Innovation’s New Wave: MassChallenge, Shark Tank, and HackReduce

October is when you can really feel the next wave of innovators emerging in Boston. Especially with all the structures now in place for early stage entrepreneurs. Consider:

—MassChallenge, the accelerator program and startup competition now in its third year, announced its final 26 companies that are vying for $50K and $100K prizes. These are whittled down from 125 finalists that took part in this year’s three-month session in Boston. Some of the startup names are familiar (Ministry of Supply, CoachUp, Neumitra), while others are unknown but intriguing (NBA Math Hoops, HelmetHub, Strong Arm Technologies). It all comes to a head on the evening of October 23 at the MassChallenge awards ceremony.

—Also coming in late October is FutureM Shark Tank, a tech community event in which six finalists will pitch their startups to angel investors including Dave Balter, Joe Caruso, Fred Destin, Katie Rae, Dharmesh Shah, Nicole Stata, and Mike Troiano. The sharks will be investing $100K on the spot, and they have just put out a call for inbound opinions about which of the 70-plus nominees should make the final cut. This is all going down on the afternoon of October 25. (On a related note, you can check out Xconomy’s slideshow of the top angels of New England.)

—The big-data community space known as HackReduce (OK, “hack/reduce”) is putting out a call for applications today. The nonprofit hacker space is ramping up for business, meaning people can apply to work on specific data-driven projects and get access to some serious computing resources. Executive director Abby Fichtner is looking to turn the facility into a rallying point for big data projects in Boston and Massachusetts.

—And speaking of big data (and Abby Fichtner), I am putting the finishing touches on the program for Xconomy’s “Future of Big Data” conference on October 24 in Boston. See you there.

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