MassChallenge Switzerland awards 7 finalists and welcomes BASF as industrial partner

7 companies, from the 75 startups accelerated this summer at MassChallenge Switzerland, have been selected by the final judges to receive non-equity cash prizes. Based at UniverCité in Renens, these startups have been judged on their capacity for high-impact and high potential, as well as their progression through the 4-month programme.

“Thanks to a rigorous selection, we are sure to select a qualitative and varied cohort of startups, from all industries, both Swiss and international,” explains Thierry Duvanel, Managing Director of MassChallenge Switzerland. “The entrepreneurial quality of the retained projects adds credibility to our programme and is a source of motivation for the seven founding partners who have two goals: gain first access to breakthrough technologies that are shaping the world of tomorrow, and to ensure early identification of companies that may have a similar interest in their activities,” adds Benoît Dubuis, President of Fondation Inartis, founding and operating partner of MassChallenge Switzerland. The range of partners is expanding in 2018, with chemical industry giant BASF SE joining the accelerator to complement the industrial partners.

This year’s awardees share a total of CHF 400,000 split into two “Diamond” prizes, with a value of CHF 100,000 each, and five “Gold” prizes with a value of CHF 40,000 each. MassChallenge prides itself on giving equity-free cash prizes.

The 2 “Diamond” winners of CHF 100,000 are Moka Studio Sarl, a Swiss high tech company developing a software that allows quick and easy, high quality 3D animation, and TasteHit, a French company also in high tech, that develops and markets intelligent consumer engagement tools for online stores. This prize will allow both winners to continue their product development and increase sales.

The 5 remaining projects selected by the jury, this time awarded with CHF 40,000 each, are ChemAlive SA (Swiss) active in the field of chemical modelling, HaYa Therapeutics (Swiss) with a first-in-class biopharmaceutical therapy to treat heart failure, Infrastructure Systems Managers / Dechets à l’Or (Guinea) using technology to bring infrastructure services and cleanliness to African cities, Lymphatica Medtech (Swiss) developing a medical micro-pump for the treatment of lymphedema, a chronic and disabling side effect of anti-cancer therapies, and Membrasenz GmbH (Germany) designer of novel membranes used in the production of hydrogen.

The seven winners of the 2017 edition, along with the remaining top 12 finalists (Alogo Analysis SA – Swiss, Imverse – Swiss, MagicTomato.ch – Swiss, Precision Vine – Swiss, and Sleepiz – Swiss), receive in-kind support that lets them stay and work free-of-charge at UniverCité in Renens until the next MassChallenge Switzerland edition. This will begin in June 2018 with another 70 finalists.

MassChallenge Switzerland was founded in 2015, with its first cohort beginning in 2016. In both 2016 and 2017, there have been a total of 150 startups accelerated for a 4-month period between June and October. We are based in Lausanne and provide expert mentoring, office space, access to industry partners, a curated curriculum, and up to CHF 1 million in equity-free cash and in-kind awards. Our founding partners include Barry Callebaut, Bühler, Fondation Inartis, GEA, Givaudan, Nestlé and Swiss Economic Forum.

About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are motivated to help entrepreneurs across all industries. We also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through our global network of accelerators in Boston, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, Mexico, and Texas, and unrivalled access to our corporate partners, we can have a massive impact - driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 1,211 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $2 billion, generated over $900 million in revenue, and created over 65,000 jobs. For more information, please visit masschallenge.org.