Massachusetts launches business competition
In an effort to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick today announced the creation of a business competition that will assist Massachusetts-based startups with a combination of cash and coaching from local technology industry professionals.
Patrick made the announcement at a meeting of the IT Collaborative Workshop at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, which was sponsored by a consortium of local information technology companies.
The competition, officially the MassChallenge Venture Funds Competition, has been funded by a mix of public and private funds. Winners will be required to establish headquarters in Massachusetts and create at least five jobs in the state. Award recipients will receive approximately $50,000 cash prizes towards launching their businesses and will be authorized for additional seed money upon securing matching funds from outside investors.
The IT Collaborative was formed earlier this year after Patrick challenged the local IT/digital sector to create a collaborative approach to improve Massachusetts' competitive position.
Today's workshop, the new group's first public event, included a keynote address from robotic entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, and a full morning of panel discussions on topics like "Understanding Our Digital Sector Going Forward."
Patrick, who addressed the group, urged the 150 technology leaders in attendance not "to be intimidated by what's going on in Silicon Valley," adding that Massachusetts stacks up well against California, with the notable exception of "January and February."
Gregory Bialecki, the Massachusetts secretary of Housing and Economic Development, also addressed the group.
"We can compete at a world class level, if we collaborate," he told
the workshop attendees.
(By D.C. Denison, Globe staff)