BOSTON–MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, and MITRE, an operator of federally funded R&D centers, are partnering to launch a new mentorship program designed to lower barriers for underrepresented founders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Applicants must have at least one founder from historically underrepresented identities including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), non-binary, and/or women.
Startups with solutions in advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence (AI), BlueTech, cybersecurity, or digital health are encouraged to apply. Ten companies will ultimately participate in the program (two per challenge area). For specifics on these challenge areas, and information about MITRE experts serving as mentors, please consult the program landing page.
“MITRE’s involvement here at MassChallenge stretches across many critical and core areas of focus for us. From our annual U.S. Early-Stage Accelerator Program, to the currently running BlueTech Sprint, and the recently concluded Maternal-Child Health Equity Challenge, MITRE plays a lead role supporting founders who are tackling the world’s toughest problems. We are excited to once more partner to bring this new mentorship program to life and align MITRE’s subject matter expertise with startups in our network,” said Hope Hopkins, head of Global Accelerator Programs, MassChallenge.
With the launch of this program, MITRE and MassChallenge strengthen their commitment to support entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations, and create more equitable distribution of and access to key resources for growth.
“We are proud to deepen our relationship with MassChallenge by partnering with our Corporate Social Innovation function to strengthen MITRE’s commitment in co-creating with underserved populations. Through this program, we aim to elevate the next generation of innovators through mentorship and access to resources by lowering barriers of entry for underrepresented entrepreneurs,” said Stephanie Turner, vice president of Diversity, Inclusion, & Social Innovation, MITRE.
MITRE has been a partner with MassChallenge since 2014. Over the course of this eight-year relationship, MITRE researchers, engineers, and scientists have engaged with countless startups participating in MassChallenge programs. This mentorship program is a reflection of the multitude of topics founders and MITRE experts work together on with the shared goal to deepen collaboration in these critical fields.
The two-month program will run from January through March 2023. Mentors will lend their technical or domain expertise to startups, helping them understand government markets, connect with resources, and discover potential end users and non-dilutive funding.
The application and additional information are available on the Challenge website. We will also host an information session on November 10, 2 p.m. ET for interested founders to learn more. Please submit applications through the website no later than November 18 at 2 p.m. ET. The 10 selected startups will be notified by December 16.
MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with eight locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 3,000 startups have participated in a MassChallenge program and non-profit has awarded over $17M in equity-free cash and prizes. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.
MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation. Learn more at www.mitre.org.