The IMD Startup Competition, now in its 23rd year, has served as the vehicle for twenty ventures to work with IMD’s full-time MBA students in 2021. In addition, 18 startups have been successful in getting the prize of collaborating with one of the three EMBA cohorts. 

Though this year there were fewer candidates than in recent years, the overall quality was second-to-none, said organizers Jim Pulcrano, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at IMD, and Benoit Leleux, the Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance. 

“It was the best that we have ever seen, making decisions much harder. Many of the firms who applied and were not chosen would still have been great candidates, but we had to make choices,” they said. 

Among the winners chosen to work with the MBAs is AMF Medical, developers of patch pumps for Diabetes patients; Global M, who turn smartphones into broadcast cameras using Secure Reliable Transport for live transmissions; and Plastogaz, technology developers focusing on transforming plastic waste into value-added products. 

A small team of MBA students will work with each start-up, dedicating some 500 working hours to each. 

Those start-ups deemed a good fit to join forces with EMBA students include Skyeton whose ambitious plans revolve around revolutionizing the aerospace industry by creating long-endurance unmanned aerial systems for data collection. 

Pulcrano and Leleux commented: “We were privileged to work with HeiQ in 2006. Seeing their IPO in London earlier this week, we were reminded that we can never predict where these collaborations will lead.” 

They added that they looked forward to what would transpire in 2021 with their winners, and would do whatever they could to support the many others who deserved a chance at success.