Top Startup Accelerators in the Canton of Vaud

The Canton of Vaud is one of the major centers for innovation in Switzerland. It is home to about 36,000 companies, operating in the fields of life science, health and precision industries, information and communication technologies (ICTs), clean technology (cleantech), and nutrition. More than 60 leading international corporations such as Nestlé and Medtronic have their headquarters and offices in the Vaud.

Nearly a quarter of the top 100 Swiss startups are based in the Canton of Vaud. With access to seed and early stage funding, government support, and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), this canton is an ideal location for companies looking to embark on their business ventures. Let’s have a look at the top 3 accelerators in the Suisse Romande.

MassChallenge Switzerland

Located in Lausanne, MassChallenge Switzerland is the Swiss branch of one of the world’s largest accelerators – MassChallenge. It supports high-potential, early-stage startups, and young entrepreneurs. This zero-equity start-up accelerator was founded in 2015, with its first cohort beginning in 2016.

Since its founding, MassChallenge Switzerland has become a leading driver of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Europe. It accepts applications from all over Switzerland, as well as from other parts of Europe and beyond.

The selected startups will participate in a 4-month acceleration program in Renens (suburb of Lausanne), where they are provided free office space, access to the prototyping and wet labs, coaching, mentoring, networking, and access to international investors and international markets.

At the end of the program, the most promising startups are awarded equity-free cash prizes (up to CHF 1 million). Since February 2019, MassChallenge Switzerland has accelerated 208 startups in agri-food tech and mobility/smart cities verticals.

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Y-Start

Located in Yverdon-Les-Bains, Y-Start offers business angel support and startup mentoring. As part of Y-Parc–Swiss Technopole, the experts at this accelerator will provide support for a startup in Switzerland, from creating the prototype to developing a marketing strategy.

Y-Start focuses on cleantech, life science, agricultural, and sporting startups. At their ecosystem in Y-Parc, this accelerator hosts more than 150 companies and 1,300 employees, with 30 percent of them operating in information technology (IT).

Acceleration programs with Y-Start last for at least three months and can be renewed on a monthly basis after the program. The presence of a startup in the incubator however is limited to 2 years, with no possibility of renewal.