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Europe: Competition honors 7 start-ups

Seven companies, from a short-list of 75 start-ups selected for a four-month acceleration program this summer by MassChallenge Switzerland, have been selected to receive financial prizes.

MassChallenge Switzerland, of which Givaudan is a founding partner, is a not-for-profit start-up accelerator program established to help entrepreneurs across all industries.

It also rewards the highest-impact start-ups through a competition to win significant financial awards.

The winning start-ups, which are being accelerated at UniverCité in Renens, Switzerland, have been judged on their capacity for high-impact and high potential, as well as their progression through the four-month program.

“The entrepreneurial quality of the retained projects adds credibility to our program and is a source of motivation for the seven founding partners, which includes Givaudan, who have two goals: gain first access to breakthrough technologies that are shaping the world of tomorrow, and ensure early identification of companies that may have a similar interest in their activities,” says Benoît Dubuis, president of Fondation Inartis, founding and operating partner of MassChallenge Switzerland.

The number of partners is expanding in 2018 when BASF SE joins, complementing the other industrial partners.

The winners of this year’s prizes share a total of CHF 400,000 (US$404,582.69) split into two Diamond prizes, with a value of CHF 100,000 each, and five Gold prizes worth CHF 40,000 each.

The two Diamond winners of CHF 100,000 are Moka Studio Sarl, a Swiss high-tech company developing a software that allows quick and easy, three dimensional animation, and TasteHit, a French company also working in the high-tech space, which develops and markets intelligent consumer engagement tools for online stores.

This prize will allow both winners to continue their product development and increase sales.

The five remaining projects selected by the jury, awarded with CHF 40,000 each, are ChemAlive SA (Swiss) active in the field of chemical modelling, HaYa Therapeutics (Swiss) with a biopharmaceutical therapy to treat heart failure, Infrastructure Systems Managers / Dechets à l’Or (Guinea) using technology to bring infrastructure services and sanitation to African cities, Lymphatica Medtech (Swiss) developing a medical micro-pump for the treatment of lymphedema, a chronic and disabling side effect of anti-cancer therapies, and Membrasenz GmbH (Germany) designer of novel membranes used in the production of hydrogen.

The seven winners of this year’s competition, along with the remaining top five finalists (Alogo Analysis SA – Swiss, Imverse – Swiss, MagicTomato.ch – Swiss, Precision Vine – Swiss, and Sleepiz – Swiss), also receive in-kind support that lets them stay and work free-of-charge at UniverCité in Renens until the next MassChallenge Switzerland competition, which begins in June 2018 with another 70 finalists.