The canton of Vaud has strengthened its leading position in the realm of Swiss and European innovation with the debut of the start-up accelerator ‘MassChallenge Switzerland’ in Renens
MassChallenge of Boston, Massachusetts inaugurated its new European business accelerator in Renens on June 10th of this year. Co-working space of nearly 1,000 square meters—completely renovated for the occasion—now welcomes dozens of start-ups annually from throughout Europe within the framework of an intensive support program.
"Switzerland is one of the most innovative and creative countries in the world," said John Harthorne, CEO of MassChallenge, in announcing the choice of Switzerland as the site for its program in continental Europe. The dynamic start-up environment already present in Renens—notably with ECAL, UniverCité, and the nearby UNIL-EPFL campus—will now expand with the support of major Swiss companies, the city of Renens and the canton of Vaud.
The 71 start-ups selected to take part in the first intensive training program on the European continent are now operating in Renens through October. Chosen from over 450 entries in more than 50 countries, the founders of these start-ups will enjoy a four-month enriched program in which to develop their managerial skills and enhance the development of their project. Their potential rewards are not only a valuable network of contacts and high-level training, but also cash prizes totaling one million Swiss francs to be distributed to 15 start-up finalists through the first Swiss MassChallenge Awards in November, 2016.
There are 44 Swiss projects among the 71 selected start-up programs for 2016. Of these 44, nearly half of them (20) were created in the canton of Vaud, confirming the leading role of the canton in the arena of Swiss innovation.
About MassChallenge Switzerland
Based in the canton of Vaud since June 2016, the accelerator hosts Swiss and European start-ups wishing to benefit from Switzerland’s culture of innovation in high technology. Six founding partners support MassChallenge Switzerland: the Bühler Group (previously a diamond sponsor of MassChallenge in Boston), Nestlé, the Inartis Foundation, the Swiss Economic Forum, the Bailly Foundation, and Givaudan. The municipality of Renens and the canton of Vaud also support the project.
The MassChallenge business accelerator, founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2010, has an ambitious international commitment to promote and advance start-ups. It provides an acceleration model based on competition, talent and the initial potential of young companies.
This not-for-profit corporation selects dozens of projects each year and offers full support to selected companies over a period of four months. This includes personal coaching, communications support, and fund raising. Financial assistance of between CHF 7,000 to CHF 1,000,000 (depending on the nature of the project) is awarded to the start-ups selected in the final program stage.
Through its global network of accelerators in Boston, Mexico City, London, Jerusalem, and now in Renens, as well as its privileged contacts with partner companies, MassChallenge seeks to have an impact on growth and value creation in the world. To date, 835 companies have completed the MassChallenge acceleration program, raised more than $1.1 billion in funding, generated more than $520 million in revenue, and created more than 6,500 new jobs.
For additional information, please visit www.masschallenge.org.
Further details are also available in the following web pages:
- Read the press release of the inauguration of MassChallenge in Renens on June 10, 2016 (in French)
- Read the press release of the 71 finalists for 2016 (in English)
- Discover the 71 finalists and the 44 Swiss start-ups selected