“Work hard play hard” was the unofficial moto for the 2019 MassChallenge Switzerland accelerator program. There is hardly any moto that would fit the Smeetz team spirit better. This probably explains why Smeetz was elected “MCCH19 Most Fun Team” by the other 2019 finalist teams. In this article, you will discover the many ways in which MassChallenge brought value to us as a team and as a company (Spoiler alert: we stole their community and event specialist) and give our top 5 advice for startups entering the program.
What Were Our Expectations Before Starting the Program
The Welcome Week AKA: Bootcamp
Nothing much military in this bootcamp, even though there was a rumour about entrepreneurs sleeping in a bunker. For this integration week, the MassChallenge Switzerland staff has prepared for us a whole set of fun activities and workshops. We learned about the global MassChallenge network with its 6 locations (Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas) and its worldwide experts’ community. This large community of experts would be here to mentor us during the whole program.
Experts Community and Curriculum
Thanks to its experts coming from many industries and backgrounds, MassChallenge offered us the opportunity to exchange and learn from world-class leaders, during personal mentoring sessions and a wide offer of lectures. These lectures covered the full range of crucial topics for startupers such as fundraising, growth hacking, digital marketing trends, IP strategy, HR and accounting, etc…bringing value and precious knowledge to every single member of our team.
“I was impressed by the variety of lectures offered during the program and the broadness of MassChallenge experts community” – Morgan, CTO of Smeetz
At the time of the program, we were entering a key period for our development with the opening of a new funding round that we’ve just successfully closed. Taking part in the MCCH accelerator program helped us in the search for potential investors thanks to their network, visibility and events such as the investors day.
“Taking part in the MCCH program helped us to gain more visibility and played an important role in the success of our financial round ” – Alexandre, CEO of Smeetz
Every week at MassChallenge was full of learning. During such intense weeks it was important to get the opportunity to relax and enjoy the summer. We could always count on the MCCH staff to organise fun activities and events for the cohort. Thanks to the work of the MassChallenge staff, taking part in this accelerator program did not only bring us extremely valuable knowledge but also strengthened our team spirit.
“Being a MCCH 19 finalist was a wonderful human experience. MassChallenge is an incredibly inspiring community… Among this community we even found the perfect add to our team ” – Liza, CMO of Smeetz
To be continued…
The story doesn’t stop with the end of the program. One month later, Loris who was working for MassChallenge joined us to become our Communications, Marketings and Events specialist. Everyday we still benefit from the knowledge and experience acquired during the acceleration. The Smeetz team is committed to staying an active member of this growing and inspiring community.
Our Top 5 Advices for Startups Entering the Program
1. Be an active member of the community
You will get a lot of the value by taking part actively in the program (lectures, events, etc.),but don’t forget that you can also bring value to the community during and after the program. Your experience is unique but might echo what another entrepreneur is facing or will face in the future. Sharing your experience and learning from other entrepreneurs’ experiences is a key asset of the MassChallenge community. Taking part actively in the curriculum and the events is essential to benefit from this inspiring environment.
2. Take advantage of the Curriculum
Seating in a classroom is something you thought was finally over when you graduated. Don’t worry, the Curriculum has nothing to do with your academic days. During the curriculum you will exchange with experts about crucial and 100% concrete aspects of your business. The curriculum is designed in a way that can benefit your entire team. Every member of your team will find useful insights on day to day matters and crucial challenges you are facing as a startup.
3. Learn from anyone
MassChallenge has an impressively large community of experts. You will meet them as mentors or speakers during the curriculum. We all have a lot to learn from their experience and expertise. However, don’t forget that you can learn from anyone in the community. Other entrepreneurs in the cohort, for example, might have expertise in some areas you are struggling with at the moment, MC alumni probably have faced the same growth challenges you are facing now, the MC staff could have an answer to it as well…
4. Work hard & play hard
Working days (and nights) as an entrepreneur are demanding. At the end of the day, you and your team are probably exhausted but the MC staff has your back. They will plan fun activities for you to relax and get to know the other members of the community. These casual events are the perfect opportunity for you and your colleagues to chill, expand your network and build a precious team spirit.
5. Network and create lasting connections
Of course, we strongly advise you to take advantage of the extensive industry and finance network that MassChallenge has built over the years. Nonetheless, MassChallenge is also the perfect place to build long lasting friendships among an inspiring community. Don’t miss this lifetime opportunity and join the MasChallenge changemakers community!