Applications open for MassChallenge Switzerland

Author: Stefan Kyora

12.02.2016 14:11

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Masschallenge Switzerland

MassChallenge Switzerland was lauched this week with an event in Geneva. Any start-up from any country can now apply for the Swiss accelerator program starting in June.

MassChallenge was started in 2009. The idea was born one year before in the global recession of 2008. The results of the accelerator program since then are remarkable. MassChallenge founder John Hawthorne presented these results at the launch event of MassChallenge Switzerland last Wednesday. 835 startups were accelerated, they created 6,500 jobs, raised $1.1 billion in outside funding and have a revenue of $520 million. 74% of MC alums receive follow-on funding one year after the program. The supported startups are very young and John Hawthorne thinks that the number of created jobs, revenue and funding will double every year.

The founder also stressed that MassChallenge is open to everyone: “Anyone can enter from anywhere in the world with any start in any industry.” Start-ups can apply for the programmes Boston, Mexico City, Geneva, London, or Jerusalem no matter where they are based themselves. The programme is focused on early stage start-ups. Companies probably haven’t raised over $500K of investment, and probably don’t have more than $1M in annual revenue.

The Geneva Accelerator programs runs from June to October. During this time, entrepreneurs have access to world-class mentorship, a motivated community of fellow entrepreneurs and supporters, expert training and networking events, and additional in-kind deals, marketing & media resources, funding opportunites, free office space and more.

The deadline for application is 31 March. If you apply before 1 March you will get the early bird 50% discount on the application fee. More information on the MassChallenge website.

At the launch event several key note speakers impressed the audience. You can watch videos of the key note speeches and the start-up pitches at a dedicated website. We recommend to watch the key notes by John Hawthorne, Temenos founder George Koukis and Suzan G. LeVine, U.S Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

In addition to the key note speeches eight Swiss start-ups pitched: Fastree3D, Morphotonix, Femtoprint, Advanon, Twentygreen, Orbiwise, Intento and Akselos. Four of the companies were awarded:

TwentyGreen won the MassChallenge Acceleration Program Award and gets a privileged step into the Swiss program. The startup was established in October 2015 in Luzern. The start-up produces a triple active probiotic that addresses the three major problems of intensive animal farming. The new probiotic innovated at the EPFL, Switzerland, results in better digestion and responses to plant-based feeds, better feed conversion, less disease and less pollution. The probiotic feed supplement was tested in mice and fish achieving up to 15% better growth rates and reducing parasitic burden by 25 percent. Based on initial interviews with animal farmers, feed suppliers and large retailers, TwentyGreen’s aim is to gain a 10% share of the world animal feed probiotic market, which is worth over $4 billion per year and growing rapidly.

The CTI International Package went to Femtoprint. The disruptive Femtoprint technology is an innovative manufacturing process able to produce 3D micro devices integrating optical, fluidic, mechanical features down to the nano-scale in a single substrate.

Veronica Savu of Morphotonix was awarded the CTI Woman Entrepreneur prize. Morphotonix enables cost-efficient and industrially-compatible fabrication of additive-free holographic-like effects on large, 3D, high-precision moulded articles, used for brand recognition or as security features.

And the Public Prize was given to Advanon. Advanon is the leading invoice financing platform in Switzerland. They offer a simple and flexible way to get invoices prefinanced by numerous financial investors.

Apart from the prizes 15 Swiss start-ups that were selected in a first step for the event profited from meetings with investors that were held before the event.

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Deadlines approaching

The deadlines for the seif Awards for Social Entrepreneurship  and the Fribourg Innovation Prize are approaching – you have until 30 June to apply. Cleantech start-ups have until 8 July to apply for a free booth at the SwissECS conference.

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