MassChallenge Switzerland Awards Equity-Free Cash Prizes to Top 2021 Startups

Lausanne, Switzerland – MassChallenge Switzerland, part of MassChallenge’s global network for innovators and zero-equity startup accelerators, tonight awarded CHF 500,000 in equity-free cash prizes and in-kind awards to the top 12 startups and to an additional 6 runner-up Swiss startups of its 2021 early-stage accelerator program.

Held on October 28, 2021, at Casino Montbenon in Lausanne, the MassChallenge Switzerland Awards Ceremony brought together more than 400 viewers from all corners of the world for a hybrid in-person/digital live event. In addition to the CHF 400,000 provided by MassChallenge Switzerland, its partners also awarded in-kind prizes worth more than CHF 100,000 to startups in the 2021 cohort: Reuteler & Cie will provide 12 hours of IP services to Spirecut, Epios, SmartHelio, B’ZEOS, MiniMarrow and TissueLabs; and Kellerhals Carrard will provide 12 hours of legal services to Spirecut, Epios, Anavo Medical, Naturloop, XRNanotech and Plastogaz.

The 2021 MassChallenge Switzerland Awards Ceremony also acknowledged the expert community that helped the cohort launch, grow, and scale their businesses over the course of the accelerator. Mentors Celine Schulze, Selim Dusi and Alexandra Jostrom-Reiser were acknowledged as the top mentors of the 2021 accelerator, based on their involvement in the program, the number of startups mentored and the success of their mentees.

The celebratory evening highlighted not only the top startups, cohort and top mentors of 2021, but also the achievements of our alumni, the IMPACT they have created over the past 5 years and the future steps MassChallenge Switzerland is going to take as of 2022, by supporting climate responsible startups.

“It’s been an amazing first 5 years and my thanks goes out to our Experts and Partners who’ve helped our startups make such a massive impact. The Cohort of 2021 will also add to these numbers and competition in the pre-finals and finals was tough, making it exceptionally hard for our Judges to pick the winners. Looking forward to 2022 we will move to only accelerating climate responsible startups. We chose to do this because we believe our proven model can help make a difference to the world’s biggest challenge. Congrats to SmartHelio, our 2021 overall winner, for being a great example for others to emulate” – said Matt Lashmar, Managing Director of MassChallenge Switzerland.

The announcement – made during the 2021 Awards Ceremony – is a commitment to identify and accelerate startups who can make a significant difference in reducing global warming. By applying MassChallenge‘s proven program, by connecting climate responsible startups with the right resources, corporate partners and global pool of experts, this new initiative will help them scale quicker, leading to a faster market adoption of these breakthrough solutions, for the benefit of our planet and environment.

“I would like to warmly congratulate all the startups in the 2021 cohort and wish them success with their next steps. I am particularly excited and impressed by the finalists, after this success in MassChallenge Switzerland they have every chance of scaling their businesses and bringing significant benefit to society and the environment.  
After 6 years of operation, MassChallenge Switzerland has supported more than 600 startups.  The IPCC 6thassessment report further emphasizes the need to act fast to mitigate global warming. During the next five years we will apply this proven model to support climate responsible startups. Moving forward, we will no longer only track financial and employment data, but also CO2 avoidance and reduction” – added Ian Roberts, CTO Bühler and President of MassChallenge Switzerland.


CHF 140K Diamond Winner

SmartHelio (Switzerland): brings second life to solar panels, helping to generate more clean energy and prevent e-waste using out patent pending IoT sensor.

CHF 70K Platinum Winners

B’ZEOS (Norway): offers sustainable, home compostable, and bio-digestible packaging solutions made from seaweed extracts to combat plastic pollution.

Sophie’s BioNutrients (Singapore): are developing a new sustainable plant-based protein out of microalgae using fermentation technologies. 

CHF 40K Gold Winners

umiami (France): created a proprietary technology to produce better-tasting, more clean-label plant-based meats and fish.

CHF 10K Silver Winners

Amphibio (United Kingdom): development of a sustainable and recyclable Waterproof Breathable Textile and Garment for the outdoor apparel industry.

Clear Leaf (Costa Rica): offers 100% non-toxic fungicides and bactericides for agricultural use. 

Epios (Switzerland): is providing personalized and precision management of brain disorders using daily life monitoring and therapeutics.

Gelatex (Estonia): high-throughput and cost-effective bio-based nanofibers production for cultured meat, wound care, filtration, or other industries. 

Spirecut SA (Switzerland): develops surgical instruments for percutaneous treatment. No skin incision, less complications, early return to normal life.

Ullmanna (Czech Republic): is working on an innovative solution that will scale organic food production using robotics and artificial intelligence. 

Umami Meats (Singapore): is cultivating the future of sustainable seafood by crafting delicious, affordable, nutritious cell-cultured fish.

Zeg (United Kingdom): their proprietary 3D AI tech allows any eCommerce seller to create photos virtually at 1/10th cost and 1/100th the time compared to a studio.

Best Intrapreneur Team

Just Add – Givaudan (Switzerland): makes it easy to create botanical-based beverages consumers will love. They simplify development, logistics and clean labelling.


MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,928 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $8.6B in funding, generated more than $3.6 B in revenue, and created more than 186,000 total jobs. 
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MassChallenge Switzerland Founding and Diamond Partners 

Bühler, Givaudan, Nestlé, Barry Callebaut, DSM, Swiss Economic Forum, Inartis Foundation