North Bridge Venture Partners Teams Up with Harvard to Foster Entrepreneurial Innovation

North Bridge Venture Partners Teams Up with Harvard to Foster Entrepreneurial Innovation

Leading early stage investment firm increases funding for Harvard College Innovation Challenge’s TECH Prize; will help evaluate submissions and provide advisory services to winning team

CAMBRIDGE and WALTHAM, MA—February 7, 2011—North Bridge Venture Partners and the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) today announced that they have joined forces to foster entrepreneurial innovation in and around the Boston technology startup community. North Bridge has contributed an additional $10,000 to Harvard College Innovation Challenge’s TECH Prize, bringing the total amount of the award to $15,000.

“We are very excited to again be collaborating with Harvard and sponsoring the TECH Prize,” said Dayna Grayson, principal, North Bridge Venture Partners. “North Bridge has a long history of incubating and seeding exceptional companies and we believe there is a huge opportunity to grow innovation among students here in the Boston community. Last year we hosted a seed competition and found that many of the ideas were submitted from university projects. This year we want to deepen our focus and support of that community. ”
North Bridge will lend its expertise in identifying and shepherding great ideas into innovative, game-changing startups by participating in the evaluation of submissions and selecting the winning team for the TECH Prize. In addition to spending time at TECH’s Innovation Space this summer, the winner will also be able to tap North Bridge’s expertise as part of an ongoing mentorship program as it works to turn its vision into a business.

"North Bridge's new sponsorship of the TECH Prize couldn't come at a better time. Student entrepreneurship is booming on campus,” said Paul Bottino, co-founder and executive director of the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. “We've got a record number of teams competing in the Innovation Challenge and North Bridge's support puts the TECH Prize for seniors on par with our prestigious McKinley Grants for freshman, sophomores and juniors. It also opens up the competition to graduate students, which is something that we've always wanted to do."
Currently in its fourth year, the Harvard College Innovation Challenge, nicknamed “I3” for “Imagine Invent Impact,” showcases and rewards innovative student ventures in the areas of commercial and social startups. In past years, the TECH Prize was only given to seniors. Through the North Bridge investment, the prize will now be awarded to the most innovative venture submitted by a senior- or graduate student-led team. Past winners include Styleta (2008), GMin (2009), and PaperG (2010).

Semi-finalists will be announced on February 24. The Student Startup Showcase and Awards Reception will be held on March 8.

About North Bridge Venture Partners
North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, bi-coastal, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California. Established in 1994, North Bridge provides seed-to-growth financing and company-building expertise. Together with North Bridge Growth Equity, our mid-market focused growth capital fund, North Bridge manages over $3 billion. For North Bridge Venture Partners, success is derived through a partnership with entrepreneurs that produces industry-leading companies in large emerging markets. Historically, the firm's partners have played a significant role in organizing, starting and building successful companies. Working in concert with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, sharing operating experience, industry specific knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. North Bridge's sector focus includes Software, Communications & Infrastructure, Healthcare Technology, Digital Media, and Materials. For more information about North Bridge go to www.northbridge.com.

About the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH)
Based in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, TECH is the home of innovation and startup resources for students from across Harvard University. In partnership with Harvard Student Agencies, TECH produces the annual Harvard College Innovation Challenge, which develops, showcases and rewards outstanding student entrepreneurship. For more, visit: www.innovation.seas.harvard.edu

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