MassChallenge Switzerland Announces First Cohort

The complete list of finalists can be found here.

We are excited to be welcoming our first cohort of very competitive and extremely high-impact international startups to our accelerator in June, said Carmelo Bisognano, MassChallenge Switzerland Managing Director. We have managed to build an engaged community of entrepreneurs, mentors, and partners that are willing to provide the support and access required by the early stage startups to succeed. As we are non-for-profit and equity-free, we are completely focused on creating value and driving real change not only in our own community, but around the world.

MassChallenge Switzerland has attracted top startups in some key high-growth industries that will be working on solving some of the worlds biggest problems, said Stefan Dobrev, Founding Partner of MassChallenge Switzerland and NestlGlobal Portfolio Manager. We are proud to be working with them to help create the solutions and jobs of the future.


MassChallenges unique model leverages an outside pool of judges and mentors from the community to help select the finalists. Representing a diverse mix of perspectives and backgrounds, this years experts included 70 of the worlds top entrepreneurs and investors from UBS, Waypoint Capital, VI partners and Beyond Investing.


Startups from a wide range of industries were evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate impact and potential, ranging from scientific breakthroughs to industry disruptions.


The top industries for finalists include the Internet of Things (IoT), publishing, fintech, and healthcare and life sciences. Of the 68 startups selected:

  • 33.8 percent are in high tech
  • 23.5 percent are general, retail and consumer goods
  • 25 percent are healthcare and life sciences
  • 11.8 percent are social impact
  • 5.9 percent are cleantech and energy

As part of the accelerator, the 2016 cohort will have the opportunity to engage with high-profile speakers, expert mentors, and a global network of support throughout high-level corporate and governmental connections during the four-month program. Startups will also have free access to co-working space, wet lab, industry resources, and the prototyping lab located at UniverCity, the Renens open laboratory based in the upcoming Ateliers de la Ville de Renens, Vaud.



The accelerator program will culminate on November 2016, at the MassChallenge Switzerland Awards Ceremony, where entrepreneurs will pitch their startups with the chance to win a share of 1 million CHF in zero-equity awards and different in-kind prizes.


Theres a universal need and responsibility to help early stage startups across all industries and backgrounds succeed as they set out to solve some of societys biggest problems, said John Harthorne, Founder and CEO of MassChallenge. Communities that focus on creating an environment thats open, collaborative, and supportive will drive more value, opportunities, and wealth as a result. Were proud to continue advocating for this movement and fueling innovation around the world through our global accelerators.

Moving ahead with global expansion, MassChallenge also announced finalists for its programs in Boston and Israel, and opened applications for the UK and Mexico, which is also in its first year. Interested applicants can visit: or




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 any industry. 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, London and Jerusalem and unrivalled access to our corporate partners, we can have a massive impact driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, the 835 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $1.4B in funding, generated over $575 million in revenue and created over 8,500 jobs. For more information, visit





About MassChallenge Switzerland:


The accelerator will combine MassChallenges no-equity, competition-based model with the talent and potential of Swiss startup ecosystem. Based in the Lake Geneva Region, the accelerator attracts startups from Switzerland, other parts of Europe and beyond, who want to understand and access Switzerlands unique innovation culture and progress in high technology. Six founding partners are supporting the MassChallenge Switzerland launch: Bler Group, already a diamond sponsor of MassChallenge in Boston, Nestl Inartis Foundation, the Swiss Economic Forum, Foundation Bailly, and Givaudan. A high-profile supervisory board has been formed to launch MassChallenge Switzerland in 2016. Members include Stefan Catsicas, Executive Vice President NestlS.A., CTO; Calvin Grieder, Chairman of the Board of Directors & CEO Bler Group; Beno Dubuis, Director of Campus Biotech and President of the Inartis Foundation; Peter Stli, Chairman of the Swiss Economic Forum Group; Chris Thoen, Sr VP Head of Global Science and Technology Givaudan SA; and John Harthorne, CEO of MassChallenge.

Media contact:

Ksenia Tugay


+41 79 653 74 05