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MassChallenge Israel, Deshpande Foundation and NASSCOM Announce Scholarship for Indian Startups Accelerating in Israel

Up to $50,000 available to qualifying Indian startups to join 2018 MassChallenge cohort in Jerusalem

 Jan 2018

NEW DELHI (January 15, 2018) - As part of Prime Minister Netanyahu's historic visit to India, MassChallenge Israel, with the Deshpande Foundation and NASSCOM, announces the creation of a $50,000 scholarship fund to support Indian startups qualified for MassChallenge Israel's 2018 accelerator cycle. The scholarship will provide support to up to 10 Indian startups accepted into the accelerator. The scholarship was announced at the Tech Triangle Summit, hosted by Indiaspora and program partners NASSCOM, championing the power of Israeli-US-India trilateral ties and the creating further opportunities for collaboration and business opportunities. Interested Indian startups can apply to join MassChallenge Israel’s 2018 cohort at by February 4, 2018.

Up to 10 Indian startups will receive $5,000 each to help them access MassChallenge Israel’s industry-leading resources and focus on growing their businesses. Selected Indian startups will join the other MassChallenge Israel 2018 Finalists for the four-month equity-free accelerator in Jerusalem where they will get access to:

  • Up to 500,000 NIS in cash prizes
  • The opportunity to join an all-inclusive, curated international business trip, that gives participating startups unparalleled access to and exposure in two U.S. markets
  • Four months of free office space in Jerusalem
  • Introductions to top corporate partners and investors
  • Personalized mentorship from more than 150 industry experts from the Startup Nation
  • A global alumni network of 1,211 startups from 81 countries

Selected startups will join an elite international community of MassChallenge Israel entrepreneurs. Since 2016, MassChallenge Israel has accelerated 100 companies from 10 countries, which have raised approximately $60 million.

“Home to Mobileye, Israel’s largest exit, Jerusalem is a global innovation leader, and this scholarship will allow more early stage companies from India to access the thriving ecosystem this City has to offer,” said Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin. “We brought MassChallenge to Jerusalem to serve as an international hub of innovation and entrepreneurialism connecting the best global technologies to world leaders, and I look forward to welcoming the best companies from India, and throughout the world, to Jerusalem as they launch and grow."

“Building on the blossoming economic ties between Israel and India, we are proud to partner with the Deshpande Foundation and NASSCOM on this scholarship,” said Israel Ganot, Managing Director of MassChallenge Israel. “With MassChallenge Israel’s award-winning, zero-equity resources and role as a leader in Startup Nation, Indian startups will be able to take their businesses to the international stage. We look forward to becoming a part of their founding journey.”

Emphasizing the mutual synergies that strengthen this alliance, R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM commented, “By streamlining intellectual and economic exchange, as well as forging new alliances that foster collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship, we can create an osmosis of ideas between these important ecosystems. This scholarship and several such measures aimed at nurturing a steadfast channel for knowledge sharing and partnership will lead to co-creation of value by the best entrepreneurial minds of the two nations. Entrepreneurship will serve as the foundation for further engagement and collective growth."

"I am excited by MassChallenge Israel's commitment to helping Indian startups access Israel's deep know-how and experience in sectors such as agriculture, water, cybersecurity, digital health, and others. By providing financial support to startups from India which are accepted into the MassChallenge Israel accelerator, we aim to expand this opportunity and make it more accessible to teams in India," said Deshpande Foundation founder Desh Deshpande.

The announcement was made at the “Tech Triangle Summit” sponsored by Nasscom and organized in conjunction with Indiaspora. The Tech Triangle Summit – championing innovation ties between India, the US and Israel is being held in parallel to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current economic mission to India. MassChallenge is partnering with the Deshpande Foundation and Nasscom to support bringing high-impact Indian startups to its 2018 accelerator program in Jerusalem.

About the Deshpande Foundation

The Deshpande Foundation, founded by global business leader and philanthropist Dr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande and Mrs. Jaishree Deshpande, has operations in India, Canada and the USA. The Foundation is focusing its efforts in India on “building an ecosystem” to nurture Innovative Social Entrepreneurs. The Foundation’s efforts surround around the unique ’Social Innovation Sandbox’ in Hubli, Karnataka, India to create an ecosystem similar to Silicon Valley with focused on Social Entrepreneurship.


NASSCOM® is the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT-BPM industries in India. NASSCOM is a global trade body with more than 2100 members, which include both Indian and multinational companies that have a presence in India. NASSCOM's member and associate member companies are broadly in the business of software development, software services, software products, consulting services, BPO services, e-commerce & web services, engineering services and animation and gaming. NASSCOM's membership base constitutes over 95% of the industry revenues in India and employs over 3.5 million professionals.

About MassChallenge 

MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. We use competitions to identify the highest-impact startups reward them with a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through our global network of accelerators in Boston, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico, and unrivaled access to our corporate partners, we are making a massive impact - driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 1,211 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $2 billion in funding, generated approximately $900 million in revenue, and created over 65,000 total jobs. For more information, please visit

MassChallenge Israel Partners 

The Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Ministry of Economy, Poalim Hi-Tech, the Kraft Group, CJP of Boston, PTC, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, , Liberty Mutual, The Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, Herzog, Fox & Ne'eman, Yigal Arnon & Co., FBC & Co, Reinhold Cohn Group, Sagent Management, Hutchinson-Kinrot, Altshuler Shaham, Bolt, Inc. Deloitte, Elta, Menora Mivtachim, Amdocs Alynovation, BioHouse and the Peres Center for Peace.


Inquiry and contact information

Caroline Pepek