You Can Be That Someone

John Harthorne 2015 Headshot (2) - cropped

Introducing John Harthorne and MassChallenge

Sometimes you could wait so long for someone else to solve a problem and not even realize that you could be that someone. This week’s Boiling Point guest, John Harthorne had the epiphany that he could be that someone to accelerate start-ups.

John knew for a long time that the prospect of launching a start-up was something he was passionate about. However, after graduating with an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2007, he had a student loan to pay off. He decided to take a job as a Strategy Consultant and he would use any hefty bonus cheques to pay off the loan and then dive into a start-up. Unfortunately, when the bonus cheque came, so did the great recession of 2008. Talk about bad timing; the stock market had crashed and it was hard to find capital. John knew the solution to climbing out of the recession would be investments in start-up companies that would create jobs and help build the economy. He wished someone was out there investing in the creative economy, and then he realized maybe he could be that someone.

John has since founded MassChallenge, which is hailed as the most start-up friendly accelerator on the planet by taking no equity, no revenue and having no restrictions. Since inception, MassChallenge has been able to help launch hundreds of start-ups globally which rose over $1.4 billion, generated $475 million in revenues, and created 50,000 jobs.

Check out this episode of the Boiling Point to see if your start-up could qualify for MassChallenge, or to be inspired to be “that someone” to solve a problem.


In this episode

  • Greg tells us how he met John in India while filming for the Millennial Dream.
  • John tells us how MassChallenge is the most start-up friendly accelerator on the planet.
  • We learn that the mission of MassChallenge is to empower the creative class globally to extenuate a period of global renaissance and what that means.
  • We talk on how the global recession was caused by greed and too many people drawing short-term profit instead of building long-term value.
  • John relates this to those who make and eat pie.
  • John also talks about how great growth can be found in collaboration.
  • We learn how MassChallenge emulated MIT.
  • John also tells us about his first steps of launching something like MassChallenge.
  • He also tells us how MassChallenge gave him some of his best lessons including how to communicate with the media.