Request for Proposals – MassVentures START Program Stage I Grants

Request for Proposals

For MassVentures START (SBIR TARgeted Technologies) Program Stage I Grants

February 1, 2018

MassVentures hereby invites all Massachusetts companies that meet the eligibility criteria set forth below to submit applications to its START program for Stage I grants.

What is START?

START is a program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist Massachusetts companies that have received at least the equivalent of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) or Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) grant to commercialize their technologies. The program was created to assist high growth companies that will expand employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

 Who is eligible?

Any Massachusetts company whose application to the program is not based on pharmaceutical, therapeutic or medical device technology and has received a Phase II SBIR or STTR award.

There is no strict requirement about when the qualifying Phase II SBIR or STTR award was received. However, if it was received prior to February 1, 2014, you should explain in your application why it remains commercially relevant today.

A “Massachusetts company” is one that conducts its research, development, manufacturing and commercialization primarily in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is committed to continuing to do so. It is expected that START funds will be spent primarily in Massachusetts.

Further details on program eligibility requirements are here.

How do I apply?

A detailed description of the application process is located here.

When is the Deadline for Applications?

The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 5:00 pm EST.

How Do I Get More Information?

Many of your questions will be answered on our website. Please make sure to review the full START section, including our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have further questions after reviewing these pages, please contact the START Program Manager, John Fitzpatrick, at   In addition, MassVentures will be conducting two informational sessions.

The first information session will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 10 – 11:30 am at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C., City Point, 230 3rd Avenue, 4th Floor, Waltham, MA 02451.

  • Hear from the START managers about the process
  • Learn from past winners about what makes a successful application
  • Get insights from judges on what they look for in applicants

More information can be found here.  Space is limited – please RSVP to

Second, MassVentures will conduct a conference call on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 2:00 pm at which time potential applicants can ask us questions about the START Program and the Stage I application and selection process. The dial in information for that call is below:

When:           Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 2:00 pm

Call-in:           (712) 832-8320, Access Code: 7551599


2018 MassVentures START program kick off!

The 2018 MassVentures START program:

Up to $3 million in funding available for MA SBIR Phase II companies

  • Join the growing ranks of successful Massachusetts companies who are a part of the START program.  Past winners include Ginkgo BioworksClear Motion (Levant Power), Boston Engineering, and Artaic.  Full list here.
  • The RFP will be posted February 1 on the MassVentures websiteand applications are due March 1.
  • The START Program Phase I application is only a few pages long and is designed to be user-friendly.

MassVentures START Information Session

Don’t miss this opportunity – space is limited

Tuesday February 13, 2018

10 – 11:30 am

Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC
230 3rd Avenue, 4th Floor
Waltham, MA 02451

Hear from the START managers about the process

Learn from past winners about what makes a successful application.

Get insights from judges on what they look for in applicants.

Space is limited – please RSVP to


For more information, please see:

MassVentures joins in $3 Million Round for Spiro Technologies

Please see Spiro’s press release below.


Spiro Technologies Raises $3M Investment Lead by Geekdom Fund for Proactive CRM powered by Artificial Intelligence

Boston, MA, October 9, 2017

Spiro Technologies, the provider of the first Proactive CRM, announced today a $3 million Series Seed funding led by Geekdom Fund with participation by MassVentures, Hyperplane Venture Capital and New Harbour Partners. MassVentures’ Vice President Jennifer Jordan will join the Spiro board of directors.  Spiro will use the new investment to expand its sales, marketing and product development teams.

Spiro’s Proactive CRM (customer relationship management system) advises sales leaders and representatives about important activities to move deals through the pipeline. Spiro automatically updates itself; makes recommendations and reminds users about the best prospects to reach out to to close deals; and uses unique natural language processing to create and respond to emails.  On average, sales teams using Spiro talk to 23% more customers and prospects during the week, and close 20% more sales.

Spiro was launched in 2014 by three CRM industry veterans, Adam Honig, Andy Levi and Justin Kao. Collectively, they have more than 40 years’ experience selling and delivering solutions to salespeople, and have built applications which have been used by over 300,000 sales professionals.

