- IMD Business School
News Stories · Start-up

IMD partners dominate 2019 Top 100 Swiss Startup Award

32 trailblazing Swiss companies, including three of the top five, have collaborated with IMD participants over the past five years
September 2019

Almost one third of the most pioneering young companies in Switzerland featured in this year’s Top 100 Swiss Startup Award have benefited from the support and expertise of IMD EMBA and MBA participants.

Since 1999, through its annual Startup Competition, IMD has selected exciting, early phase Swiss firms to work with its EMBA and MBA participants as part of its world-leading executive education courses, offering invaluable input and two-way mentorship to drive growth and new opportunities.

Up to 25 startups take part each year, with EMBA participants working to improve business plans before pitching each firm to investors in Silicon Valley. MBA participants dedicate up to 600 hours over the duration of their course to each startup.

“As one of the Swiss Top100 jury members I was particularly pleased to see that 32 of the 100 were young ventures that had collaborated with IMD’s EMBAs or MBAs during the past 5 years,” said Dr. Jim Pulcrano, IMD Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management.

“It is a privilege for our participants to work with Switzerland’s best entrepreneurs.  They get a sense of how the minds of these people work, and how much of that thinking, that way of seeing the world, they can bring into their own work.”

Four of the top ten Swiss startups, including the number one company, and seven in the top 25, were IMD Startup Competition winners, which also receive a 5,000 CHF scholarship for use on any IMD executive education program. The startup competition is run in collaboration with the Swiss government’s Innosuisse-Swiss Innovation AgencyVentureKickMassChallenge Switzerland and investiere.

“This year’s tally is similar to previous years for IMD, and the question that many people ask me and my co-conspirator, Dr. Benoit Leleux, is whether we do excellent work in our choosing of the ventures that work with our participants, or do the MBA and EMBA participants do a great job of helping these startups,” said Dr. Pulcrano. “In all modesty, it’s probably both, with a tilt towards the many hours the entrepreneurs spend collaborating with our participants.”

The influential ranking is limited to companies that are five years old or less, with many breaking new ground in next gen industries, ranging from biotech and software to engineering and financial technology.

The top 100 list is available online at www.startup.ch/top100.