It’s every entrepreneur’s nightmare: You’re heading into a meeting with a potential investor and you notice a piece of spinnach lodged between your teeth. If the meeting is at MassChallenge headquarters, there’s no need to panic.
Restrooms at the startup accelerator have been stocked by one of this year’s finalists, Good-Benefits Inc., with what the company calls an “entrepreneur’s emergency kit”: floss picks for extracting unwanted greenery, as well as antacid tablets, two types of antidiarrhea medication, a decongestant, contact solution, a stain remover, moisturizing lotion and — in the men’s room — Axe body spray.
“The first day, I was in the bathroom and someone was trying to put in his contact and didn’t have any saline,” recalled Good-Benefits chief executive Ryan Selkis. “And I said, ‘They really should have something in here,’ and then I stopped myself and said, ‘I’m going to stop talking and just go do it.’ ”
Good-Benefits administers charitable giving programs that allow companies and their employees to make donations through their payroll systems. Workers can set aside money from each paycheck for their favorite charities and trigger matching contributions from their employers and other funders.
The emergency kit is new to MassChallenge this year, according to president Akhil Nigam, who said it is merely one example of the creativity of the 128 startups selected as finalists.
“They’re entrepreneurs, so they don’t wait for permission — they just do their own thing,” Nigam said. “We just showed up one day and there it was.”
In its fourth year, MassChallenge will award a total of $1.3 million to participating companies while also running business training workshops and networking events over the next four months.