Massachusetts Puts Out Welcome Mat for Startups

The Massachusetts statehouse in Boston.

The Massachusetts statehouse in Boston. f11photo /


Connecting state and local government leaders

CIO: Commonwealth government is “a good potential place to play off your ideas.”

State officials in Massachusetts want to make it clear that the Bay State is no innovation backwater. They want to foster valuable partnerships between the public and private sectors and aren’t afraid at using some cash incentives to draw interest.

Last month, Massachusetts launched a first-of-its-kind competition in the state to find “entrepreneurs who are focused on improving constituent-government relationships,” according to MassIT’s blog post on the MassIT Government Innovation Competition.  

The winning project from the competition, which is part of a MassIT partnership with the MassChallenge startup accelerator, will get $50,000. MassChallenge awards more than $1 million in funding every year to help bolster Massachusetts’ startup community.

Although the deadline for the MassIT Government Innovation Challenge submissions has passed, Bill Oates, the chief information officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, recently discussed why early-stage companies shouldn’t ignore opportunities to partner with the commonwealth.

Oates said during a recent Google Hangout hosted by the Capital Network that was recently uploaded to YouTube:

The point that we want to make to any early-stage company is when you think about raising capital or are think about getting some of your funding from your customers, government is an interesting place to go. We’re in a wide set of businesses in government. So with a little creativity, you can think about taking some of these new ideas and new-tech solutions and applying them to organizations that historically might not have been looked at as the target customer. But I think the thinking that’s been going on here for the last number of years I think really makes us a good potential place to play off your ideas, potentially pilot or respond to what are hopefully [request for proposals] and documents under the procurement process that are a little more open to companies that are in their early stages.

Watch the Google Hangout here:

(Image via f11photo/