MassRobotics, the largest independent robotics hub, welcomes the first cohort of the MassRobotics Accelerator, powered by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech). This program is unique in its equity-free approach. Each startup participating in the program will be awarded a $100,000 non-dilutive grant from MassTech.
The inaugural cohort was unveiled at MassRobotics annual partner’s celebration this week and the three month accelerator program began on February 5, 2024. During the course of the program, startups will experience a robust curriculum of business topics spanning customer discovery, value proposition discovery, manufacturing for excellence, fundraising tactics, and team management.
“Technical founders can often jump to product-building mode before intimately understanding their end user and customer. During this program, our startups will each complete at least 25 customer discovery interviews, in an effort to hone in on their customer pain and needs.” said Marita McGinn, the Director of the MassRobotics Accelerator. “Our goal is to help these brilliant technical founders to bolster their business acumen through this curriculum.”
Competition was fierce for the accelerator, which had a 7 percent acceptance rate. More than 140 startups applied to this program, with applicants representing more than 25 countries. The selection process was robust, ending with a selection committee composed of notable roboticists, entrepreneurs, and academics.
“Massachusetts is a state blessed with a host of robotics innovation and through this non-dilutive funding, our goal is to attract and grow innovative startups by introducing them to the world-class ecosystem that exists here,” said Peter Haas, Director of the Robotics Department at MassTech. “Through this funding model, we’re providing the financial boost to give them the time to improve their product through R&D, customer engagement, and through the expert feedback they’ll receive through the MassRobotics Accelerator.”
Now, to announce the first ever MassRobotics Accelerator cohort:
Apparel Robotics Corporation is a Boston-based robotics and advanced manufacturing startup. Founded in 2022 in order to transform apparel manufacturing, allowing anyone to produce clothing locally, more sustainably, and on-demand.
Brd BOT is building a robotic vending machine for fresh fried foods. The machine reduces labor costs from 30% to 3.75% by eliminating all human labor from the ordering and cooking process.
Gopher excels in last-mile delivery for sub-5- pound items, spanning small groceries, takeout, and consumer goods. Gopher’s core technology is an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) which integrates ODOA/local mapping sensors, GPS, cellular comms, and compute capabilities tailored for speeds up to 20 MPH.
Hominid X helps people with hand disabilities stay healthy and active by designing grasping products that allow them to independently complete daily care tasks and the hobbies they love. Hominid X has created the first truly practical, functional, and economical assistive tool for hands. It fits on any hand without any customization and provides a secure and automatic hold on almost any object.
Mapless AI is building the first vehicle remote control solution that supports driverless operation on public roads. Their safe tele-driving solutions bring applications like instant car delivery, chauffeur-on-demand, and painless EV charging to partner fleets.
Oligo redefines space and terrestrial industries through modular reconfigurable technology. Founded out of MIT, their universal interface block addresses the need for versatile, reconfigurable systems and serves as the key to truly modular robotics to chart new territories on the Moon and in orbit.
Robotics 88 is building an autonomous drone to empower land managers to conduct larger and faster prescribed burns without compromising safety. Their decision-making drone is able to navigate the cluttered subcanopy environment to provide critical fire behavior prediction data for burn planning and evaluation.
rStream is solving waste collection. rStream is developing end-to-end, robotic solutions for waste collection at high-traffic locations. Their solution captures the material that is lost upstream of processing facilities during collection, streamlines waste processing operations, and aggregates environmental compliance data.
SIMPL Automation, a pioneering warehousing automation startup, tackles the primary industry challenges of space and labor. At the forefront of their offerings is SIMPL Store, an innovative Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS).
Yard Robotics is transforming outdoor labor with their autonomous, electric platform, primarily focused on lawn mowing. Yard Robotics has developed a fleet of robots equipped with custom hardware and software to automate the repetitive tasks associated with outdoor labor.
To learn more about the selected startups, please visit MassRobotics Accelerator Website.
The MassRobotics Accelerator will culminate with a showcase, hosted at the Robotics Summit & Expo in Boston on May 1st and 2nd, 2024. Additionally, each startup will be presenting at a session on May 1st at 4:15 pm. We welcome the robotics community to attend the Robotics Summit & Expo. Please register to attend to get a glimpse of the innovation happening within the robotics industry, and to support the inaugural class of the MassRobotics Accelerator.
The Accelerator is funded under a $5 million state initiative managed by MassTech to boost the robotics ecosystem in Massachusetts, which includes a focus on expansion of research and development (R&D), testing, commercialization, and workforce development throughout the state.