Awarded $25,000 by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to Support State Reopening Plan in Massachusetts
Nine Massachusetts Companies Competed in Inaugural Competition
WESTBOROUGH – On Friday, August 21, a panel of expert judges declared CareAline Products of Danvers the winner of the second COVID-19 Intrapreneur Challenge, a competition focused on companies developing innovations that will help Massachusetts in its reopening processes. The Challenge featured pitches from nine established Massachusetts companies, who pitched their designs and business plans aimed at addressing the ongoing public health challenge.
CareAline Products is producing a line of reusable, FDA registered hospital gowns for Level 1 and 2 usage. CareAline received a $25,000 award to support their goal. The reusable nature of the gowns will help reduce the amount of waste generated by the increase in PPE use during the pandemic. The company has also begun production of a line of masks.
The inaugural Intrapreneur Challenge is part of a series of competitions supported by a grant from the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the public agency managing the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT). Additional Challenges will focus on other products and services necessary to support a healthy and safe reopening of the economy during the pandemic and beyond.
“The Baker-Polito Administration was thoroughly impressed by all of the innovative products and solutions presented at this Challenge,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy. “The ingenuity and creativity of the Commonwealth’s manufacturing sector is vital to our effort to strengthen the state’s economy and stopping the spread of the coronavirus.”
Launched in early June, the Intrapreneur Challenge program is being managed by Lever, a North Adams-based business accelerator and innovation support organization. While most challenges are focused on early-stage entrepreneurs, Lever has pioneered a unique approach to supporting innovation at more mature companies. By working with product development staff at these established firms, the intrapreneurs, participants were able to “innovate from within” and to spark the type of leadership, innovation, and creativity typically associated with nimble startups.
“We congratulate CareAline Products for their winning proposal and thank all of the participants that took part in the first COVID-19 Intrapreneur Challenge,” said Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “At MassTech, we are proud to support and fund programs like the Intrapreneur Challenge that support the state’s manufacturing and innovation economy.”
To support its economic development mission, Lever has produced Challenges since it was founded in 2014 and worked with scores of innovators across many sectors.
“The finalists in our second Challenge presented unique and innovative ideas to help Massachusetts companies reopen for business,” said Lever Executive Director Jeffrey Thomas. “This is a special group of Intrapreneurs and we are impressed by their desire to help others across the state.”
Zoe Grant from Pyxis Global of Lawrence was the first runner up in the Challenge. The other finalists in the competition included:
- Julee Clement, Phillips Enterprises Inc., Northampton
- Deanna Junge, Landmark Finish, Inc., Andover
- Elizabeth Nelson, Northeast Biomedical, Tyngsborough
- Wayne Newton, TrueBounce Inc., New Bedford
- Armando Paredes, Quanta collaboration, Somerville
- Bill Sullivan, Flexcon, Spencer
- Joel Weitzman, Shear Color Printing, Inc., Woburn
While most challenges focus on early-stage entrepreneurs, Lever has pioneered a unique approach to supporting innovation at more mature companies. By working with product development staff at established firms, the intrapreneurs, participants were able to “innovate from within” and to spark the type of leadership, innovation, and creativity typically associated with nimble startups. Lever worked with these intrapreneurs to optimize product-market fit, build a solid business plan, and develop robust go-to-market strategies over the five-week program.
For more information, visit https://innovation.masstech.org/intrapreneur