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Let Entrepreneurs Play – The Importance of Offering a Sandbox to Startups

By Guest Blogger

December 23, 2013 0 Comments

Occasionally, we have guests submit articles to our blog which our readers may find relevant. Jibran Melak of Mass Challenge’s Social Media department shared the following:

With the global economy in its current state, it has now become more important than ever to help inspired value-creators acquire the tools needed in order to realize their ideas, effect change in the world, and create impact – now. The best way for entrepreneurs to create change is to simply let them play! Stick them in a sandbox with a wide variety of free products and services that they can use however they want so that they may find the best method of transitioning from idea to action. At MassChallenge, we do this by identifying and aggregating high-impact teams and resources and then organizing access to those key resources with additional training and networking events, effectively building a bridge for entrepreneurs across the gap between the resources they need and the ability for them to impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Hardware startups, thanks to Formlabs, are able to print out prototypes thanks to the 3D Printer
we have in our Hardware Lab

Given that startups at MassChallenge are working in a shifting sandbox in the dead of the startup ecosystem, needs are constantly shifting, changing, and evolving. This is why the diversity of services that need to be offered is important. High-impact startups such as Neumitra, which brings brain health to daily life through wearable and mobile technologies with personalized analytics, have already benefited immensely from having myriad products and services at their disposal to figure out and use as their venture grows. SoftLayer, which provides on-demand IT infrastructure, dedicated servers and cloud resources, is one of the many products that we give to our startups, for free, to use however the want to. Neumitra Co-Founder Robert Goldberg has acknowledged that “the option to go dedicated or cloud with SoftLayer is really helpful for a startup with changing needs.”

Some MassChallenge startups, such as Global Research Innovation & Technology (GRIT), which invented a Leveraged Freedom Chair that uses a novel drivetrain to offer people with disabilities unparalleled mobility on rough terrain, liken the MassChallenge experience to a “startup buffet, where you walk in and you have all these amazing opportunities in front of you, and then in a pretty low pressure environment you can decide what you need at a specific moment”. Founder Jordan Fliegal of CoachUp, which provides a service that connects athletes with private coaches, benefited immensely in an environment that he felt is constantly “giving to you and giving to you and giving to you without asking for anything in return other than that you work hard and create a company that makes a difference”.

If you give inspired individuals a chance and then give them not only the resources that they need, but also a diverse range of resources that they could need, you are guaranteed to help create global impact.

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