paced outside the campus of MIT
waiting for a text message from one of his
knew this was his
only shot at the chief, and it could be short.
"I practiced a 10-second version with hands around my neck in case I was being restrained," he
Of course, the troopers were not Bialecki's bodyguards and the limo was for someone else, but Harthorne and his business partners did confront Bialecki and made their pitch while walking the secretary to his car: Their plan worked.
is the right person to infect leaders across the state with the mission and entrepreneurial virus."
The concept and mission of MassChallenge
is relatively simple: to provide a platform for early-stage companies to receive mentorship and seed funding through a $25 million business plan competition.
While he was an MIT Sloan school student in 2006 and 2007 he led the Global Startup Workshop, which he describes as having a mission of "spreading the gospel of the $100K around the world."
While the format and structure will be similar to university business plan competitions, it will differ in one significant way: a seed funding round up to $1 million will accompany the cash prize.
The program will work with an interactive web presence, where scientists and entrepreneurs can prepare themselves for the competition, as well as find team members.
expects to receive up to 3,000 submissions, which would then be reviewed and scored by a team of 20 to 30 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other professionals.
"We don't want to manage the investment, we want to be a passive investor," Harthorne
is confident the investment community will benefit from such a program, even feeding more seed rounds, as the contest would reduce the time investors themselves would need to meet and screen pitches from entrepreneurs.
Another challenge will be raising MassChallenge's
own investment pool.
The state's $100,000 investment through the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative was for operational funds, and investments can only come from the public and nonprofit sectors.
Grants and loans can come from any entity, although it can not receive an equity return.
Harthorne has been able to gain the support of some of the largest players in the local IT community, including Sycamore Networks founder Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, Flybridge Capital Partners General Partner Michael Greeley and Cambridge Innovation Center founder Tim Rowe.