For the last seven years, MassChallenge has invited over one hundred entrepreneurs to Boston’s Innovation District to participate in a four-month startup acceleration program. PetsEmpower incorporated as a non-profit earlier this year, and we were excited to join other startup leaders for training sessions, lectures, workshops, and networking events. In addition to the accelerator program, up to twenty participants win grant prizes in a startup competition.
Our founder and CEO, Jordan Ross, attended the events, and he submitted his final pitch for the competition on September 27. Regardless of the winner, we’re overwhelmed with gratitude at this opportunity. We’re barely a year old, and we’ve partnered with major pet brands and have increased support from the Boston community.
What Is MassChallenge?
MassChallenge startups have generated about $800 million in revenue and created 65,000 jobs. Where many corporations look for a way to break into an existing market, MassChallenge believes entrepreneurs should create new markets with innovative ideas. MassChallenge’s model centers on collaboration and resources. They match each entrepreneur with a team of experienced mentors that align with their vision and mission.
Our mentors included digital marketing specialists, experts in search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM), and renowned business strategists. We connected with executives from many pet-related organizations, including Purina, PetSmart, Best Friends Animal Society, and Blue Buffalo.
We’re excited to partner with Jane Doe, Inc. (JDI), a Massachusetts sexual and domestic violence coalition. JDI drives social change, advocates for victims and survivors, and provides prevention and intervention services. They said that they “appreciate the opportunity to provide additional resources through PetsEmpower.” We look forward to providing those resources to people in crisis.
Education and networking are only a part of new business. If we can’t reach survivors and volunteers, we won’t accomplish our mission. That’s why we’re excited to share some of the media coverage we received during the program.
- You can see Jordan on New England Cable News (NECN) Business, where he joined two other founders to discuss PetsEmpower. We encourage you to listen to Rebecca Roach (Trubadour) and Angela Luna (ADIFF) share their creative and thoughtful startup ideas, but, if you’re short on time, you can see Jordan speak at the 1:37 mark.
- If you have a subscription to Providence Business News, you can read about our participation in the technology section or read an interview with Jordan.
- Out of the 128 organizations and companies that participated in MassChallenge, Metro Boston chose PetsEmpower as one of five startups to feature in their coverage of the startup showcase.
MassChallenge awards over one million dollars in grants to winners of the competition. Each winner receives $100,000 toward their organization. In addition to creating and fostering human services and pet industry relationships, a grant that large would allow PetsEmpower to expand our web platform and increase our digital marketing and fundraising activities.
Each competitor creates a presentation to pitch their business to MassChallenge judges. Because of our experience in the program, we were able to create a presentation that included more than our original mission. We included potential industry solutions, options as our organization grows, and projected outcomes.
We competed with amazing startups. We’re in awe of the solutions these businesses provide, and we’re proud to have collaborated with them.