By Cory Bolotsky

With the 2013 Mass­Chal­lenge Awards Cer­e­mony coming up on October 30, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on one of MassChallenge’s major ini­tia­tives in 2013: Mass­Chal­lenge Israel.

In 2009, John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam founded Mass­Chal­lenge with a vision to cat­alyze a global startup renais­sance — a rebirth of inspired, cre­ative inno­va­tors who strive to create new value for the world. In our first year, Mass­Chal­lenge saw appli­ca­tions from over 35 coun­tries, but the idea of a global renais­sance extended beyond appli­ca­tion interest. Geo­graphic expan­sion has long been a part of the Mass­Chal­lenge vision and Israel was iden­ti­fied as the first node for that inter­na­tional expan­sion out­side of Boston.

In late 2012, we launched Mass­Chal­lenge Israel in Tel Aviv. With the tremen­dous sup­port of EMC Cor­po­ra­tionThe Kraft Group and the New Eng­land Israel Busi­ness Council, we set out to enable top-​​tier Israeli star­tups to access global mar­kets by con­necting them with the very best people and orga­ni­za­tions in the Boston entre­pre­neurial ecosystem.

I was for­tu­nate to join the Mass­Chal­lenge team three years ago when I only was 19 years old and a freshman at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. My first co-​​op was with Mass­Chal­lenge in Boston as their Startup Concierge. I caught the startup bug in that role and it trig­gered a pas­sion for sup­porting entre­pre­neurs and con­tributing to the global startup community.

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