No-Equity Accelerator MassChallenge Opens U.K. Branch, Its Third

[Updated 3:40 pm, see final paragraph.]
MassChallenge, the startup accelerator program that gives entrepreneurs a head-start without taking a piece of their company, is getting bigger.

The Boston-based program, which offers office space, mentorship, and prizes backed by public and private money, is now accepting applications for new classes at three locations with the official addition of a U.K. branch in London.

MassChallenge first expanded overseas two years ago with the addition of a program in Israel.

The nonprofit startup accelerator mirrors most of the now-standard approach to entrepreneurship education, offering participating startups four months of guidance, workspace, and connections to industry insiders that culminates in a pitch-contest demo day.

But unlike accelerators run by private investors, MassChallenge doesn’t take any equity stakes in its companies. That’s partially because the accelerator is backed by some government funding, but also a key part of its mission and a bit of a way for it to stand out in the crowded accelerator market.

The U.K. branch offers a prize pool equivalent to more than $760,000. It’s looking for seed-stage startups, specifically those that haven’t raised more than about $460,000 from investors, and have less than about $900,000 in annual sales.

Since it began in 2010, MassChallenge says it has graduated more than 600 companies that have gone on to raise about $706 million in additional funding and generated more than $404 million in revenues. [Updates with new stats provided by MassChallenge.]

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