Allia will be welcoming internationally acclaimed accelerator programme MassChallenge, which offers expert mentoring, support and a share of a £500,000 equity-free investment fund to start-ups and SMEs, to Allia Future Business Centre, Cambridge, on Tuesday 3 May.
The event will answer questions about 2016’s MassChallenge programme and the application process, ahead of its launch on 19 May.
Last year five Future Business Centre Cambridge ventures took part in the programme, with CBAS and Renovagen each winning £50,000 of equity free investment to boost their start-ups.
MassChallenge accelerator programmes run across the globe, with the UK branch currently based in central London. In a move to engage with the exciting mix of start-ups and SMEs in and around Cambridge, MassChallenge is holding an information event in the city this May. MassChallenge is one of the most high profile accelerators in the country, and this move to seek out more applications from Cambridge based businesses is being encouraged by Allia, who provide workspace and enterprise programmes for ventures making a positive impact on people or the planet at its Future Business Centre.
Any start-up or SME, wanting to make a positive impact on people or the planet, and interested in applying for the four month MassChallenge accelerator programme, is invited to attend this information evening, which will provide an overview of the programme and application process.
Paul Hughes, Head of Venture Development at Allia, said: “We are delighted to be working again with MassChallenge this year. Last year, five Allia Future Business Centre alumni made it through to the MassChallenge programme of which two secured cash prizes. But the real value in the programme isn’t the cash, it’s the support, knowledge and network and I know that every one of our alumni got a great deal out of being involved. Part of the value of the Allia Future Business Centre programme is that we collaborate with great opportunities such as MassChallenge. If you are an impact start-up, you’d be crazy not to come along and check it out.”
The two Cambridgeshire based MassChallenge UK 2015 prize fund winners, Cambridge Bio-augmentation Systems (CBAS) and Renovagen, each walked away with £50,000 of investment. Renovagen are currently seeking further investment through crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, while CBAS are winning recognition for their work on innovative alternative prosthetics. Both companies are also alumni of Allia business support programmes, with CBAS still resident at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge.
“MassChallenge isn’t like other Accelerators. For a short period we were a small business with access to the same resources as a big company. It was really good.” Said Emil Hewage, Co-Founder of CBAS, who will be attending the 3 May event to answer questions and share their experience.
“This event is a great opportunity to find out more about the programme, we didn’t realise the extent of the help we would receive, the amount of resources that would be made available. And don’t forget, some of the people in the room could also be the judges, and knowing them, and who they are, could make a real difference to how you write your application or present your business plan.”
As well as access to equity-free funding, the prestigious accelerator provides businesses with access to corporate partners and a global network of mentors and enterprises. MassChallenge accelerators currently take place in Boston, London and Jerusalem, with Mexico and Switzerland new to the line-up for 2016. To date, 835 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $1.1 billion and generated over $520 million in revenue.
Applications for the 2016 programme open on 19th May. For more about MassChallenge visit masschallenge.org.