What is the MassRobotics Accelerator?
The MassRobotics Accelerator, Powered by Mass Tech Collaborative, empowers the next generation of robotics startups through non-dilutive funding, custom tailored curriculum, and personalized mentorship. This equity-free program is committed to supporting and advancing robotics technology entrepreneurs through a 13-week long in-person program, based out of MassRobotics in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District.
MassRobotics is the world’s first and largest independent non-profit innovation hub focused on growing robotics technology companies, scaling solutions and championing robotics adoption.
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Ten startups will be selected to participate in the inaugural accelerator program. During the accelerator program, startups will have access to a multitude of resources, including collaborative office space, our state of the art prototype lab, and the world-class robotics network that is the MassRobotics community.
Founders can expect a curriculum covering everything from product development, customer discovery, pitch delivery, team building, to fundraising. The program also includes content specific to robotics companies, such as software development choices (ROS, AWS, etc.), sensor selection, Design for Manufacturing, how to pitch a manufacturer, and BOM development.
Program benefits include:
- Early-stage, pre-seed to seed stage robotics companies that have a hardware focus, component, or application (any industry)
- Companies must demonstrate strong leadership with a proven track record
- Companies must be incorporated – with the founder/founding team working on this full time
- Founders must be ready and willing to learn from an engaged robotics community and expert mentors
- Preference will be given to Massachusetts-based companies. Companies from outside Massachusetts must demonstrate a willingness and ability to keep all or part of company operations in Massachusetts for at least 1 year post-accelerator graduation
- Access to MassRobotics’ robotics network via tailored programming, mentor matching, investor connections, and curated events
- Non-dilutive funding of $100,000 USD
- Demo Day at Robotics Summit & Expo in Boston, MA
- Introductions to MassRobotics industry experts and network of strategic partners
- Introductions to manufacturing experts, contract manufacturers and suppliers
- Access to the newest robotics technologies and components
- Media and marketing support (publications, press releases, trade shows, etc.)
Robotics technology is impacting nearly every industry. The rate of adoption is increasing as we see labor shortages and the need to onshore manufacturing to ensure a dependable supply chain. With the cost of sensors and computation decreasing, innovation is rapidly increasing. Robotics supports industries from medical applications, assistive and therapeutic, to mobility, autonomy and defense, to agriculture, construction and manufacturing.
We are at the cusp of robotics innovation changing the world and changing the way people live. Now is the time to support robotics startup technology, accelerate its growth to massive adoption by industry and the public.
What do I need to prepare for the application?
The application should take you no more than 20 minutes to complete. We do ask for a pitch deck and a product demo video, but this is not mandatory. You should be prepared to answer questions covering:
- Your startup’s core technology
- Your team, and why your team is the right one to solve the problem you’re addressing
- Your startup’s traction (examples: product development, LOIs, customer stories, revenue)
- Your startup’s funding
- Your startup’s market and business model
- Your startup’s competitive advantage and competitive landscape
Who can participate?
Startups who meet the eligibility requirements are welcome to apply. This program is based at MassRobotics headquarters, in the Seaport district of Boston, MA. Selected startups are required to be on-site throughout the duration of the program. Companies must currently be based in Massachusetts or demonstrate the willingness and ability to stay in Massachusetts at least one year post accelerator graduation.
What investment does MassRobotics make in its accelerator program companies?
MassRobotics does not make an equity investment in your company. Our program is unique in that it funds cohort companies with non-dilutive funding from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a quasi-public state economic development agency. Selected startups will receive $100,000 in funding to be spent directly towards company operations and the acceleration of your startup.
Besides the funding, what other benefits do cohort companies receive?
MassRobotics is the largest and most impactful robotics community in the world. We come to the table with expert knowledge and experience, an incredible mentor community, and our innovative robotics lab. By being a MassRobotics Accelerator cohort company, you’ll have access to:
- A three-month long bespoke accelerator program with individualized mentorship and curated curriculum
- Office space throughout the duration of the program
- Use of our Robotics Lab and Sensor Library, including training and tool education
- Supervised use of our Prototyping lab including, CNC, 3D printers, laser cutter, waterjet cutter, soldering stations, scopes, etc.
- Access to the MassRobotics community, including member events, Slack community, and the option to become a resident of MassRobotics once the program concludes
- Demo Day exposure at the Robotics Summit & Expo: The Robotics Summit & Expo is a multifaceted educational forum and expo dedicated to addressing the issues involved with the design, development, manufacture and delivery of commercial robotics and intelligent systems products and services that draws thousands of participants to the event in the Boston Convention Center (https://www.roboticssummit.com)
Do I need to be on-site for the duration of the program?
Yes. To get the most out of this experience it’s important to be in person. Our programming is made to serve robotics startups and we find a great value to being together. We do require our cohort companies to be based on site and work out of our office space during the program. Our office space is beautiful, and you’ll have the chance to rub elbows with our resident startups.
What can I expect my day to look like in the program?
Our accelerator calendar will be highly curated with content made specifically for robotics founders. You can expect industry-specific sessions, mentor meetings, office hours, pitch practice, and spending time in the prototyping lab. While our curriculum is packed with valuable content, we know you also have a business to run. Accelerator content will be held Tuesday to Thursday, leaving Monday and Friday to have time in the lab, and of course, running your company!
How many team members should participate in the program?
We require at least one lead individual from the company to be on-site for the duration of the program. The best practice is to have the co-founders involved in the day-to-day programming. You may invite others from the team to participate in various portions, for example, invite your lead engineer for the manufacturing and technical discussions, or your marketing and sales lead for the go-to-market and sales strategy sessions.
What are the differences between being a MassRobotics Accelerator company and a MassRobotics resident?
MassRobotics Accelerator companies have supervised access to the lab during the accelerator program, typically on Monday and Friday, program scheduling permitting.
MassRobotics has a general rule not allowing competing companies as residents. There is a different application process to become a resident, and you may or may not be accepted if you have competing technology to an existing resident.
can i apply if my company is not based in massachusetts?
Yes. We welcome startups from outside of Massachusetts to apply. However, to take part in the funding opportunity companies based outside of Massachusetts will need to have a foreign corporation registration on file with the MA secretary of state. Additionally, to receive funding companies based outside of MA will have to keep all or part of company operations in Massachusetts for at least one year post-accelerator graduation.
There are a few different ways to keep company operations in MA:
- Become a resident at MassRobotics
- Establish Massachusetts facilities (office, manufacturing, prototype shop)
- Hire Massachusetts-based staff
- Have one or more co-founders remain based in Massachusetts as residents
I want to be a mentor in the MassRobotics Accelerator. How do I get involved?
We are so happy you’re interested in getting involved as a mentor! The best way to get the process started is to complete this brief form, specifying your area of interest along with the skills and experience you can bring to the program.
If you have any other questions, please contact us here.
12 Channel Street, Boston, MA 02210
© 2023 MassRobotics
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