The 2019 Kendall Square Challenge was a huge success because in Kendall — when we work together, there is nothing we can’t achieve.

This year’s Kendall Square Challenge was bigger, more collaborative and philanthropic than ever.

On Thursday, May 16, Kendall Square transformed into a playground for Kendall employees to enjoy an adventure-filled day of friendly competition to raise money for six participating local non-profits. The organizations included: Breakthrough Greater BostonCASPARTech Goes HomeInnerCity WeightliftingJust-A-Start, and the Charles River Conservancy.

In an unprecedented tie for the Kendall Cup, the Winners were Amgen and Alexandria Real Estate (also the Presenting Sponsor) on behalf of Breakthrough Greater Boston, an organization that helps urban students and teachers. First place this year came with a grant of $10,000. CIC came in second on behalf of InnerCity Weightlifting, raising $2,000. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place teams raised $1,000 each for their respective non-profits. A special shout out to Amgen for raising the most donations to support local charity raising $1,000!

The number of teams who competed nearly doubled to 52 (from 30 last year) and represented every industry in Kendall Square from life sciences (i.e. Amgen and Pfizer), tech (i.e. Facebook and Google), to academia (MIT), construction (Turner Construction), and financial services (Fidelity). More than 400 people rose to the challenge, wearing matching team uniforms and compete in missions that tested their minds, bodies, and commitment to the community. From 2:00–4:00 pm, teams completed as many tasks as possible, gathering points in an effort to raise the most money for their chosen non-profit. Once the competition came to a close, everyone gathered at Boston Marriott Cambridge to enjoy each other’s company and rehash their achievements. Teams waited eagerly for the final results to publish and the awards ceremony where the Kendall Cup winner would be announced.

Google picking each other up for success. Credits: Flavio D

The Kendall Square Association drives connectivity among the people who work in Kendall Square to spur collaboration that can lead to the next generation of innovation. The Kendall Square Challenge is built around collaboration- giving teams bonus points for working together, having our nonprofit partners jointly host missions, and bringing our community together to celebrate.

“It was such a great opportunity to meet a bunch of new people and talk about what we do. It would be an honor to be invited back next year.”

Dan Noyes, Executive Director, Tech Goes Home

Where else could you witness an immunologist, engineer, and a building security guard working together to assemble a fleece blanket for those without shelter or bagged lunches for those in our community who are food insecure?

One of our volunteers shared her enthusiasm:

“My favorite part of the Challenge was being in a fun, positive environment with people whose professions, jobs and skills are different from those I usually interact with.”

Not only did we see individuals from different companies across Kendall mix and mingle, but this was a great opportunity for team members to get to know each other.

Teamwork makes the dream work for the J&J Innovation team. Credits: Flavio D

90% of our participants thought it was an effective way to promote teamwork with colleagues.

In Kendall Square, we take pride in our community, and we are invested in keeping it strong and vibrant. With that in mind this year we tried something new. Individual teams not only competed on behalf of their non-profits, but they were also encouraged to raise money for their non-profits by directly asking their personal and professional networks.

Making pizzas for our nonprofit partner, CASPAR. Credits: Flavio D

This year, we received even greater positive feedback from some visibly-engaged competitors. 90% of the participants said they will participate in 2020. Until then, you can continue to show our local nonprofits your love!

Teams assembling lunch bags and writing notes for our neighbors without shelter. Credits: Flavio D

Here are six ways you can get involved TODAY:

1. Volunteer with Tech Goes Home today! Learn more here.

2. Join Breakthrough Greater Boston for a visit this summer to see us in action! Learn more here.

3. Join Just-A-Start’s Young Professionals Group! Join us at the Kickoff Meeting on. May 29. Learn more here.

4. Support InnerCIty Weightlifting student trainers and get in great shape! Learn more here.

5. Ever wanted to jump into the Charles River and cool off? Join us on June 15th. Learn more here.

6. Join #CookinwithCASPAR. 10 teams are needed! Learn more here.

And thank you to our sponsors who made the day possible:

Presenting Sponsor: Alexandria Real Estate

Platinum Sponsor: Pfizer

Mission Sponsors: MITIMCOThird Rock VenturesFidelityPhilips

Gold Sponsors: BioMed RealtyFoster & CreateGlass HouseSage Therapeutics

BBQ Sponsor: Boston Marriott Cambridge