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|American Airlines And MassChallenge Renew Relationship To Support Startups|
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --American Airlines today announced the continuation of an agreement with MassChallenge, a $1 million global startup competition and accelerator designed to catalyze the success of high-growth, high-impact new businesses. American provides travel awards, strategic support and additional resources to assist startups in achieving their goals for business success.
Recognizing that the current economic environment represents an opportunity to define the next generation of growth industries, American and MassChallenge are providing resources needed by startups - mentoring, networking events, travel, opportunities to showcase startup company assets and infrastructure, and cash - to advance their growth and success, with no strings attached. Each year, the MassChallenge panel of judges select the top 10 to 20 companies of the competition to split $1 million in cash. MassChallenge uses the power of competition to create a sense of urgency while bringing together high impact teams, along with support and resources needed to launch and succeed immediately. This year, MassChallenge is expanding its search globally in an effort to find the best new startups from around the world and equip them with the tools and training necessary to have an immediate impact. Anyone with any startup idea from anywhere in the world is encouraged to enter MassChallenge's search for innovation excellence.
MassChallenge is an independent nonprofit and does not take equity from startups or place any restrictions on winners. MassChallenge startups represent all industries and levels of early-stage development. With several hundred promising young startups in the mix, MassChallenge organizers expect a significant acceleration of growth and job creation over the next 24 months. That pace will only accelerate as more alumni are created each year.
"American Airlines understands that startups play an integral role in the success of our economy," said Derek DeCross, American's Vice President - Sales. "Through our relationship with MassChallenge, we can provide vital resources and support necessary to accelerate growth and success - whether it's air travel for in-person meetings or points to be redeemed for conference room use. We seek to maximize the value of travel for startups so they can take advantage of every opportunity for success that comes their way."
"American Airlines has been an enthusiastic supporter of the MassChallenge finalists and alumni," said Scott Bailey, MassChallenge's Director of Partnerships. "They understand the needs of early-stage companies and have made it a priority to help these companies grow and become successful."
American Airlines identified MassChallenge as a program that highlights and attracts the top companies from around the world and aggregates resources for their success. American serves as a partner participant to promote, highlight and accelerate opportunities for these companies. Entrepreneurs participating in the 2012 MassChallenge Competition will have the opportunity to win travel to stimulate their growth and have the face-to-face meetings so critical in this phase of development.
American Airlines designed its Business Suite of products, which includes the Business ExtrAA® program, to serve the needs of entrepreneurs. Business ExtrAA is a travel and rewards incentive program that allows businesses to maximize the value of their travel. Travel expense reporting, newsletters and rewards points that can be redeemed for flights and other rewards deliver additional value for entrepreneurs. There is no cost to join Business ExtrAA and enrollment is easy and convenient at www.AA.com/Business.
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The 236 startups supported in the 2010 and 2011 accelerators have already raised more than $250 million in outside funding and created 2,150 new jobs. To select the MassChallenge Class of 2012, more than 300 expert judges contributed 5,400 reads of online applications, 150 hours of in-person pitches, 900 hours of judge deliberation and 400,000 words of written feedback, to narrow the field of 1,237 applications from 35 countries and 36 states down to the 125 highest-impact startups.
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SOURCE American Airlines