MassChallenge Cork to connect start-ups with Boston

25 Oct 2017

From left: Martin Corkery, regional director at Enterprise Ireland; Sharon Corcoran, director of economic development and tourism at Cork County Council; Deputy Mayor Cllr Joe Carroll; and Tim Lucey, CEO of Cork County Council. Image: Clare Keogh

Unique opportunity for early-stage start-ups with potential to scale.

20 start-ups in the life sciences, medtech and digital health space have a chance to join a globally renowned MassChallenge bootcamp in Cork.

The opportunity is being made possible through a partnership between MassChallenge and Cork County Council, endorsed by Enterprise Ireland and Health Innovation Hub Ireland.

The initiative, entitled Bridge to MassChallenge Cork (B2MCCork), presents an opportunity for start-ups to scale and connect with a global support system.

A river of opportunity runs through it

MassChallenge is one of the world’s largest not-for-profit, no-equity start-up accelerators based in Boston, Massachusetts.

To date, MassChallenge has accelerated 1,211 start-ups worldwide, which together have raised $2bn in funding, generated $900m in revenue, and created more than 65,000 direct and indirect jobs in several locations across the world, including Boston, Mexico City, Lausanne, London, Jerusalem and, more recently, Austin.

B2MCCork is being billed as a global competition to identify and accelerate top start-ups in the region through international mentoring and networking.

Applications will open on Monday 20 November. These will be evaluated by a panel of MassChallenge experts who will select 20 ambitious start-ups in the life sciences, medtech and/or digital health sector.

These start-ups should have plans to scale up and connect internationally, and will be offered the opportunity to participate in a week-long Cork bootcamp commencing in February 2018. This bootcamp will conclude with an intensive competition to determine the top 10 start-ups, who will then advance to a one-week, all-expenses-paid intensive bootcamp in Boston in April 2018. From this, the top two companies will be selected to go forward to second-round judging for one of MassChallenge’s international accelerators.

“This partnership with MassChallenge is founded on the council’s mission to strengthen our regional innovation ecosystem and its stakeholders, driving the creation of high-quality jobs by supporting our native entrepreneurs and connecting them into a world-class network,” said Tim Lucey, CEO of Cork County Council.

“The Cork and Boston-based bootcamps will expose the ambitious start-ups to a leading international entrepreneurial ecosystem and equip them with international best practice from the MassChallenge international model on start-up supports.”

Lucey said that MassChallenge has a track record of collaborating with more than 100 of the world’s most innovative organisations, including Pfizer, GE and Microsoft, to scale ambitious start-ups.

Mayor of Co Cork, Declan Hurley, added: “This strategic partnership will promote our region as a global entrepreneurial hub and leader of innovation in this space, and the initiative dovetails with the long and successful track record our region has earned as a leading-edge, global cluster for pharma, biotech and medtech companies.

“This initiative also further builds upon the region’s well-established business, tourism and political links with Boston and the east coast of the US.”

Updated, 9.21am and 11.19am, 25 October 2017: This article was updated to amend an incorrect image caption. The headline has also been amended to avoid confusion over the number of start-ups heading to Boston.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years