“We are very impressed with Spiro’s vision for the future of CRM,” said Don Douglas, Senior Managing Director, Geekdom Fund. “They have demonstrated great early traction for their Proactive CRM which advises salespeople who to call, email and follow-up without data entry. We are happy to partner with Spiro’s experienced management team and support them while building the next generation of customer relationship management software.”

“Spiro has created something completely different than the rest of the CRM market by focusing on delighting salespeople first,” said Jennifer Jordan, Vice President, MassVentures. “Their customers were typically not able to use CRM before Spiro because their sales teams resisted adopting it. We believe that Spiro can significantly expand the market of CRM to additional sectors, and we’re excited to be involved with Spiro just as it’s poised for huge growth.”

“We’ve grown Spiro from a personal sales assistant to a full sales CRM platform, powered by artificial intelligence,” said Adam Honig, Spiro’s CEO and Co-founder. “With the new investment, we plan on expanding rapidly and bringing new innovations to help companies sell more and acquire customers more easily.”



About Spiro Technologies

Spiro Technologies provides the first Proactive CRM that reminds salespeople who to call, updates itself and helps sales leaders drive more revenue.

About Geekdom Fund

The Geekdom Fund L.P. is a venture capital fund that invests in early stage IT startups in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond. With a hands on approach, we give companies the tools they need in order to reach Series A funding.

 About MassVentures

MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups.


Alicia Gordon

Spiro Technologies

(617) 804-5560

Click here for more details from Spiro.

Applause Announces Acquisition by Vista Equity Partners

Vista’s investment and expertise in accelerating high-growth companies will help Applause scale and become the software quality backbone for the world’s most successful digital experiences

August 23, 2017

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Applause, the global leader in digital experience quality, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading investment firm focused on software, data and technology-enabled businesses. The acquisition combines the unique technology and broad customer adoption of Applause Digital Experience solutions with Vista’s strategic and operational expertise for high-growth technology companies. With Vista’s backing, Applause will accelerate its market leadership for digital testing, user feedback and market insights offerings.

“This is a tremendous milestone for Applause, one which validates our mission: to deliver flawless digital experiences to the world,” said Doron Reuveni, President and CEO, Applause. “Our human-centric approach to software design and quality has become essential to ensure technology works as intended, by real people, in the real world. As we take Applause to our next stage of growth, we are delighted to partner with Vista’s second-to-none talent and expertise.”

The digital experience is becoming critical for companies as they look to interact with their customers in the most advanced and direct ways. Applause connects its clients’ software development processes with its SaaS platform to manage the largest global community of on-demand digital experience experts and to provide actionable insight into how software works in the real world. Applause’s unique and scalable approach to software testing and feedback dramatically decreases both the time and cost of delivering great digital experiences on mobile apps, websites, IoT and more.

“We are delighted that Applause is joining the Vista family. We look forward to partnering with the Applause team to spur innovation, accelerate growth and extend its market leadership in community driven digital experiences,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “The market demand for Applause has never been stronger. It is fueled by businesses that understand that digital ‘customer experiences’ are the primary way to compete. The Applause solution enables leading digital brands to ensure that their software works across any device, in every location.”

Applause will continue to operate independently with no changes in executive leadership. The transaction is currently expected to close in the coming weeks and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as the lead financial advisor to Applause. Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor to Vista. Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Applause. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Vista.

About Applause

Applause empowers the world’s leading digital brands – including Google, Uber, Michael Kors, and FOX – to deliver flawless digital experiences to their customers on any device, in every location. Applause ensures software quality for websites, mobile apps, IoT products and in-store interactions in a way no other approach can – through its technology platform and managed global community of over 300,000 professional, on-demand, digital experience experts. Applause delivers authentic, real-world human input at every phase of software development, delivering insight into market requirements, user feedback and software quality. Companies that use Applause benefit from flawless digital experiences that build customer loyalty, drive revenue and accelerate innovation.

