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Microsoft and MassChallenge Announce Bridge to MassChallenge Australia

BOSTON and ADELAIDE, Australia, April 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today along with Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science for the Australian government, Microsoft and MassChallenge announced that Bridge to MassChallenge is coming to Australia. Bridge to MassChallenge helps public and private entities around the world create and strengthen innovation-driven economic development by supporting startups in regions around the world and connecting them to the MassChallenge global network.



Bridge to MassChallenge Australia will include a nationwide startup competition to identify the highest-impact and highest-potential startups in the country. The top startups will receive intensive mentorship and training at boot camps in Australia. Next, Australian and international judges will select the top startups from the boot camps to participate in a further bespoke boot camp at one of the five MassChallenge accelerator locations around the world, which include Boston, the United Kingdom, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico.

"​MassChallenge is one of the best accelerators in the world, having helped 835 startups raise $1.1 billion in funding and create 6,500 direct jobs. Their impact is truly impressive, and I am very glad we can bring their experience here to Australia,” said Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia. “​We are excited to partner with them because they work collaboratively with local ecosystems and bring a wealth of best practices and leadership from their global expertise. The ​MassChallenge model leverages key strengths and experts from within the community to ​deliver value to all stakeholders in the ecosystem​, especially startups.​”

“We are so excited to work with Microsoft and governments within Australia to support entrepreneurs​ and connect them with our global network across the U.S., Europe, Israel, Latin America​, and beyond,” said Mike LaRhette, MassChallenge President. “This allows us to gain a valuable connection to the thriving startup scene in Australia and we’re looking forward to working with key players here to exchange best practices and help the ecosystem to flourish.”

Bridge to MassChallenge Australia will collaborate actively with the local ecosystem to help catalyze entrepreneurial activity, raise the profile of the Australian innovation ecosystem, leverage MassChallenge network and expertise, and provide concrete and visible opportunities for Australian entrepreneurs, both in Australia and globally.

Australia represents a unique opportunity for MassChallenge, given its strategic positioning in Asia-Pacific, its cultural and historical connections to MassChallenge hubs in the United States and United Kingdom, and the energy and momentum of its entrepreneurial ecosystems. Australia will join a strong and ever-growing roster of Bridge to MassChallenge partners in France, Spain, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia.

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. We also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through our global network of accelerators in Boston, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico and unrivalled access to our corporate partners, we can have a massive impact - driving growth and creating value the world over. To date our 835 alumni have raised over $1.1 billion in funding, generated over $520 million in revenue and created over 6,500 jobs.

Top MassChallenge Sponsors Include: Fidelity, Verizon, Bühler, John Hancock, CASIS, Jamestown, Kauffman Foundation, Deshpande Foundation, SENA, INNPulsa, The Boston Foundation, Gentera, INADEM, JPMC, Jerusalem Development Authority, PTC, Swiss Re, EMC, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and IBM.

Microsoft Media contact Emily Horn emhorn@microsoft.com MassChallenge Media contact Hailey Woldt Eustace media@masschallenge.org

Source:MassChallenge, Inc.