IMD Startup Competition 2022 /2023
IMD Startup News
*2019 & 2022 EMBA Startup winners*

Cysec and Syntheticus announce a strategic global partnership

Cysec and Syntheticus join forces to turn data from a liability into an asset with Synthetic Data and Confidential Computing


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*2020 EMBA Startup winner*

Dufour Aerospace sells up to 140 Aero2 to U.S. company

Spright, the drone division of Air Methods, the U.S.-based leading provider of helicopter emergency medical services, and Dufour Aerospace, the innovative Swiss eVTOL company, announced the purchase by Spright of 40 Aero2 with options for additional 100 aircraft. The cooperation and sales agreement represents one of the largest civilian unmanned aerial vehicle purchases in U.S. history.


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*2020 MBA Startup winner*

Foodetective closes $5.5M seed round

Today, merchants use an average of 18 apps & software solutions to manage their business. The Foodetective platform and unified API allows them to seamlessly manage their entire operations from reviews to orders, reservations, suppliers, stocks, marketing and much more. The new funds from the seed round will be used to build the new feature “intelligence”, which will push intelligent notifications & actions.


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*2019 EMBA Startup winner*

Futurae accelerates its solid growth trajectory

Founded in 2016, Futurae continues to expand into new European markets and record positive results year after year, with over 120 banks, insurers and online retailers using its technology. The ETH spin-off provides user-centric authentication and transaction confirmation solutions that combine trustworthiness and usability. Through its authentication platform, it offers unparalleled security to its customers.


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*2019 EMBA Startup winner*

Additional funds for Cysec to grow in the Space industry

CYSEC, a specialist in data protection, particularly in confidential computing, has raised an additional €2m from Karista to establish itself in the NewSpace market. The proceeds from the round will also enable CYSEC to reinforce its sales teams in France and recruit new engineers and sales professionals.


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*2020 MBA Startup winner*

CHF 2.1 million to bring nanomedicine-based bone repair to the market

Flowbone SA, an EPFL spin-off active in the field of bone regeneration, has closed a seed round for CHF 2.1 million, mostly with experienced business angels. The funds enable the company to prepare its US market entry, including FDA clearance for a first bone repair product, and to continue its pre-clinical developments for the strengthening of osteoporotic bone.


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*2020 EMBA Startup Winner*

Dufour Aerospace gets long-term support from RUAG

The Aero2 is Dufour’s unmanned aerial vehicle that can take off and land vertically like a helicopter but flies as fast and as energy efficient as a fixed-wing aircraft. Through their foreseen long-term strategic partnership, RUAG will provide engineering services to Dufour to advance the eVTOL and components of Aero2.


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*2015 MBA Startup winner*

Gamaya: unveiling world’s first digital tool using satellite images to fight pests

The multi-year collaboration between Swiss Agtech startup Gamaya and Syngenta has resulted in the launch of the first-ever commercial digital diagnosis and mapping solution for harmful nematode pests. Brazilian soybean farmers will be the first to use the tool to fight pests causing up to 30 percent yield loss.


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Seize your chance now!

Could your startup benefit from highly talented, experienced and motivated individuals who have been carefully screened to participate in two of the most selective and rigorous business programs in the world?

If so, this competition provides a unique opportunity for you to get the help and insights of participants in IMD’s MBA and Executive MBA programs.

This offer is open to all Swiss-based startups and runs in collaboration with the Swiss government's Innosuisse-Swiss Innovation Agency, VentureKick, MassChallenge Switzerland, Verve and Amazon Web Services.

We select up to 38 different startups to work with IMD MBAs and Executive MBAs.

We are looking for early-stage companies that have a solid chance of market success, have a team that is curious and willing to open themselves up to a small group of management "students", are pleased to enter into both strategic and business model discussions, and can provide a good learning opportunity for our participants with timing that aligns with the IMD programs.


November 8, 2022 5pm CET: Extended Registration Deadline!


December 2, 2022: Formal notification to all selected startups


December 9, 2022: Deadline for the selected startups to accept or decline the IMD offer

Grow your business, test your concepts, get new insights:
work with our MBA and EMBA participants

Many ventures got lasting value from working with our MBAs and EMBAs. In the most recent Swiss Top 100 report, IMD-supported startups captured 28 of the 100 places, including 2 out of the top 10, and six of the top 25 scaleups! Do you want to be in that group next year?

As additional support for Swiss startups, and to help the Swiss entrepreneurial ecosystem, winners of the IMD Startup Competition will now receive a CHF 5,000 Startup Scholarship to be used to participate in any of IMD's online or open programs!

And this year we’re pleased to announce that Amazon Web Services is partnering with us once again and will support the winners of the IMD Startup Competition: “From Airbnb to Zocdoc, the world's top startups build on AWS. But they didn't do it alone. So whether you need help solving a technical challenge, hiring the right engineers, or finalizing a fundraising round, AWS has all the resources you need to get started. There’s a reason more startups build on AWS than any other provider: AWS is there to help you succeed, from inception to IPO. With this partnership, the Startups winning the IMD Startup Competition get access to the network of opportunities through AWS Startups.

Recent Winners of the Startup Competition

Grow your business

Boost your chances of funding and success

Test your concepts

Get fresh input on your business ideas

Get new insights

Gather new information with the help of IMD talent

Executive MBA project opportunity
  • Up to eighteen startups will be chosen to work with three Executive MBA classes
  • Split into small teams each working with a dedicated startup, our EMBAs help analyze and challenge your business plans and company strategies
  • Their ultimate goal is to make a pitch on your behalf to venture capitalists and angels in Silicon Valley in September or November (with the presence of your founders)

EMBA 1st Intake

(Dec 2023 graduating class)

EMBA 2nd Intake

(Apr 2024 graduating class)

EMBA 3rd Intake

(Sept 2024 graduating class)

At IMD Lausanne

Tuesday June 20*, 2023 (pm)


Friday June 23*, 2023 (am) (optional)

Tuesday May 2*, 2023 (am)


Friday May 5*, 2023 (am) (optional)

Tuesday October 3*, 2023 (pm)


Friday October 6*, 2023 (am) (optional)

In Palo Alto, California Sept 10-15, 2023

Sept 17-22, 2023

Nov 12-17, 2023

*Subject to change

Meet with EMBAs @ IMD, Lausanne
Collaborate at a distance with EMBAs
Travel to Silicon Valley with the EMBAs
MBA project opportunity
  • Up to 20 startups will receive the support of our MBA class
  • Split into small teams, each working with a dedicated startup, our MBAs put in an average of 6-8 hours per person on this project each week, for a total support of at least 500-600 work-hours
Dates Description
January 31, 2023 MBA-selected companies meet with their MBA teams at IMD in Lausanne that evening
February 4, 2023 In-company introductory visits for MBA participants at the company's site (wherever possible or desirable)
January 31 - April 8, 2023 MBA-selected companies collaborate with their MBA teams


Meet with MBAs @ IMD, Lausanne
Face-to-face & Virtual Collaboration
Mutually agreed upon project
Contact us

  Blandine Malhet

  Program Manager

  Executive MBA Department, IMD

  » Email


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