IMD Startup Competition

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

IMD Startup Competition

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

IMD Startup Competition 2022 /2023


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

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 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



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

IMD Startup News
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.

Contact us
Blandine Malhet
Program Manager, Executive MBA Department, IMD