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MassChallenge 2012

Over the last few years, we've been a major supporter and proponent of MassChallenge, the global startup accelerator and competition based in Boston's Innovation District -- it attracts startups and entrepreneurs from all over the world.  The MassChallenge team has set up shop at several of our events to help spread the word. We spend our summer mentoring.  We've held events at their waterfront location (oh, the views of the harbor from the 14th floor) and we see dozens of "Friends o' MIN"  (some of whom have done very well!) among the participants.
It seems like we get asked about funding startup companies almost every day.  Frankly, we're somewhat unhelpful on that score.  While VCs and angel investors regularly visit our website and come to our events, we feel that taking funding and giving away a big part of your company isn't in everyone's best interest.  (We also know that only a small percentage of startups get funded and getting funded is a frustrating and time consuming process.  We feel that the energy that goes into chasing funding might be better spent acquiring customers.)
But MassChallenge is different.  There are no strings attached.  Not only do you get office space for your team and an incredible support system (the real prize) but you may get money and you don't have to give up partial ownership in your company.  (Another side note: even if you don't win, there are lots of funders hanging around MassChallenge so if you are determined to get funded, you have a good shot at it. You can't throw a brick without smacking a VC or angel investor.) 
The early bird registration ends March 15.  It saves you a $100 on the entry.  Do it now.  (Yes, you still can apply up to April 11.)