Prior to the acquisition by Vista, Applause raised funding from leading investors including Accenture, Credit Suisse, Egan-Managed Capital, Goldman Sachs, Longworth Venture Partners, MassVentures, Mesco Ltd, QuestMark Partners, and Scale Venture Partners.

Learn more at

About Vista Equity Partners

Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, and Oakland with more than $30 billion in cumulative capital commitments, currently invests in software, data and technology-enabled organizations led by world-class management teams with long-term perspective. Vista is a value-added investor, contributing professional expertise and multi-level support towards companies’ realizing their full potential. Vista’s investment approach is anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions, and proven management techniques that yield flexibility and opportunity in private equity investing. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts

Julia Dunlea, 603-387-3191

Alan H. Fleischmann, 202-776-7776

2017 START Winners – MassVentures announces $3.4 million for 20 companies


CONTACT: Kate Anderson (617) 773-4842,

MassVentures Announces $3.4 million in 2017 START Program Funding

Partnership with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center expands awards to additional cutting-edge Massachusetts companies

Boston – MassVentures today announced the 2017 START (SBIR Targeted Technologies) program winners. Each START winner will receive a grant to help grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.  The winning companies span the state and the technology sector, from robotics to clean energy to defense. Full list, including locations and descriptions of the winning companies, is below.

For 2017, MassVentures and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) have partnered to increase the scope and capacity of the MassVentures START Program. MassCEC has committed up to $400,000 to START in 2017. The new MassVentures and MassCEC cooperative endeavor is the result of the success of the 2016 pilot program to expand START eligibility to recipients of US Department of Energy SBIR grants.

Now in its sixth year, the START program has awarded over $15 million to 70 Massachusetts SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase II projects and helped winning companies raise additional capital of $278 million.

“The START Program is one of the many reasons Massachusetts is the nation’s leader in innovation,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash. “These investments leverage federal dollars to support cutting-edge companies grow from the earliest stages of research and development through to commercialization which leads to job creation and economic development opportunities for the state.”

“The START program is a rich feeder source to the venture community that fosters growth of companies and readies them for venture funding,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures. “MassVentures START program helps companies like Clear Motion and Gingko Bioworks capitalize on their SBIR funds and arms them with the capital, experience, mentoring and network they need to transition to high-growth companies.”

“In partnering with MassVentures, we’re opening the START program to clean energy companies and leveraging the strength of Massachusetts’ diverse innovation economy,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “With access to these funds, companies can draw additional private investment and drive toward commercialization while fueling job creation across the state.”

The MassVentures START program ensures growing Massachusetts-based companies are able to commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. The program is a three-year process designed to provide increasing financial rewards to the companies that demonstrate progress on the path toward commercialization. At the outset of Stage 1, twelve companies are selected to receive $100,000 in funding. Over the course of the next year, each company, with advice and coaching provided by MassVentures and the START ecosystem, strives to execute on its product commercialization strategy.  After that year, up to six of the original twelve winners are selected by an expert panel to each receive $200,000 grants.  At the conclusion of the second year, the judges choose two companies to each receive $500,000.

2017 START Program Stage I Winners

2017 START Program Stage II Winners

2017 START Program Stage III Winners


2017 START Winners/Company Description by Location


Spero Devices, Inc. – Stage I

Spero Devices is developing an innovative accelerator card for computationally intensive applications in products that are constrained by size, weight and power. The applications are in machine learning, visual computation, and scientific simulation. The computational efficiency of the accelerator is greater than a factor of ten when compared to competitive co-processor devices fabricated in 2022. “The MassVentures START grant will help build the value of the company by enabling us to build a patent portfolio, travel for business development, and develop customer-driven applications in machine intelligence.”


Physical Sciences Inc. – Stage II

For over 40 years, PSI has provided technology solutions and innovative products to government and commercial customers. PSI’s employee-owners continue to grow the company across a range of markets applying emerging science to important problems and play an important role in the development and transition of advanced technology from the laboratory to commercial and government use. “Stage I funding provided PSI with the ability to form strategic alliances that enabled our PERM detection technology to compete in the Radiation Portal Monitor market and establish initial production capability.  Stage II funding will enable us to expand our production capability while entering the mobile and military detector markets.”


Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc. – Stage III

Remote Sensing Solutions (RSS) is a fast-growing small business that develops and provides advanced technology and products for radar and sonar applications. Its core product is the ARENA platform that serves as the voice, nervous system and brain – the digital subsystem – of a radar or sonar. Reconfigurable and modular, the RSS ARENA products are enabling a new generation of sensing capability and sensor design.  “The START program provides research and development companies, like ours, with critical funding and advisory resources to transform from a knowledge-based R&D company to a high-growth, product-based company. In our case, with the START funds and guidance, we have transitioned our ARENA technology that was initially developed through our R&D efforts into a game-changing product-line that is solving our customers’ critical sensor needs while enabling significant growth in employment, revenue and corporate value.”  – Dr. James R Carswell, CTO, Remote Sensing Solutions


VocaliD, Inc. – Stage I

VocaliD humanizes the voice inside any device that speaks–redefining how we interact with one another and our intelligent devices. VocaliD creates custom digital voices as unique as fingerprints by leveraging their growing Human Voicebank of 20,000+ speech donors from around the world and proprietary voice blending algorithms. Whether the personalized voices empower millions who use assistive communication devices or connect loved ones through companion robots and smart toys, VocaliD is powering the next generation of social connectivity. “The START grant comes at a pivotal time as we begin to scale up operations and increase brand awareness to accelerate customer acquisition.” -Rupal Patel, Founder & CEO @ VocaliD.


Akita Innovations LLC – Stage I

Akita Innovations LLC uses advanced materials technologies to solve research and product development challenges for commercial and government customers.  Akita’s chemicals, materials, and coatings are applied to protective/barrier fabrics, optical materials, biosensors, energetic materials, and antifog, anticorrosion, and anticontamination coatings.  “The START grant from MassVentures will be used by Akita to perform business development and preparation for commercialization of our antifog and anticontamination coatings. Such work is not funded by SBIR support for our technology, so the START award will allow us to commercialize the technology and grow our business and staff more rapidly.”  – Larry Takiff, President, Akita Innovations LLC


Spectral Sciences – Stage I

Spectral Sciences, Inc. (SSI) is a small, employee-owned business dedicated to innovation and excellence in basic and applied research.  Areas of expertise include remote sensing and signatures analysis, atmospheric and combustion sciences, computational solutions in chemistry, physics and fluid mechanics, and development of instrumentation to support phenomenological studies and new measurement concepts. SSI’s scientists and engineers have built its foundation on extensive US government contract research and development, and are branching into commercial markets across multiple industries from defense companies to established technology organizations and start-ups.   “The START award for our Multifunctional Imager technology will allow us to gain new insight into the machine vision market for industrial automation and robotics and kick-start our entry into that market.” – Robert Sundberg, President, SSI.


Eutropics – Stage II

Eutropics is a biomarker discovery and clinical diagnostics laboratory that develops novel functional clinical diagnostic tests that recognize unique features of cancer cells from individual patients. The information indicates if that patient is likely to have a meaningful response to a given drug treatment. Test results are provided to pharmaceutical companies and used to select patients into clinical trials, or to oncology clinicians to help them select best treatment options for their cancer patients.  “The MassVentures START program award will help support ongoing development and provide critical seed funding to raise capital to drive ensuing commercial activities. It cannot be overstated how significant the association with MassVentures START program is for the commercial implementation of an important clinical diagnostic platform. “ – Michael Cardone, CEO, Eutropics

Massachusetts Materials Technologies LLC – Stage I

Massachusetts Materials Technologies LLC (MMT) has developed the Hardness, Strength and Ductility (HSD) Tester – a revolutionary, portable, non-destructive testing instrument to measure metal strength.  There is a need for instruments that identify the strength left in aging metals as well as quality assurance for construction of new metal structures.  MMT has launched an initial testing service for the 300,000 miles of high pressure oil and gas metal pipelines that are critical to transfer energy safely and efficiently across the United States. “The START program will have a large impact on our ability to accelerate the commercialization of our technology and commercial sales that are critical to the success of our innovation efforts.” -Simon Bellemare, CEO, Massachusetts Materials Technologies LLC

