engage your senses

Hi-tech startups awarded top prizes at MassChallenge Switzerland awards ceremony

17 Nov 2017

Givaudan is a founding partner of MassChallenge Switzerland which presented financial prizes to seven start-up business finalists

Seven companies, from a short-list of 75 start-ups selected for a four-month acceleration programme 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 programme 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 programme. “Thanks to a rigorous selection process, we have selected a high quality and varied cohort of start-ups from a range of industries, both Swiss and international,” explains Thierry Duvanel, Managing Director of MassChallenge Switzerland.

Benoît Dubuis, President of Fondation Inartis, founding and operating partner of MassChallenge Switzerland added: “The entrepreneurial quality of the retained projects adds credibility to our programme 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.” 

The number of partners is expanding in 2018 when chemical industry giant BASF SE will join, complementing the other industrial partners.

Chris Thoen, Givaudan’s Head of Global Science & Technology said:

“As leaders in the flavour and fragrance industry it’s important for Givaudan to be aware of innovation happening in different start-up ecosystems. Being one of the founding partners of MassChallenge Switzerland gives us a great opportunity to connect and collaborate with hi-tech start-ups that could transform the business and shape the future industry landscape. We are excited that the MassChallenge platform will also be used as a foundation of the EIT food accelerator network as of 2018.”

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Food Accelerator Network is a multi-location accelerator programme delivered across Europe and supported by EIT, to support high impact food space start-ups to maximise their success.

The winners of this year’s prizes share a total of CHF 400,000 split into two “Diamond” prizes, with a value of CHF 100,000 each, and five “Gold” prizes with a value of 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, high quality 3D 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 first-in-class 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.

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About Givaudan

Givaudan is the global leader in the creation of flavours and fragrances. In close collaboration with food, beverage, consumer product and fragrance partners, Givaudan develops tastes and scents that delight consumers the world over. With a passion to understand consumers’ preferences and a relentless drive to innovate, Givaudan is at the forefront of creating flavours and fragrances that 'engage your senses'. The Company achieved sales of CHF 4.7 billion in 2016. Headquartered in Switzerland with local presence in over 95 locations, the Company has more than 10,000 employees worldwide. Givaudan invites you to discover more at www.givaudan.com.

About MassChallenge

The most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. No equity and not-for-profit, we are motivated to help entrepreneurs across all industries. We also reward the highest impact start-ups through a competition to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free cash awards. Through our global network of accelerators in Boston, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, Mexico, and Texas, and unrivalled access to our corporate partners, we can have a massive impact - driving growth and creating value the world over. To date, 1,211 MassChallenge alumni have raised over USD 2 billion, generated over USD 900 million in revenue, and created over 65,000 jobs. For more information, please visit masschallenge.org.

MassChallenge Switzerland was founded in 2015, with its first cohort beginning in 2016. In both 2016 and 2017, there have been a total of 150 startups accelerated for a four-month period between June and October. We are based in Lausanne and provide expert mentoring, office space, access to industry partners, a curated curriculum, and up to CHF 1 million in equity-free cash and in-kind awards. Our founding partners include Barry Callebaut, Bühler, Fondation Inartis, GEA, Givaudan, Nestlé and Swiss Economic Forum.

About the EIT Food Accelerator Network

MassChallenge has been chosen as accelerator partner of the EIT Food Accelerator Network, a multi-location accelerator programme delivered across Europe and supported by EIT, to support high-impact food space start-ups to maximise their success. Driven by a consortium of EIT Food partners, representing the very best in academic and Industry expertise in the food space, with funding awarded by EIT, and with the experience of MassChallenge in helping high-impact start-ups succeed, the EIT Food Accelerator Network aims to make Europe the go-to innovation hub for the world’s most promising food space start-ups.


For further information please contact

Peter Wullschleger, Media and Investor Relations
T +41 22 780 9093
E peter_b.wullschleger@givaudan.com