Founder and Former CEO
John Harthorne is the Founder and Former CEO of MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, MassChallenge is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. They also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through MassChallenge’s global network of accelerators in Boston, Israel, Switzerland, Mexico, Rhode Island, Austin and Houston, and unrivalled access to corporate partners, MassChallenge entrepreneurs are creating a massive impact - driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 2,433 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $5 billion of funding, have generated over $2.7 billion of revenue, and have created over 130,000 jobs.
John earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2007. While at school, John won Grand Prize in the 2007 MIT $100K Business Plan Competition and received the 2007 Patrick J. McGovern Award for impact on quality and visibility of entrepreneurship at MIT. He also led the 10th annual MIT Global Startup Workshop (GSW) held in Trondheim, Norway. The Boston Business Journal has identified John as one of Boston's 50 Most Influential Business Leaders alongside the CEOs of Akamai Technologies, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Boston Celtics. The World Economic Forum also elected John as one of the 2013 Young Global Leaders alongside Chelsea Clinton and Tony Hsieh, and Ernst & Young voted John as Social Entrepreneur of the Year in New England for 2013.
John left MassChallenge in 2019 to launch Two Lanterns Venture Partners, a seed fund focused on capital-efficient startups poised to create massive impact.