Radial Analytics, Inc. – Stage II

Radial Analytics is a seed-stage digital health company. Our decision science platform helps drive better patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. “The MassVentures START program has been instrumental in accelerating our progress, allowing us to hire key roles here in Massachusetts and accelerating our commercialization efforts” – Dr. Thaddeus Fulford-Jones, CEO, Radial Analytics

Silverside Detectors – Stage I

Silverside Detectors is developing next-generation nuclear radiation detectors that help governments reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. Silverside’s neutron detector provides state-of-the-art detection efficiency at a fraction of the cost of currently deployed detectors, allowing significant expansion of detection coverage in ports, borders, and in networks around cities. Silverside works directly with federal agencies and local first responders to provide the best science in the most practical, user-oriented solutions. “The START grant is a huge multiplier on the technical investment that the government made through the SBIR award. We’re excited to use the funds to take the core technology to customers and adapt it for real-world application. The START grant represents an opportunity for commercialization that is very hard for a small company to fund on its own.”

Fall River

Xilectric, Inc. – Stage I

Xilectric has developed a new technology that mitigates damage to Li-ion batteries from elevated temperature and high cell potentials.  Their technology helps cell manufacturers provide superior energy storage products with lower cost of total ownership to their customers. ” Xilectric is extremely grateful for the support from the MassVentures START program which will help support customer trials and initial scale-up activities.” – Steve Weiss, Founder & CEO, Xilectric


MTPV Power Corp. – Stage II

MTPV™ creates clean energy solutions, converting heat into electricity using semiconductor chips. Just as solar panels turn sunlight into electricity, MTPV can turn any heat source into clean power.  MTPV’s EBLADE™ Power Platform provides a small footprint, scalable and easy to deploy solution for energy capture and conversion. “MTPV Power Corporation is delighted to be named a MassVentures 2017 START Program Stage II awardee. Stage I START Program funds have helped MTPV to deploy a commercial site pilot, advancing market readiness. The funding and support provided by the START Program is an invaluable resource for high growth companies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts working to commercialize innovative technologies.” – David Mather, President & CEO, MTPV Power Corp.


Altaeros Energies – Stage I        

Altaeros’ mission is to deliver the next generation of infrastructure to rural and isolated communities. Altaeros combines proven technology with flight control innovations that enable cost effective autonomous deployment of tethered airborne platforms. At heights above 200m a wide range of applications become attractive including power generation, telecommunications, and other infrastructure services. They are currently focusing on providing a cost effective, reliable and environmentally friendly solution for rural connectivity around the world. “The START grant is a great program that will allow us to hire several key team members to help turn the corner from R&D and product development to full commercialization of our breakthrough telecom infrastructure solution.” – Ben Glass, CEO/CTO, Altaeros Energies

Curoverse, Inc. – Stage I

Through the growth of genomic, imaging, sensor, and other data, healthcare is becoming more predictive, personalized, and precise. Curoverse is building an open-source platform that supports real-time queries of globally distributed biomedical data, efficiently runs machine learning algorithms, and is secure, fault-tolerant, scalable, and embraced by the community.  By addressing the unique data and compute infrastructure software challenges in the biomedical field, Curoverse empowers scientists and clinicians to focus on what they do best: making breakthrough discoveries and delivering real-world care. “The START grant will enable Curoverse to bring Arvados to many new commercial opportunities, linking genome data with clinical data, and to create a big data environment that facilitates the development of precision medicine.” — Ward Vandewege, CEO, Curoverse

Dynamo Micropower Corp. – Stage II

Dynamo Micropower provides the oil and gas industry with a game changing power solution called the PowerCore, which is able to burn Any-Gas for fuel to power Any-Load found in the field.  The solution, based on a novel gas turbine, reduces energy costs by up to 80% for customers.  “The START program will give Dynamo a head-start in commercial launch of our product by enabling us to engage in strategic marketing and pre-sales program–getting us well on our way to our ultimate goal: successful commercialization of our game changing technology.” – Jason Ethier, CEO, Dynamo Micropower


