Imagine conquering Kendall Square with just a map, your wits, and your team of colleagues–daring innovators all. On June 12th, the 2024 Kendall Square Challenge transformed the entire district into a life-sized board game, with 55 teams racing around Kendall, competing to win the Kendall Cup, and collaborating to raise $50,000 for five local non-profits

More than 500 people furrowed their brows to solve trivia and brain teasers, dripped sweat as they ran relays and paddled kayaks, and cheered loudly for one another throughout Kendall Square from Cambridge Crossing to Tech Square. Nothing was out of the realm of possibility for the 70+ missions on this day of philanthropic fun. Serious or silly, every mission each team conquered scored points for the team’s chosen nonprofit.

Presenting Sponsor DivcoWest launched the event in CX with inspiration from Mark Roopenian alongside KSA Executive Director Beth O’Neill Maloney. With the Olympic fanfare playing, each organization was introduced, to loud cheers. At precisely 2 pm, teams began their scramble around Kendall’s iconic landmarks and green spaces, completing missions.

The grand finale? A Block Party worthy of champions featured food from Smoke Shop BBQ and drinks from Vitamin Sea Brewing and Cambridge Spirits.

Amgen’s “Team mAb-ricks” won the coveted Kendall Cup, five years after its first Kendall Cup win in 2019. Look for the Cups in Amgen’s lobby, and know that Amgen will enjoy bragging rights for the year. Fidelity Investment’s team received the Best Sportsmanship medals and the LabCentral 1 team received the Team Spirit award, along with colorful leis to match the vibrant energy they brought to the event.

At the finale, each of the five nonprofit partners–Cambridge Volunteers, Charles River Conservancy, Inner City Weightlifting, Kids in Tech and Technology Exchange Lab–were presented with a check in amounts ranging from $5,000 – $15,000. Kids In Tech, the nonprofit with the most teams competing and scoring points on their behalf, went home with the largest donation of the day.  Presenting the checks with smiles, handshakes, hugs and cheers were Cambridge City Councillors Sumbul Siddiqui and Ayesha Wilson, the KSA’s Beth O’Neill Maloney, and sponsor representatives from Alexandria Real Estate Elaine Benson and MITIMCo’s Mike Owu.

The Challenge is possible with the support of our sponsors: Presenting Sponsor DivcoWest, Platinum Sponsors Alexandria Real Estate Equities, MITIMCo, Sanofi, Gold Sponsors AstraZeneca, Bulfinch, Jacobs, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Microsoft, Philips and Vicinity Energy, and, the support of each and every team.

If you were not able to join us this year, fear not. The Kendall Square Challenge is an annual tradition. Start training your mental agility and teamwork skills, because next year, the Kendall Cup could be yours for the taking!