MassChallenge's Akhil Nigam
MassChallenge's Akhil Nigam

Yesterday was a monster day for MassChallenge. First, they rang the bell at NASDAQ in Times Square in the morning. Then, last night, they had their yearly “Minute-to-Pitch-It” event where MassChallenge accelerators startups pitch their ideas to a group of judges. 

With a few hundred people coming to the event in MassChallenge’s new Innovation District location, the event was a success from the perspective of many who were in attendance.

The judges included Kayak co-founder Paul English, Linda Pizzuti Henry (managing director at our parent company, the Boston Globe, and wife of Globe owner John Henry), and WGBH’s Innovation Hub host Kara Miller, among others.

But the surprise of the evening was that dating site, Jess, Meet Ken, ended up winning the audience voting at the event. Jess, Meet Ken is a different take on the traditional dating site.

Unlike most matchmaker websites, Jess, Meet Ken does not allow men to upload their own profiles. A female friend must write their profile, and, if a woman seeking a date finds a profile interesting, she must reach out to the friend who originally posted the profile to get their acceptance.

When I caught up with Jess, Meet Ken founder Ken Deckinger, he said he was shocked to win the Minute-to-Pitch-It competition, and didn’t even expect to make it past the first round of voting.

Word is that the dating site is looking to raise money, and is making some headway.

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