MassChallenge Switzerland: Applications For 2020 Cohort Are Now Open

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Today, MassChallenge Switzerland launched its all-industry and sustainable food systems early-stage startup acceleration program. The aim is to accelerate high-potential startups from anywhere in the world - without taking any equity!

Since 2016, MassChallenge Switzerland (MCCH) has been a leader in helping startups across grow their businesses. Last year, the Swiss edition of MassChallenge accelerated 92 early-stage startups taking no equity or fees while connecting them to corporate partners and a broad group of expert mentors. Most of the participating startups come from the EU, but the accelerator is open to startups from any country. As of 2019, MassChallenge Switzerland accelerated 298 startups who raised over CHF 120 Mio ($123.6 Mio) in funding.

All-Industry & Sustainable Food Systems Tracks

This year, MassChallenge seeks high potential startups for its early-stage acceleration program, running from July to October. The program offers 2 tracks:

  1. The All-Industry track featuring 70 startups from any category – take a look at 2019’s winners to see the variety of startups.
  2. The Sustainable Food Systems track focuses on 20 startups involved in the production, distribution, packaging, and disposal of food. It is operated in partnership with the EIT Food Acceleration Network.

What Are The Benefits For Your Startup?

#1 Unrivaled Access To Corporations

MassChallenge facilitates startup connections to Nestlé, Bühler, GEA, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker, Amcor & many more. The accelerator connects and advises you on how to work with corporations so that engagement is simple and effective. On top of this, MassChallenge also connects startups to its other partners across the world.

#2 World-Class Mentoring From 600+ Experts

On average, each startup will be assigned 3 mentors. Mentors come from many disciplines and have strong expertise in their respective fields. Many are entrepreneurs who have created (& exited) a startup. These Entrepreneurs-In-Residence are role models and have deep experience in raising funds, bringing a startup to market, scaling and then exiting.

#3 CHF 1 Million In Non-Dilutive Cash Prizes

Who gets the money is decided by an independent jury of experts. It is truly “no strings” attached. On top, MassChallenge gives away CHF 200,000 of in-kind prizes involving legal services, accountancy, banking, and IP strategy consulting.

#4 Tailored Program Curriculum

MassChallenge has a world-class curriculum with 350+ hours of lectures and workshops. The accelerator surveys startups to ensure that all activities are highly relevant, bringing connections and adding value to startups.

#5 Connections To Investors

MassChallenge offers a deep and broad network of investors – VC, CVCs, Angels, and Family Offices. “Meet the investor” events throughout the curriculum and a formal Investors Day match startups and investors effectively.

#6 Free Office Space

Startups are welcome to stay in MassChallenge Switzerland’s office for the year. They can also use the accelerator’s maker space free of charge.

#7 Accommodation Grants

Accommodation grants are available to assist startups from outside of Switzerland.

#8 Proven Model

MassChallenge Switzerland operates on a proven model: 65% of finalists raise funds during or immediately after the program. In the past, startups have created joint-ventures with, been funded by, or become suppliers to corporate partners.

#9 Feedback To Every Startup That Applies

Every startup that applies receives qualitative and quantitative feedback from MassChallenge’s independent experts to help them evolve their projects.

How Did Other Startups Like The Experience?

Let’s see what the winners of MassChallenge 2019 had to say about their experience:

Enterprise Bot – 2019 Gold Winner

“MassChallenge was a great experience for us. The team proactively helped us connect with the right companies and funds and took a keen interest in making sure that we are able to make the most of the program. We got 3 partner demos and already closed one Pilot with a Mass Challenge partner company during the program. As a startup, we would strongly recommend going through the Mass challenge to help accelerate your growth and quickly validate the potential of your technology.” – Pranay Jain, CEO & Co-Founder.

Planted – 2019 Gold Winner

“MassChallenge was an enriching experience for Planted. As well as the opportunities for our growing team to attend workshops and pitches, Planted benefited from exposure to and cooperation with the corporate partners. The fun and supportive atmosphere created by the MassChallenge team and other startups was also a highlight.” – Ella Franklin, Culinary Experience and Communication.

Abu Erdan – 2019 Platinum Winner

“Participating in the MassChallenge Switzerland program has been an amazing experience for AbuErdan. The MCCH staff has with great sincerity put together and operated a program that delivered the maximum value to participants. They have carefully coordinated with selected mentors who genuinely put all efforts to help participants. During the program, we have initiated discussions with two top tier global players in the industry that we serve. We have signed NDAs and currently are in discussions in investigating options for collaboration including market development as well as a potential investment.” – Islam Khalil, CEO.

Artiria Medical – 2019 Diamond Winner

“MassChallenge was a real catalyst to our Venture! Thanks to the program, we were mentored by highly-skilled professionals who helped us filling the missing building blocks in our company. Continuous pitching and extensive networking certainly impacted the settling of our first financing round. On top of that, the MC team is great! They strongly participate in creating a positive, forward-looking, entrepreneurial spirit. Extremely motivating!” – Guillaume Petit-Pierre, Co-founder.

Eligibility Criteria

MassChallenge Switzerland is looking for high potential startups that:

  • Are early-stage: Startups will have, approximately, no more than $1Mio of capital raised, or $2Mio of Sales.
  • Have impactful, and viable ideas:
    • Impactful: The aim of the accelerator is to help startups make an impact. Their judges are looking for a startup to define their impact. The most successful applicants show how they create value for themselves and society.
    • Viable: Ideas need to be executed. MassChallange asks its judges to assess the quality of the team, their advisors and their plans to make things happen.

Timeline & Key Dates

  • January 29, 2020: Applications open
  • March 9, 2020: Applications close at 23:59 CET
  • May 11-15, 2020: Face-to-face judging at MassChallenge Switzerland
  • May 26, 2020: Invitations go out to selected startups
  • June 29, 2020: All-Industry and Sustainable Food Systems Early Stage Acceleration Program starts
  • October 29, 2020: Final Awards & closing ceremony

Apply Now!

Click here to apply & use the discount code “STARTUS2020” for a 100% discount off your application fee of $99 for the All-Industry and Sustainable Food Systems Early Stage Acceleration Program today! Make sure to choose the Switzerland Accelerator by ticking the box in front!

Bonus: For tips on how to fill in the application form, click this link. Good luck!




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