BOSTON—MassChallenge announced the winners of the MassChallenge Boston 2015 accelerator program, awarding $1.5 million in non-dilutive grants to 16 startups. Among the winners is Boston-based Sanitation and Health Rights in India, known as SHRI.

SHRI, which fights alongside communities to end outdoor defecation in an ongoing struggle for health equity and social and economic justice, won $100,000.

What was the elevator pitch submitted by SHRI to MassaChallenge? Here it is:

“SHRI works alongside communities in rural India to increase access to essential health infrastructure by providing access to toilets, which convert waste into energy in order to run a water filtration system. SHRI sells safe drinking water at a fair price to generate revenue. SHRI encourages behavior change and positive health outcomes through education. Partnerships with local government ensures land and funding allocated for ending open defecation goes to those most in need of these services.”

Over 1,500 members of the Boston startup community gathered to celebrate entrepreneurship at the sixth-annual MassChallenge Boston Awards Ceremony Wednesday night. The event featured a showcase of the 128 MassChallenge Boston startups, pitches from the top 26, and speeches from DraftKings CEO and Co-Founder Jason Robins, Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh.

“Tonight is what it’s all about – great startups and a room of full of people who helped them get there,” said MassChallenge Boston Managing Director Scott Bailey. “I’m extremely proud of all 128 startups that came through the accelerator this summer and look forward to continuing the journey with them.”

The Awards Ceremony capped off an active year for MassChallenge. Over 2,250 startups applied to join MassChallenge accelerators in Boston and London. Of the 128 selected in Boston, a record 44% had at least one female founder.

MassChallenge also announced the expansion of its global accelerator network. The nonprofit detailed plans to launch a MassChallenge accelerator in Jerusalem in 2016, and announced that it has advanced to the next step toward launching a program in Mexico.

The 128 startups from MassChallenge Boston now join an esteemed group of alumni, which includes 835 companies from around the world. Since 2010, startups accelerated by MassChallenge have raised $1.1 billion in funding, generated $520 million in revenue and created 6,500 jobs.

For the list of all MassChallenge winners, visit:

MassChallenge runs startup accelerators designed to catalyze a global renaissance by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed. Anyone can apply to MassChallenge, with any early-stage startup, in any industry, from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports.

With programs in Boston, Israel and the UK, MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, office space, education, access to a vast network, and other resources during four months of acceleration. MassChallenge awards over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to the startups demonstrating the highest impact and highest potential. A nonprofit organization, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners. To date, the 835 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $1.1 billion in funding, generated over $520 million in revenue and created over 6,500 jobs.


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