will award cash grants to a subset of startups in each program. These awards will be used toward development of the startup business.
  • MassChallenge will only pay prize money to winning startups as incorporated entities. Prize money cannot be paid to individuals or to non-winning entities.

MassChallenge anticipates the following number of startups will participate in each round of the competitions:

MassChallenge Boston:

  • 300 Semi-Finalists
  • 128 Finalists
  • 10-20 Winners

MassChallenge Israel:

  • 150 Semi-Finalists
  • 40 Finalists
  • 5-10 Winners

MassChallenge Mexico:

  • 100 Semi-Finalists
  • 20-25 Finalists
  • 3-10 Winners

MassChallenge Switzerland:

  • 150 Semi-Finalists
  • 60 Finalists
  • 8-15 Winners

MassChallenge UK:

  • 200 Semi-Finalists
  • 90 Finalists
  • 8-15 Winners


  • The process of forming the startup of each Entry is the focus of the competition. Note the following important phases. Dates of each phase can be found here on the timeline page.
  • MassChallenge launch, opening of website for entry.
  • Deadline for entry submission. Round One (1) of Judging begins.
  • Round One (1) judging completed. Semi-Finalists continue with competition events. Teams perform in-person pitches for Round Two (2) judging.
  • **Round Two (2) judging completed. Finalist teams will receive one on one mentorship, work space, and other resources as part of a 3-4 month accelerator phase. The final judging panel will identify approximately 10-20 awardees.
  • Accelerator Program. Each team pairs with mentors of their choice, given free premium office space in Boston, Geneva, Jerusalem, Mexico City depending on the program. Weekly entrepreneur stories, training sessions and workshops covering strategy, marketing, fundraising, team building and access to angel groups, law firms, marketing agencies, PR firms, venture capital firms.
  • Final Judging.
  • MassChallenge Awards. Announcement of winners and celebration of all partipating Finalists.

**Entrants who participate in the accelerator must be present in their program's city to be eligible for awards.


The goal of the judging process is to award startups with promise for economic success and positive impact in the community. There are three rounds of formal judging.

MassChallenge will enlist the services of expert judges who are independent and objective, with no conflicts of interest.

Judges’ scores are based on the submitted written application in Round One (1), and Round Two (2) adds an in-person presentation that the judges also use to determine their scores.


Entrants may provide a limited number of names of individuals who can act as references for their company. These references are optional. They can provide additional information to assist in assessing the application. Collecting the references can also assist the entrepreneur by encouraging networking. References will not be considered for Round One (1) judging and are considered at Round Two (2) judging.

Discounts (Partial Refunds) on Entry Fee

Sponsors of MassChallenge and other organizations may provide credit codes that the Entrant can use to receive discounts or refunds on some portion of the paid Entry Fee. These credit codes and the 50% early-bird refund will be retroactively applied to the method of payment following the application deadline.

Legal Action

MassChallenge shall be held harmless in the event of any legal action.

Other Agreements

MassChallenge takes no responsibility for agreements between competition participants and third parties.

Intellectual Property

MassChallenge takes no part in and has no liability for the domestic or international intellectual property rights of competition participants.

  • Participants are responsible for their own intellectual property.
  • Participants must keep confidential information confidential.


MassChallenge protects personal information collected in competition materials (see privacy policy on


Entry materials become the property of MassChallenge.


Participants who engage in immoral activities, including lying and cheating, or any activity that may adversely affect the image of MassChallenge or other participants, become ineligible for the Competition.


All work and submissions of Entrants must be original to the entrant/team.

Compliance, Disqualification

All participants must comply with the rules. Any violation of the rules will disqualify an entrant’s team from the competition, and result in forfeiture of any awards awarded to the team.

Liability Related to Awards

Awardees may not hold MassChallenge or other participants responsible for any harm resulting from accepting or using the award.


Participants must be legally present in the country of the program in which they participate. MassChallenge takes no responsibility for immigration status of participants.


Each participant warrants that he or she does not participate in any terrorist activities. MassChallenge shall not be held responsible for any harm resulting breach of this warranty.


The competition is subject to applicable federal, state, and local laws.


MassChallenge may update the competition rules throughout the competition. All updates will be posted on the MassChallenge website. These Rules include by incorporation any material posted on the MassChallenge website; in the case of conflict, the "Competition Rules" supersede any other claims.