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Grant Funding

Lever offers non-dilutive Innovation Grants to early-stage companies through challenge programs. Challenges are focused on business verticals such as advanced manufacturing, health technology, or on "need areas" such as innovations in caregiving. Lever selects finalists, helps ready them for a juried pitch competition, and then supports the winning team during an incubation phase and beyond.


Current Challenges

Previous Challenges

The Berkshire Sustainability Challenge

Clean Energy

The Berkshire Sustainability Challenge is a competition that will award a $40,000 innovation grant to the startup that presents the most scalable clean energy business model. Startups selected as finalists will receive a $3,500 scholarship provided by MassCEC for completing our Challenge Acceleration Program. The winner of the innovation grant will be incubated at Lever for four months at no cost.

Berkshire Health Technology Challenge

The Berkshire Health Technology Challenge (BHTC) will provide equity-free seed funding for the startup that presents the most scalable and investable healthcare products or services. The purpose of this challenge is to attract and support entrepreneurs with a scalable innovation in health technology.

Mohawk Trail Entrepreneur Challenge

We seek entrepreneurs who wish to build regional businesses that will create jobs in the Mohawk Trail region. Examples of qualifying businesses include woodland-related tourism, woodcraft, and woodland-derived natural products. Any entrepreneur seeking to establish and grow a sustainable, woodland-related business should apply. To participate, the entrepreneurs or their businesses must be located in a Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership (MTWP) member town.

View 2021 Finalists >
View 2022 Finalists>

Berkshire Manufacturing Challenge

The Berkshire Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (BMIC) will provide equity-free seed funding for the startup that presents the most scalable and investable manufacturing business model that will yield products or services that may be utilized in the life sciences.

Covid-19 Innovation Challenge

The Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge is a business accelerator program to activate, connect and focus Massachusetts companies as they pivot production capabilities to meet the emerging demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Innovation Challenge complements services provided by the state’s Manufacturing-Emergency Response Team (M-ERT), led by the MassTech Collaborative in partnership with MassMEP and will mobilize more companies to pivot operations towards products and services necessary to ensure health and safety during the pandemic and beyond.

Learn more about the Challenge series>

Intrapreneur Challenges

Mature companies that participate in the Intrapreneur Challenges develop plans to launch a new product or service that will grow revenues and create jobs. Companies learn how to take the guesswork out of their growth strategy, Minimize resources needed to launch, increase their rate of market capture.

2021 Berkshire Intrapreneur Challenge>
2022 Bennington County Intrapreneur Challenge >

Massachusetts Digital Health Covid19 Recovery Challenge

The Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge Program is designed to identify and grow digital health solutions that help the economies of Massachusetts and the US recover from COVID-19 more quickly.

Learn more about the Challenge series>

Typical Challenge Timeline

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