Akhil Nigam is the founder and President of MassChallenge, the largest startup accelerator and competition in the world. Since 2009, Akhil has built and scaled MassChallenge from a idea to a well-recognized global organization. Based in Boston, MassChallenge accepts 128 early-stage, high-impact companies each year from all over the world. Under his leadership, MassChallenge alumni have raised well over $700M+ and have generated over $400M in revenue.
In 2014, he was recognized as ‘Top 40 Under 40’ by the Boston Business Journal. He was also awarded the distinguished ’10 Top Outstanding Young Leaders in Boston’ award by Boston Chamber of Commerce. He is recognized as a thought leader in innovation and entrepreneurship and serves as a mentor for entrepreneurship programs at Harvard and MIT.
Akhil Nigam received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, where he graduated top of his class. He also completed a Masters in Financial Engineering from Columbia University.
Before MassChallenge, Akhil worked for Bain & Company where he worked on a variety of industries both in the private equity and general consulting practices. He advised major private equity firms on potential acquisition targets and conducted industry, competitor and financial due diligence. He also worked for Fidelity's private equity practice helping technology and telecom companies with strategy, financial and operational issues.
Prior to business school, Akhil was one of the founding team members and part of the executive team of a high-growth startup focused on software, Internet technology and IT services. In this role, he helped grow the firm to 100 employees in five years across the United States, India and Singapore. He was the youngest partner elected in the firm and gained extensive experience advising top-level executives on technology strategy and trends while leading the firm's new business development initiatives.
Akhil lived in India until age 12 and then attended high school in Zimbabwe before receiving a full 4-year scholarship to the Cooper Union.