Cork County Council launches international start-up competition for Life Sciences

Cork County Council launches international start-up competition for Life Sciences, Medical Technology and Digital Health Companies. 

Cork County Council, endorsed by Enterprise Ireland and Health Innovation Hub Ireland, has today unveiled its ground-breaking partnership with MassChallenge TM, the world’s largest not-for-profit no equity start-up accelerator based in Boston, Massachusetts, with the launch of the first ever Bridge to MassChallenge partnership in Ireland, entitled Bridge to MassChallenge Cork or B2MCCork.

To date, MassChallenge has accelerated 1,211 start-ups worldwide, which together have raised 2 billion USD in funding, generated 900 million USD in revenue and created over 65,000 direct and indirect jobs in several locations across the world, including Boston, Massachusetts (USA), Mexico City (Mexico), Lausanne (Switzerland), London (United Kingdom), Jerusalem (Middle East) and more recently Austin, Texas (USA).

Bridge to MassChallenge Cork, will present a unique opportunity to early stage start-ups with potential to scale and to connect with a global support system.  It is an international start-up competition that identifies and accelerates the top start-ups in the region and connects those start-ups to the global market through MassChallenge’s global network.  All twenty successful applicants will benefit from significant international mentoring and networking opportunities.

Applications will open on Monday 20th November. These will be evaluated by a panel of MassChallenge experts who will select twenty ambitious start-ups in the Life Sciences, Medical Technology and/or Digital Health Sector. These start-ups should have plans to scale up and connect internationally and will be offered the opportunity to participate in a week-long Cork boot camp commencing in February 2018.

This boot camp will conclude with an intensive competition to determine the top ten start-ups to emerge from the Cork boot camp, as selected by this process. These ten will then advance to a one-week all expenses paid intensive boot camp in Boston, in April 2018. From this, the top two companies will be selected to go forward to second round judging for one of MassChallenge’s international accelerators.

‘We are delighted to be bringing MassChallenge to Cork” said Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council. ‘In line with our strategic objective to lead economic development by working to support businesses and explore all potential avenues for creating additional jobs, Cork County Council has formed a strategic alliance with MassChallenge, a global non-profit start-up accelerator and competition which will focus on ambitious, early-stage entrepreneurs in the Life Sciences, Medical Technology and Digital Health Sector. This partnership with MassChallenge is founded on the Council’s mission to strengthen our regional innovation ecosystem and its stakeholders, driving the creation of high-quality jobs by supporting our native entrepreneurs and connecting them into a world class network.’

‘The Cork and Boston based boot camps will expose the ambitious start-ups to a leading international entrepreneurial ecosystem and equip them with international best practice from the MassChallenge international model on start-up supports. The Programme will enable participants to network internationally while being exposed to sector specific experts. MassChallenge has a track record of collaborating with more than 100 of the world’s most innovative organisations including Pfizer, GE and Microsoft to scale ambitious start ups and we look forward to embedding some of our innovative regional companies into this progressive community’ said Mr. Lucey.

Mayor of County Cork Declan Hurley added, ‘This strategic partnership will promote our Region as a global entrepreneurial hub and leader of innovation in this space, and the initiative  dovetails with the long and successful track record our Region has earned as a leading-edge, global cluster for pharma, biotech and med-tech companies.  This initiative also further builds upon the region’s well-established business, tourism and political links with Boston and the East coast of the United States’.

‘Cork County Council now looks forward to an exciting and wholesome engagement from start-ups and stakeholders alike with Bridge to MassChallenge Cork over the next 12 months. We would like to leverage this pioneering economic model, which is based on collaboration with global experts. These experts have demonstrated success, have world leading experience and international connections. This model will assist in strengthening the region’s innovation ecosystem, drive job creation and in turn reap the positive impacts on the jobs economy of our region.’

Applications for this ground-breaking programme will open on Monday 20th November next. For further information see or contact Elaine Walsh, Bridge to MassChallenge Cork Programme Manager, on  To follow the conversation online see Bridge to MassChallenge Cork or #B2MCCork on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.