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IMD Startup Competition

Benefit from the free experience of our MBA and Executive MBA participants

IMD Startup Competition

Benefit from the free experience of our MBA and Executive MBA participants

IMD Startup Competition 2023/2024


Thank you to all who have applied!

Seize your chance

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 you with a unique opportunity to get help and insights from 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 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 and have a curious team that is willing to open themselves up to a small group of management “students” and enter into both strategic and business model discussions to provide a valuable learning opportunity for our participants with timing that aligns with the IMD programs.

November 6, 2023, 5pm CET: Registration Deadline – EXTENDED to November 10!
December 1, 2023: Formal notification to all selected startups
December 8, 2023: 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 (as well as our BOT and Evonik participants). In the most recent Swiss Top 100 report, IMD-supported startups captured 31 of the 100 places, including two out of the top 10, and seven of the top 25 scale-ups. 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 again, 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

Boost your chances of funding and success
Get fresh input on your business ideas
Gather new information with the help of IMD talent

Executive MBA project opportunity

  • Up to 10 or 12 startups will be chosen to work with two 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 November (with the presence of your founders)


EMBA 1st Intake

(Feb 2025 graduating class)

EMBA 2nd Intake

(Sept 2025 graduating class)

At IMD Lausanne

Tuesday Sept 10*, 2024 pm 

Friday Sept 13*, 2024 am

Tuesday Sept 23*, 2024 pm 

Friday Sept 27*, 2024 am

In Palo Alto, California

November 10-15, 2024

November 17-22, 2024

*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 10-12 hours per person on this project each week, for a total support of at least 400-500 work-hours



January 22, 2024

MBA-selected companies meet with their MBA teams at IMD in Lausanne that evening

January 27, 2024

In-company introductory visits for MBA participants at the company's site (wherever possible or desirable)

January 22 - March 11, 2024

MBA-selected companies collaborate with their MBA teams


Meet with MBAs @ IMD, Lausanne


Face-to-face & virtual collaboration


Mutually agreed upon project

Contact us
 - IMD Business School
Blandine Malhet
Program Manager, Executive MBA Department, IMD