This Year’s MassChallenge Startup Competition Comes to a Close; 17 Companies Share $1M in Prize Money

Posted by erik devaney

Of the 125 startups that were originally accepted into the MassChallenge competition and accelerator program back in May; 26 were selected in early October to participate in a final round of judging.

Now, the results are in, and of the “Final 26,” 17 startups been awarded cash prizes.

For those who are unfamiliar with MassChallenge, the organization focuses on launching early-stage entrepreneurs through organizing resources, providing training and hosting networking events. Most notably, MassChallenge hosts an annual global startup competition, which seeks to discover and accelerate the world’s top startups.

To help this year’s 125 competitors, MassChallenge engaged entrepreneurs with expert mentors, put on hundreds of free events and provided over 27,000 square feet of office space.

There were three big MassChallenge winners this year, all of which received $100,000 prizes. Let’s take a look at how these startups were able to impress the judges and take home the competition’s highest honors:

Alkeus Pharmaceuticals

Alkeus is a biotechnology company that focuses on developing new therapies for blindness and other ophthalmic (eye-related) conditions that currently have limited treatment options. The startup’s most advanced therapeutic program uses new compounds to target Stargardt’s disease and dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD). While Stargardt’s disease is a leading cause of blindness in teenaged patients, AMD is a leading cause of blindness in patients over 50.


With 2.6 billion of the world’s population living without access to adequate sanitation, Sanergy’s goal is to provide sanitation services to urban slums. In doing so, the startup also hopes to create new jobs and business opportunities. Sanergy’s model involves a four-step approach: 1. Build a network of low-cost sanitation centers in slums; 2. Distribute those centers — through franchising — to local entrepreneurs; 3. Collect the waste that is produced; and 4. Process that waste into energy and fertilizer.

Tinfoil Security

Tinfoil Security offers automated web security to small businesses. The company’s scanner relies on the same techniques as malicious hackers, which include systematically testing all of a site’s access points. However, instead of exploiting weaknesses, Tinfoil Security provides customers with step-by-step instructions for eliminating them. To protect against the latest threats, the company’s virus-scanner is constantly updated.

See below for a list of the 14 other 2011 MassChallenge winners, all of which received $50,000 prizes:

  • Artaic – Artaic creates custom tile mosaics using robotic manufacturing and computer aided design systems.
  • ArtVenue – ArtVenue makes it easy for artists to book shows in local businesses.
  • Casa Couture – First patented shoe on the market tackling the debilitating foot issues women face during pregnancy.
  • Cocomama Foods – A nutrition-based, gluten-free food brand that uses ancient grains to make convenient, healthy food.
  • Drync LLC – Carefully selected artisanal wines delivered straight to your doorstep.
  • EverTrue LLC – EverTrue connects donor databases with the social graph to offer better prospect intelligence and engagement
  • Her Campus Media – Her Campus-online mag for college women with national + local model + innovative college marketing firm
  • Invup Inc. – Invup is a web platform that makes it fun an easy to manage volunteering and donation programs.
  • Lynx Sportswear – Patent-pending Lynx Sports Bra = unprecedented comfort, control for large-breasted women.
  • Resolute Marine Energy – Developing the world’s first wave-driven seawater desalination system that can fully operate “off-grid”
  • SmarterShade – Electronically darken a window with the flip of a switch.
  • SocMetrics Inc. – SocMetrics helps companies engage key influencers in their niche to build word of mouth and grow sales
  • Therapeutic Systems – Portable sensory solution for children with autism, so they can participate in life more fully.
  • UberSense Inc. – UberSense helps athletes & coaches video-analyze their technique using proprietary mobile+cloud solutions.


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Posted by erik devaney on Oct 25 2011. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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