Tactai, Inc. – Stage I

Tactai brings the sense of natural touch in the human to machine interaction. With Tactai’s software and wearable technology people for the first time can touch, feel, grasp and interact with virtual objects and virtual applications with life-like realism. The opportunity to add natural touch to our everyday digital interactions across every possible application of Human expression has the potential to substantially enrich and improve social exchanges and online experiences. “Winning the START award helps us to acquire additional resources to reach more customers and to bring our technology to market sooner.” – Steven D Domenikos, Founder & CEO, Tactai Inc.


Cambrian Innovation, Inc. – Stage II

Cambrian Innovation provides distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions for industrial businesses. Cambrian’s award-winning EcoVolt® product suite offers cost-effective and sustainable options for onsite wastewater treatment, water reuse, and clean energy generation to some of the top names in food and beverage processing, including Lagunitas Brewing Company, Bear Republic Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company, and Rombauer Vineyards, among others. “Cambrian Innovation is honored to be named a MassVentures START Program Stage II winner. The START program has been a great resource for our company, and we are excited to continue working with MassVentures as we grow. We have already made great progress on the second generation of our flagship product, the EcoVolt Reactor, thanks to the funding and support from Stage I of the program. We look forward to building upon that progress in Stage II.” – Matthew Silver, Founder & CEO. Cambrian Innovation


Metamagnetics, Inc. – Stage I

Metamagnetics is a leading provider of RF and microwave components to enhance the performance and effectiveness of mission-critical security, surveillance and communication systems. Their agile, customer oriented team offers unparalleled knowledge and expertise in electromagnetism and materials science. With multiple product offerings and a wide range of consulting services, Metamagnetics can help design and deploy innovative solutions for radar, sensing and related systems. “We are delighted to once again partner with MassVentures to accelerate the commercialization of our Autotune Filter technology. We’ve experienced steady commercial revenue growth from our previous MassVentures supported project and are looking forward to further building that momentum with a new Stage 1 start this year.”


Optodot Corporation – Stage I

Optodot Corporation has been awarded START funding for its NPORE ® heat-resistant separator for lithium ion batteries. The NPORE ® separator is a flexible, all-ceramic, nanoporous membrane that improves the safety of lithium ion batteries because it does not shrink or melt until temperatures reach well above 220ºC. Optodot is a product development company that commercializes technologies primarily through licensing and strategic partnerships. “The START program funding will support Optodot’s transition from technology development to customer qualification and sales. We are honored to receive this competitive award which will help propel the next stage of growth for our company.” – Steve Carlson, Founder and CEO, Optodot

Primaira, LLC – Stage III

Founded in 2006, Primaira LLC has established a track-record of innovation in appliance, medical device, and consumer product development. Primaira, LLC is owned and managed by Phil Carbone and Karen Benedek who bring over 50 years of experience providing product development and technical consulting services to corporate and government clients. Primaira, LLC developed the Bluezone® air cleaning technology for the US Army through the SBIR program. Subsequent to SBIR funding, Primaira launched a multi-industry Bluezone business with product sales, technology licensing, and Bluezone technology integration contracts. “The MassVentures START program has enabled us to launch our Bluezone residential air cleaning business, by funding the transition of the technology we developed for the US military into a best-in-class consumer product. The START program has allowed us to turn a well established business model on its head: we will manufacture a world class product in Massachusetts and sell it to Chinese consumers who need better technology and a trustworthy brand to protect their health from their infamous air pollution. With START Stage III funding, we will implement our product manufacturing plan creating the private and government partnerships to export our product globally. This critical program has provided us the funding and credibility we need to attract the further investment and financing to create a robust manufacturing business in Massachusetts.”


MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization. The MassVentures’ START program received the prestigious 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  More information on the START program and the MassVentures 5 Year START Report can be found at

5/18/17 Inaugural MassVentures $5K Business Pitch Competition & Community Forum


CONTACT: Kate Anderson,

Inaugural MassVentures $5K Business Pitch Competition & Community Forum

 MassVentures and the UMass Lowell Office of Entrepreneurship & Economic Development will host a gathering of entrepreneurs, business leaders, faculty, students and other members of the innovation ecosystem from across the Merrimack Valley

The event begins with the Technology Venture Pitch Contest with five local teams competing for a chance to win $5K in grant funding from MassVentures and access to the broader advisory, mentor, educational and community resources of MassVentures and UMass Lowell.  Following the contest, there will be a Community Forum on Funding Sources & Strategies in the Massachusetts Innovation Ecosystem.

 WHAT:              Inaugural MassVentures $5K Business Pitch Competition & Community Forum

WHEN:            Thursday May 18, 2017

10:00 am – 11:30 am Business Pitch Competition

11:30 am – 12:30 pm Community Forum on Funding Sources & Strategies

WHERE:          UMass Lowell Innovation Hub, 110 Canal St., Lowell, MA

WHO:              State Senator Eileen Donoghue (~11:30am); Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures

Teams competing for funding:

  • Horsepower Technologies Inc. (Lowell, MA)
  • invisaWear Technologies, LLC (Nashua, NH)
  • InVitroMetrix Corporation (Lowell, MA)
  • Lavoie Industries (Lowell, MA)
  • Nonspec (Lowell, MA)

Community Forum:

  • Jennifer Daloisio, Chief Financial Officer, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
  • Abi Barrow, Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures (OTCV) at the University of Massachusetts & Founding Director, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC)
  • Jim Kenney, VP Commercial Lending, The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF), MassDevelopment
  • Tom O’Donnell, Director, UMass Lowell iHub


MassVentures is quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization.



5/18 Inaugural MV $5K Business Pitch Competition & Community Forum

Please join MassVentures and the UMass Lowell Office of Entrepreneurship & Economic Development for a gathering of entrepreneurs, business leaders, faculty, students and other members of the innovation ecosystem from across the Merrimack Valley.
Inaugural MV $5K Business Pitch Competition & Community Forum
Thursday May 18, 2017
10:00 am – 1:30 pm
The UMass Lowell Innovation Hub
 110 Canal St., Lowell
10:00 am: Technology Venture Pitch Contest
Come see five finalist teams pitch their ventures for a chance to win $5K in grant funding from MassVentures and access to the broader advisory, mentor, educational and community resources of MassVentures and UMass Lowell. Finalists will be announced May 5th.
11:30 am: Community Forum on Funding Sources & Strategies in the MA Innovation Ecosystem
Come meet some of the best minds in funding strategies. Representatives from MassVentures, Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC), MassDevelopment, Mass Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and other early stage funders will discuss early-stage venture funding sources and strategies. 
12:30 pm: Lunch & Networking
The event is free, but registration is requested:

MassVentures Invests in ClearGov – Leader in Gov’t Transparency/Efficiency Solutions


CONTACT: Kate Anderson, 617.773.4842,

 MassVentures Invests in ClearGov, Participates in $1.2 Million Seed Round

Boston, MA – MassVentures announced today that it has participated in the latest round of funding for ClearGov, a leading provider of local government transparency and benchmarking solutions. The seed round was led by Kepha Partners.

Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Chris Bullock and Bryan Burdick, ClearGov helps local governments operate more effectively by transforming large, complex public data sets into actionable fiscal insights. The company has built a network of over 20,000 financial infographic-style profiles of local governments across 20 states.  Their extensive benchmarking database contains detailed analytics on over $1.8 trillion of government expenditures.

Local governments use ClearGov’s enterprise SaaS solution to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions, and improve communication with citizens. Taxpayers use ClearGov to better understand how their local government operates, see how their tax dollars are put to work, and how their local government’s financial performance compares to other cities and towns.

The company’s premium InsightsTM service allows local governments across the country, from Brookline, MA to Decatur, GA, to enhance their basic ClearGov profiles with more granular financials and commentary on fiscal trends. Through InsightsTM, local governments can provide residents with a clear picture of the city/town’s financial health. The dashboard can include a full breakdown of revenues, expenses, debts, and reserve funds, as well as demographics and information on schools. All of the information is presented in easily understood graphics and is contextualized with comparison figures from similar towns.

