The Provincial Council and the world’s largest startup accelerator Masschallenge link Bizkaia with Boston’s entrepreneurship ecosystem
The Provincial Council and MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, have signed an agreement that will enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in Bizkaia to connect to markets, networks and investors in the global innovation ecosystem. This cooperation agreement will facilitate competitive growth among innovative start-ups in Bizkaia, and will reinforce the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the territory, enabling it to attract and hold onto Basque and foreign entrepreneurs. Within the Coordination Team is bizkaia: talent with the representation of its Managing Director Ivan Jimenez.
Under the agreement entered into by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and MassChallenge, the Boston-based organisation will provide assessment in setting up an annual local contest for start-ups in Bizkaia as from 2016.
10 of the entrants in that contest will be selected by judges from MassChallenge to continue growing and receiving training at an intensive workshop in Boston, where they will have access to personalised advice, strategic coaching on how to access the US market and sessions on leadership, financing, product development, and more.
The agreement also envisages the possibility that those start-ups which can show evidence of high levels of innovation may be able to access the semi-finals of MassChallenge’s worldwide contest. Semi-finalists in this contest will receive assessment from the network of contacts of the accelerator in Boston and will have the opportunity to go on to reach the grand final. This collaboration with MassChallenge and the assessment provided in Boston will enable the start-ups selected to access a whole network of investors, patrons and other entrepreneurs at international level.
Bizkaia will thus not only secure a presence for its start-ups in a global centre of excellence such as Boston but will also ensure that these Bizkaia-based companies will grow, help create jobs and increase the capability for innovation in the territory.
The agreement between the Provincial Council and MassChallenge includes an assessment and diagnostic analysis of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bizkaia. To that end, three members of MassChallenge and two mentors are currently visiting Bizkaia, where they are holding numerous meetings with start-ups, firms, universities and the Provincial Council itself.
The US city of Boston, which is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is an international benchmark for entrepreneurship, innovation and bioscience. This agreement reinforces the links between Bizkaia and Boston that were first forged via the cooperation between the Provincial Council and MIT in January 2015 for the staging of the “BILBAO BIZKAIA ENTREPRENEURSHIP MEETUP 2015”. This event brought together 200 entrepreneurs at the Palacio Euskalduna conference centre, and enabled young local entrepreneurs to meet 16 worldwide experts in the creation of new businesses.