Innovation Blog

MassChallenge Switzerland Announces Open Application for its 2020 Cohort


Since 2016, MassChallenge Switzerland has been a leader in helping startups across Europe grow their businesses. Last year, we accelerated 92 early stage startups – taking no equity and connecting them to our corporate partners and broad group of expert mentors. As of 2019, we have accelerated 298 startups, who had raised over  CHF 120M in funding.

In 2020, we seek high potential startups for our early-stage accelerator program, which runs from June to October 2020.


The Startups We’re Looking for:

Are Early Stage

Startups have raised less than $1M US of funding or generated less than $2M US in revenue.

Have Impactful and Viable Ideas

Impactful: We exist to help startups make an impact. Our judges are looking for the startup to define the impact. Most successful applicants show how they create value for themselves and society.

Viable: We ask our judges to assess their plans to make their ideas happen.

New this year, we will run a Sustainable Food Systems track in tandem with our standard, all-industry core program. The Sustainable Food Systems track will provide additional, industry-specific support to 20 startups involved in the production, distribution, packaging and disposal of food. It is operated in partnership with the EIT Food Acceleration Network.

Benefits for Startups

Unrivaled Access to Corporations

We facilitate startup connections to Nestlé, Bühler, GEA, Givaudan, Barry Callebaut, Südzucker, Amcor, GSK, Philip Morris International & more. We know what our partners are looking for and advise startups on how to work with corporations so that engagement is simple and effective. On top of this, we also connect startups to our other partners across the world.

World Class Mentoring From 600+ Experts

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

CHF 1M in Non-Dilutive Cash Prizes

It is truly “no strings” attached. On top we also give away 200,000 CHF of in-kind prizes involving legal services, accountancy, banking and IP strategy consulting.


Tailored Program Curriculum

We have a world class curriculum with 350+ hours of lectures and workshops. We survey startups to ensure activities are highly relevant, bringing connections and adding value to our startups.

Connections to Investors

We have a deep and broad network of investors – VC, CVCs, Angels, and Family Offices. We run “meet the investor” events throughout the curriculum, and a formal Investors Day where we match startups and investors.

Free Office Space

Startups are welcome to stay in our office for the year.

Accommodation Grants

Available to assist startups from outside of Switzerland.

Our Sustainable Food Systems Track

This track has specific events and mentors dedicated to Food and Packaging.  We are partners to the biggest food companies in the world and designed this track to introduce startups to our corporate partners. In the past, startups have created joint-ventures with, been funded by, or become suppliers to our corporate partners.

Proven Model

More than 65% of Finalists raise funds during or immediately after the program.

Feedback to Every Startup That Applies

Every startup that applies will get qualitative and quantitative feedback from our independent experts to help them evolve their projects.

Hear From Our 2019 Winners

 Guillaume Petit-Pierre, Co-founder, Diamond Winner: Artiria Medical

Guillaume-Petit-Pierre-125“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!”

Islam Khalil, CEO, Platinum Winner: AbuErdan

Islam-Khalil-125“Participating in MassChallenge Switzerland (MCCH) 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 potential investment.”

Pranay Jain, CEO & Co-Founder, Gold Winner: Enterprise Bot

Pranay-Jain-125“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 MassChallenge partner company during the program. As a startup, we would strongly recommend going through MassChallenge program which helps accelerate your growth and quickly validate the potential of your technology.”

Ella Franklin, Culinary Experience and Communications, Gold Winner: Planted

Ella-Franklin-125“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.”

Timeline and 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 to selected startups
  • June 29, 2020: All-Industry and Sustainable Food Systems Early Stage Acceleration Program starts
  • October 29, 2020: Final Awards & closing ceremony

How to Apply?

Applications open on January 29th. Apply here for the All-Industry and Sustainable Food Systems Early Stage Acceleration Program. Don’t forget to choose the “Swizerland Accelerate” program location.

If you are a food startup you can also apply for the EIT Food Acceleration Network. Click here for more info and link to applications.

You can learn tips on how to best complete a MassChallenge application here. We’re looking forward to learning about your startup!

New to MassChallenge?

Visit the Join section of our site to learn more about the organization and how you may benefit by getting involved.

Upcoming events