MassChallenge Winners: GRIT, LiquiGlide, RallyPoint, Strong Arm

10/23/12Follow @curtwoodward

The latest batch of MassChallenge startups have concluded their four-month blitz through the massive accelerator program, which attracted more than 1,200 applications from around the globe.

And that means it’s time to hand out some checks.

The final 26 startups gave their quick pitches at last night’s award ceremony, showcasing an impressive breadth of entrepreneurial thinking.

You can go to the MassChallenge site to get the complete rundown, but they run the spectrum from health care and veterans services to advanced materials and clean energy.

Here are the four startups that each took home $100,000 top prizes—it’s important to note that MassChallenge is a nonprofit accelerator, and doesn’t take equity stakes in the startups. MassChallenge says the winners were judged on their “impact, feasibility, and execution.”

Global Research Innovation & Technology (GRIT): This startup makes a wheelchair that uses arm-operated lever systems to drive the wheels, helping people with disabilities travel more easily on uneven terrain—especially in rural areas and the developing world.

LiquiGlide: Producing an MIT-pedigreed super-slippery coating that can be used in industrial and heavy mechanical situations, such as de-icing airplanes and power lines, or even in food and cosmetic containers to help ketchup and shampoo slide out more easily.

RallyPoint: Started by two Army veterans who later met up at Harvard Business School, RallyPoint offers a LinkedIn-type professional networking service for military veterans—a group that the founders say aren’t typically given to the nonstop networking so crucial to advancing a civilian career.

Strong Arm Technologies: A vest designed to be worn by workers who move heavy loads, helping them lug big things around without getting injured.

This was the third year for MassChallenge, which is supported by business and government sponsors. The program released some impressive statistics for its startups, saying that its 361 companies have raised more than $360 million in additional financing, generated some $95 million in revenue, and created more than 2,900 jobs.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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