Applications Open for MassChallenge Switzerland with Up to CHF 1 Million in Awards

The announcement took place at the first-ever MassChallenge World Startup Summit held in collaboration with the 2016 LIFT Conference, where top MassChallenge alumni participated in a pitch competition to win equity-free cash prizes totaling $10,000. All participating MassChallenge teams were inducted into the new MassChallenge Hall of Fame. Swiss startups also participated in a pitch competition.

We are so pleased to welcome MassChallenge Switzerland into our global network alongside Boston, the UK, Israel, and Mexico. We will be embarking on an exciting journey together, helping innovators globally create value and positive change in the world, said MassChallenge CEO and Founder John Harthorne. We look forward to working with startups from the region, Europe, and across the world, who have good ideas and the drive to make them a reality.

Beno Dubius of Inartis Foundation and John Harthorne rang a traditional Swiss cow bell to symbolically launch the applications for MassChallenge Switzerland, which are open until March 31, 2016. Any early stage startup, from any industry, from anywhere in the world can apply. Applications are also open for MassChallenge programs in Boston and Israel, and startups are invited to apply to multiple programs ( A cohort of around 50 to 100 startups are expected to be accepted into the program. Accepted startups will have access to free office space and a prototyping lab at UniverCitin Renens, Vaud, world class mentoring, and access to a global network of high-level corporate and governmental connections.

Speakers at the Summit included John Harthorne, Ian Roberts (CTO of Bler), Abir Oreibi (LIFT CEO), Stefan Catsicas (CTO of Nestl, Suzan G. LeVine (US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein), Georges Koukis (Temenos), Pierre Maudet (Minister of the Economy of Geneva), and a video message from Johann Schneider-Ammann (Federal Councillor and President of the Swiss Confederation).

MassChallenge Summit Pitch Participants and Alumni Hall of Fame

The MassChallenge World Startup Summit played host to nine MassChallenge alumni who have all been awarded a place in the global MassChallenge Hall of Fame out of 835 total alumni.

  • Akselos S.A.
    Akselos S.A. was founded after 12 years of research at MIT. The company provides fast and accurate simulations for large engineering systems. MassChallenge Boston 2012 Finalist.
  • Alkeus Pharmaceuticals
    Alkeus Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing treatments for eye diseases. MassChallenge Boston Diamond Winner 2011.
  • Disease Diagnostic Group
    Disease Diagnostic Group uses a magneto-optical technology to screen, track, and diagnose highly infectious diseases. Their device offers a handheld, quantitative diagnosis for 1/10th the cost and 100 the detection level of competitors. MassChallenge Boston Diamond Winner 2014.
  • Doya-Medical
    Doya-Medical is a biotech company that has developed a noninvasive delivery technology and stent product for the treatment of Otitis Media with Effusion (OME). MassChallenge UK Silver Winner 2015.
  • Drinkwell Drinkwell aims to save 200 million people from drinking arsenic- and fluoride-contaminated water while giving them a healthier, profitable future. MassChallenge Boston Diamond Winner 2014.
  • Fluid-Screen, Inc.
    Fluid-Screen, Inc. is a early stage startup that has developed a small device that detects bacteria in water and blood in as little as 30 minutes at a very low cost. The companys vision is to extend the technology to medical diagnostics and a range of other related fluid testing applications globally. MassChallenge Boston Gold Winner 2014.
  • MOM Incubators
    mOm Incubators is developing inflatable incubators, a smaller low cost solution to neonatal care around the globe. MassChallenge UK Diamond Winner 2015.
  • Neumitra
    Neumitra has developed wearable and mobile technologies to monitor and manage acute and chronic stress. They are conducting the Boston Stress study on how stress affects the city at large, as well as specific organizations, both in real-time and over the long term. MassChallenge Boston Silver Winner 2012.
  • RailPod
    RailPod creates robotic track inspection systems for the railroad industry. Track condition is accurately measured, and the technology provides inspectors with repeatable and quantifiable data in real time to ensure that tracks are safe for use. MassChallenge Boston Diamond Winner 2013.

These nine select alumni participated in a pitch competition in front of high-level judges including Benjamin Nuchowicz, Josh Boger, and Zohar Gilon. MOM Incubators and Alkeus Pharmaceuticals emerged as the champions, receiving $5,000 USD each, for a total of $10,000 USD in equity-free cash prizes. MOM Incubators also won a special MassChallenge-branded cuckoo clock made by Swiss Koo.

Swiss Startup Pitch Competition

Startups from Switzerland also competed alongside MassChallenge alumni for separate awards, including a 5,000 CHF cash prize, for a Peoples Choice winner selected by an online public vote.

The Swiss startups competing included Advanon, Artanim, Bestmile, Comfylight, ecoRobotix, Fastree3D SA, Femtoprint, Intento, Metaco, morphotonix, Orbiwise, Plair, Pristem, TwentyGreen, and Wecan Fund.

Swiss Competition Prize Winners:

  • Presented by UBS, the Peoples Choice award, chosen by public vote, went to Advanon, winning 5,000 CHF in prize money.
  • TwentyGreen won fast-tracking to participate in the second and final round of judging in the application process for MassChallenge Switzerland.
  • The CTI Female Entrepreneur Award went to Morphotonix.
  • The CTI International Entrepreneur Award went to Femtoprint.

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About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across all industries. We also reward the highest-impact startups through a competition to win a portion of several million US dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through our global network of accelerators in Boston, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico, and unrivalled access to our corporate partners, we can have a massive impact – driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 835 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $1.3 billion and created over 8,500 jobs. For more information, please visit

Top MassChallenge Switzerland partners include

Nestl Bler, Inartis Foundation, Swiss Economic Forum, and Givaudan.

MassChallenge Media Contact

Hailey Woldt Eustace
+44 (0) 74269 150360

MassChallenge Switzerland Media Contact

Ksenia Tugay
+41 (0) 78 653 74 05