IMD Startup Competition 2020/2021
The 23rd annual IMD Startup Competition is now closed. Our final list of winning candidates will hear from us by December 4th and our next competition will be launched in September 2021.
IMD Startup News
*2020 EMBA Startup winner*

Meet Securaxis co-founder Gaetan Vannay and learn more about the power of smart hearing


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*2021 MBA Startup winner*

Bottmedical secures CHF 1.1 million to prepare Swiss market entry


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*2012 EMBA Startup Winner*

BioVersys receives EUR 20 million in EU financing to support the development of new antibiotics


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*2019 EMBA Startup winner*

Futurae secures CHF 5 million to accelerate international expansion

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*2021 EMBA Startup winner*

CompPair closes a 950 kCHF seed round


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*2018 MBA Startup winner*

A financing round and new faces to bring Nanoleq to the next stage


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*2018 EMBA Startup winner*

Swiss technology gives Quantum Computing a boost


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*2006 EMBA Startup winner*

HeiQ has acquired 51% of the share capital and voting rights of Chrisal N.V., Belgium, which will be renamed HeiQ Chrisal. With this step the Swiss company HeiQ adds probiotic ingredients and technology platforms to its offerings and underlines its strategy of becoming a global leader in materials innovation.


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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, investiere and Amazon Web Services.

We select up to 30 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 9, 2020: Registration Deadline


December 4, 2020: Formal notification to all selected startups


December 11, 2020: 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 36 of the 100 places, including the first 3 out of the top 10, and seven 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 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)
LocationEMBA 1st IntakeEMBA 2nd IntakeEMBA 3rd Intake
At IMD LausanneJune 15, 2021

April 27, 2021

September 28, 2021

In Palo Alto, CaliforniaSept 12-17, 2021

Sept 19-24, 2021

Nov 14-19, 2021


Meet with EMBAs @ IMD, Lausanne
Collaborate at a distance with EMBAs
Travel to Silicon Valley with the EMBAs
MBA project opportunity
  • Up to 17 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
January 29, 2021MBA-selected companies meet with their MBA teams at IMD in Lausanne that evening
January 30, 2021In-company introductory visits for MBA participants at the company's site (wherever possible or desirable)
January 29 - April 20, 2021MBA-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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