Wow! In 5 years, MassChallenge, based here in Boston, became the biggest startup accelerator in the world.  I’m impressed!

MassChallenge delivers results — and jobs

IN 2009, the Massachusetts economy was still sputtering, struggling to rebound after a global recession. But hardship often gives rise to invention, so it seemed like the perfect time for consultants John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam to launch a program designed to nurture new businesses and kick-start innovation.

Now in its fifth year, MassChallenge, the program they founded, is the world’s largest startup accelerator. Anchored in Boston’s Innovation District, MassChallenge cultivated 128 fledgling companies this year that someday hope to make it big. Two weeks ago, the program awarded $1.75 million in funding to 21 companies alone. So it seemed fitting that the group’s awards ceremony featured talks by Google board chairman Eric Schmidt and Travis Kalanick, the founder and chief executive of Uber.

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