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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 awards a $40,000 innovation grant and free four-month incubation period at Lever to the clean energy startup that presents the most scalable business model. All finalists receive a $3,500 scholarship provided by The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Apply here.

Berkshire Health Technology Challenge

The Berkshire Health Technology Challenge (BHTC)  provides equity-free seed funding to the health technology startup that presents the most innovative healthcare products or services.

Mohawk Trail Entrepreneur Challenge

This challenge sought entrepreneurs who prioritized creating jobs in the Mohawk Trail region with their business, examples of which included woodland-related tourism, woodland-derived natural products, and woodcraft. Entrepreneurs or their businesses had to be located in a Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership (MTWP)  member town to be eligible.

View 2021 Finalists >
View 2022 Finalists>

Berkshire Manufacturing Challenge

The Berkshire Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (BMIC) provides equity-free seeding funding to the life sciences startup that presents the most scalable business model when it comes to manufacturing.

Covid-19 Innovation Challenge

The Massachusetts Covid-19 Innovation Challenge helped accelerate Massachusetts companies to pivot production capabilities to confront the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge complimented the services of the state’s Manufacturing-Emergency Response Team (M-ERT), which is led by the MassTech Collaborative in partnership with MassMEP.

Learn more about the Challenge series>

Intrapreneur Challenges

The Intrapreneur Challenge assisted mature companies in their strategies to create new jobs and grow revenue based on a new product or service. Tactics in the challenge included minimizing resources needed to launch and proposals for participants on how to 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 identified digital health solutions to ease the economic recovery of the state of Massachusetts from the pandemic.

Learn more about the Challenge series>

Typical Challenge Timeline

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