The founder and CEO, Dr. Cheryl Shao graduated from NYU College of Dentistry in May of 2019. She has had orthodontic research experience at the NYU College of Dentistry and the Consortium for Translational Orthodontic Research (CTOR). Cheryl came up with the idea for Sympal during dental school due to her own personal orthodontic journey. After graduating from dental school, Cheryl saw a need for her product amongst her patients. Her passion combined with her purpose of improving the standard of care in orthodontics led her to found Sympal to bring her vision to life.

Founders are everywhere, but resources aren’t.

That’s a shame, because the next big idea could come from anywhere.


The Massachusetts Founder Network aims to bridge the gap, giving startup founders equitable access to resources that will help their companies grow.


We support MA founders no matter where they come from, their company’s stage, or their business sector. We want to democratize access to the resources that will help them accelerate—and excel. All founders are welcome to find resources and community at MFN while creating connections, expanding their networks, and learning from one another.

About MFN

The Massachusetts Founders Network is a central hub for all things startups, fostering innovation and collaboration across the state. MFN offers valuable networking, resources, mentorship, and community for startup founders in Massachusetts. 


MFN is produced by Lever, a startup accelerator based in North Adams. Our work is supported by funding from and collaboration with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, based in Westborough.


We’ve been advising and connecting with entrepreneurs for years, and we’re using that knowledge and network to launch something new, with the help of an advisory board of successful founders and major players in the startup ecosystem. 

We plan to launch the Massachusetts Founders Network in summer 2023. Sign up for our newsletter to get alerts about our launch, new features, and MFN events!