“ClearGov has created an invaluable tool not only for citizens, but also for government officials to access and, more importantly, utilize public spending, taxation and budgeting information,” said Jennifer Jordan, vice president at MassVentures.

“This investment is an important step in our vision to make democracy work better.  ClearGov is much more than financial transparency; we are providing insights to taxpayers and officials that can help improve the effectiveness of their local government” said Chris Bullock, CEO and founder of ClearGov.  “Ultimately, we believe our platform has the potential to positively impact millions of people through more a more informed and efficient democracy.”

“ClearGov’s team has a proven entrepreneurial track record and the company’s traction with local governments in Massachusetts speaks for itself,” said Eric Hjerpe, partner at Kepha Partners.  “The company’s solution is incredibly topical as governments are increasing battling misinformation, making the need to improve transparency and build public trust ever more important,” he continued.


MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization.

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments and school districts use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions, and improve communication with citizens.





MassVentures & the MA Clean Energy Center Announce New Partnership


CONTACT: Kate Anderson, 617.773.4842,


MassVentures & the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Announce New Partnership

Will Increase Funding to Massachusetts Companies

Boston- MassVentures and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced a new partnership to increase the capacity of the MassVentures START (SBIR TARgeted Technologies) Program. The START program helps growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. Recognizing that innovation, invention, and disruption take time, the START program provides up to three years of additional funding for grantees.

MassCEC has committed up to $400,000 to START in 2017 to increase the scope and impact of the program. START will now award up to $1.2 million for twelve companies in Stage I and up to $1.2 million for six companies in Stage II. Stage III remains at $1 million, resulting in a total START funding stream of $3.4 million for 2017. 

The new MassVentures and MassCEC cooperative endeavor is the result of the success of the 2016 pilot program to expand START eligibility to recipients of US Department of Energy SBIR grants. After opening the funding process in 2016, with assistance from MassCEC, several clean energy companies applied to the START program. Cambrian Innovation (Boston), NewGrid, Inc. (Somerville), and MTPV Power Corporation (Medford) were awarded Stage I funding. 

“MassVentures and MassCEC are making strategic investments in an important, emerging tech sector here in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Clean energy production has immense potential, and programs like START ensure we are capturing the opportunities for job creation and growth here in the Commonwealth.” 

“Increasing the capacity of the START program will provide needed capital to Massachusetts entrepreneurs who are working hard to develop and produce new, innovative clean energy solutions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this partnership, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the Commonwealth’s growing innovation economy, which is driving technology breakthroughs that spur job creation and support Massachusetts’ energy goals.” 

“We know that innovation will drive our energy future, and it is clear from last year’s applicant pool that capital is needed to help promising clean energy ideas become real-world solutions,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures. “With the generous support of MassCEC, the START program will be able to help more Massachusetts start-ups with the funding, experience, mentoring and networks they need to potentially transition to high-growth companies.” 

“Massachusetts is a national and international innovation destination and our partnership with MassVentures supports the entrepreneurs fueling high-tech economic growth across the state,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “This program will help startup companies bridge persistent funding gaps and lead to increased business opportunities in the future.” 

MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization. The MassVentures START program, founded in in 2012, has provided $12 million in funding to 50 SBIR/STTR projects and helped winning companies raise additional capital of $278 million. The MassVentures’ START program received the prestigious 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is a publicly-funded agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since it began operating in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.

START Information Session for Prospective Applicants

Thursday March 9, 2017
10 – 11:30 am at Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road, Chelmsford, MA 01824

Speakers include:
START winners & START Judges/Reviewers:
Ted Acworth, Founder & CEO, ARTAIC
Mark W. Smithers, CTO, Boston Engineering Corporation
Elaine Trudell
Moderated by Dr. Ken Mahmud, Executive Vice President, Triton Systems

Space is limited.
Please RSVP to: