Mintz Equity Financing Guide

Public Resources for Massachusetts Entrepreneurs


MassCEC: Equity Investments Program

Application Deadline: Open application.

Funding Opportunity: MassCEC makes direct equity investments in early stage clean tech companies based in Massachusetts. The average investment is approximately $500,000 in a Seed, Series A, or Series B financing rounds. MassCEC will consider leading rounds where the center can play a significant role and act as a catalyst for other investors to participate. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis. Before making an investment decision, MassCEC’s team may perform extensive due diligence, including in-person meetings, financial reviews, reference checks, etc. All investment decisions must be approved by the MassCEC Board of Directors.


  • Only Massachusetts-based applicants that fit the MassCEC definition of “clean energy” are eligible.

  • Typically, the program requires at least three of the following four offices be based in Massachusetts:

    • Company Headquarters,

    • Primary research and development,

    • Primary sales and marketing, and/or

    • Primary manufacturing.

Industry Specific: Clean energy companies.


MassVentures Early Stage Fund

Application Deadline: Open application.

Funding Opportunity: MassVentures invests in Massachusetts-based early stage, high growth, innovative companies that have the potential to create employment opportunities in the Commonwealth. MassVentures is industry agnostic and focuses on those points in the investment cycle where capital gaps exist; namely Series A and occasional and opportunistic seed rounds. The investment team is actively involved with their portfolio companies, usually at the board of directors level. The team’s collective involvement in venture investing with over 100 early-stage companies and its experience gained through several major business cycles and countless sector rotations enable it to provide guidance in matters of operational, finance and sales strategy, and corporate governance. MassVentures Early Stage Fund is a first round program which provides initial investments of $250K to $500K in Series A equity capital with the potential for follow-on funding. The MassVentures team builds investor syndicates to leverage the capital that MassVentures invests. While MassVentures is often the first institutional investor involved with the early-stage companies in which it invests, it works to build an investor syndicate to maximize the long term funding potential for each company. MassVentures has co-invested with over 100 venture capital firms, many of which remain valued deal sources.


  • Companies seeking MassVentures funding must be technology-driven and must meet the following criteria:

    • A significant presence in Massachusetts;

    • A capital efficient business model;

    • A market opportunity that will support significant growth; and

    • A compelling investment thesis and value proposition.

Industry Specific: Industry agnostic, but must be technology-driven.


MassVentures SBIR Start Program

Application Deadline:  The 2018 application deadlines have passed, and the application process will open again in January 2019.

Funding Opportunity:  MassVentures is a venture capital firm focused on fueling the Massachusetts innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization. MassVentures focuses on Series A investments and considers occasional and opportunistic seed rounds. They provide capital for first-time CEOs and/or founders and consider industry segments not adequately served by the venture community. They administer the START program, which assists high growth companies that are expected to increase employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. Each year, the programs awards ten "Stage I” grants of $100,000 each, five "Stage II” grants of $200,000 each to the most promising “Stage I” winners from last year, and two “Stage III” opportunities: up to $500,000 each of seed capital in a commercial spinout (or other commercial arrangement intended to provide a return on investment to MassVentures) from the most successful Stage II companies.


  • Applicants must have received a Phase II SBIR or STTR award within the last four years; or

  • Alternatively, have either gained ‘meaningful commercial traction” as defined below, within the past four years or the technology otherwise remains commercially viable today.

  • It is expected that START funds will be spent primarily in Massachusetts

  • What constitutes “meaningful commercial traction or continuing commercial viability” will be determined by MassVentures on a case-by-case basis in its discretion. Examples of events that might constitute “meaningful commercial traction” include, but are not necessarily limited to:

    • Significant sales of the technology (either to the federal government or to non-government commercial customers);

    • Commercial contracts (for example, technology licenses or production/manufacturing contracts) or recent written communications from potential commercial partners, suggesting that sales are likely to be forthcoming; or

    • Joint ventures, strategic alliances, or other significant commercial collaborations.

Industry Specific:  MassVentures accepts applications to the program that are not based on pharmaceutical, therapeutic or medical device technology.