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avatar for Karl Büttner - Chief Mentorship Officer, MassChallenge

Karl Büttner - Chief Mentorship Officer, MassChallenge

With over 20 years of both bootstrapping and VC-backed company experience, Karl is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs. Karl co-founded 170 Systems, an enterprise software company in 1990, and saw it through two decades of growth and profitability, culminating in a successful acquisition. Karl led the company as CEO as it bootstrapped to become a profitable, worldwide market leader with a Fortune 1000 customer base using the company’s software products and services in over 90 countries – all before taking VC funding which fueled further growth. After joining MassChallenge in its inaugural year as a judge and mentor to many teams, Karl is now focused full-time on making the mentorship experience the best it can be for both the emerging companies and the participating community. Karl is also an active supporter of the entrepreneurial ecosystem through other involvements, including as a mentor with programs such as TechStars and the MIT Venture Mentoring Service. Karl received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and lives with his wife and two sons in the Boston area.