IMD selects 37 winners in its annual Startup Competition - IMD Business School
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IMD selects 37 winners in its annual Startup Competition

Representing industries from wearable technology to construction, and with a growing share championed by women, this year’s IMD Startup Competition winners will provide MBA and EMBA classes in 2022 with a rich learning experience, say organizers.
December 2021

Now in its 24th year, the IMD Startup Competition offers 20 young companies the chance to work with IMD’s full-time MBA students. In addition, 17 promising start-ups will collaborate with the three EMBA cohorts.

“We started this competition in 1998, with the goal of helping our EMBA, and eventually MBA, students better understand the mindset of the entrepreneur. Along the way, we’ve also managed to help many startups to achieve success,” said  Jim Pulcrano, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at IMD. “My hope is that again this year we can help these 37 companies get to where they want to go”.

Among the most recent startups that have benefited from the collaboration was deepCDR, which uses deep learning methods to help identify promising antibodies, and last week was bought by Alloy Therapeutics.

Many other firms involved in the competition over the years have done well. AC Immune went public in 2016, and HeIQ in 2020. Dacuda was acquired by Magic Leap. Doodle by TamediaEndosense by St.Jude, FaceShift by Apple, GlycArt by Roche, picoDrill by Asahi Glass, HPL by Dow, Kooaba by Qualcomm, and Lemoptix by Intel.

This year’s competition winners were selected from more than 110 candidates said Benoit Leleux, IMD’s Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance.

“The winners were picked to provide the greatest possible learning experiences for our participants, to discover entrepreneurship from the inside. Ten of the projects selected for 2022 were championed by women, and seven of them have female CEOs, a proportion rarely attained in the past,” he said.

Those selected to work with the MBAs who have a female CEO at the helm are fashion tech start-up OpenDress Gmbh, which helps brands reduce online returns by improving sizing; TradeBay, a global fruit trading community; Calingo Insurance, which offers personalized and optimized risk protection at the point of need; Enerdrape, a developer of underground thermal panel technology; b-rayZ, which uses AI to expand the potential of radiology; and aikemy, which brings full-scale laboratories into the farmer’s pocket.

Companies that will collaborate with the EMBAs include Onescope, developing an AI-powered stethoscope; Medusoil, using microorganisms to transform the construction industry (think bio-cement), Perovskia, which makes digitally printed customizable solar cells; and VIRA Drones, a developer of heavy-duty cargo drones for logistics in hard to reach areas.

And the winners are … The 20 Swiss ventures that IMD’s MBAs will have the privilege of working with in 2022 will be:



Aikemy is building the pocket feed lab – an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that optimizes animal nutrition to enable cost savings while reducing the environmental footprint.

aOrion Drones

A drone-as-a-Service platform for industrial applications in any geography and climatic conditions.


Aseptuva is developing a safe UV light technology for medical devices to combat millions of annual hospital infections.


atfinity is a provider of leading software that enables banks to grow by constantly automating their processes.


b-rayZ is a MedTech software company that drives innovation in radiology with a ground-breaking AI medical platform.

Calingo Insurance

Calingo Insurance revolutionizes the way insurance is sold and bought, offering maximum convenience to the end customer.


EarlySight is developing a medical device to help doctors detect and monitor eye diseases at early stages thanks to unprecedented imaging of the eye.


Enerdrape is developing an underground thermal panel technology which can turn underground environments into renewable energy suppliers to meet the heating and cooling needs of buildings.


Exomotion is on a mission to enhance the quality of life for people with reduced mobility by providing automated mobility services in indoor environments.


We transform low-value minerals into high-performance, safe and ecological insulation panels for buildings.


We help manufacturers to get supply planning right.

Goodlife Coffee

Goodlife Coffee is an innovative specialty coffee company from Lausanne

Heat Neutral

HeatNeutral has developed an efficient fuel combustion system, which is a direct low-cost drop-in solution that can replace the millions of heating oil burners currently in use worldwide and immediately allow those heating systems to become carbon neutral.


Limula offers an award-winning platform technology for robust and scalable production of cell and gene therapies.


Lumiphase builds optical communication chips to help network and cloud providers manage the exploding data traffic.


Olympe is an award-winning startup whose software composition environment makes it a breeze to build business applications that add functionality to legacy IT systems, especially by connecting them to any real time data source.

OpenDress GmbH – Brand BEAWEAR     

BEAWEAR is a pioneering business-to-business SAAS fashion-tech solution to help apparel brands eliminate the problem of incorrect fit and to drastically reduce online returns, costs, and waste.


SoundFlux resurrects lost masters in digital high fidelity audio using touchless X-rays for your favorite streaming service.


The platform for creating organs and tissues in the lab.


TradeBay is a global marketplace where producers, sellers, buyers and traders of fruits instantly grow their network of trusted partners, reach new markets, and trade more securely.


The 17 Swiss startups who will work with the EMBA classes and accompany them to Silicon Valley will be:


Aiving develops precision wearable technology for competitive sports.


ArcoScreen, an EPFL spin-off founded in July 2021, develops novel drug discovery solutions directly testing patient cells to counter diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s.


autonomyo enables the continuous and intense walking training after clinical rehabilitation in a patient’s home.


C WIRE is a Zurich-based ad tech company dedicated to building a sustainable advertising ecosystem for media owners and advertisers through AI-powered contextual targeting.


Medusoil has developed a novel, containerized technology to enable bio-cementation applications in construction and geo-environmental works.

Mithras Technology

Mithras turns body heat into usable electricity for wearables and enables substantial extensions of battery runtime up to the ultimate goal of energy-autonomy.

Onescope SA

Pneumoscope, a new generation of AI powered stethoscope for all.

Perovskia Solar

PEROVSKIA SOLAR AG is a Swiss cleantech startup that provides digitally printed customizable solar cells to OEMs.


PIPRA helps reduce postoperative delirium, the most common post-surgical complication affecting 20% of patients over 60 and often with long term consequences for patients and enormous costs to hospitals and insurers.


Positrigo aims to make functional medical imaging accessible for people worldwide


Sirius Aviation AG ia a Swiss air mobility company with an ambition to change the way we travel and become a leader in a multi-trillion market.

SmartHelio Sarl

SmartHelio is a clean energy intelligence company. It has developed proprietary digital technology to keep clean energy assets healthy


Syntheticus provides a B2B SaaS solution that enables public and private entities to unlock & monetise untapped data easily while staying fully compliant.


Typewise is a Swiss deep tech company on a mission to decode human thoughts, through privacy-focused AI text prediction technology


TYXIT and the IMD eMBA team will be joining forces to build the most scalable SaaS platform for musicians and gamers, enabling real-time remote sessions and the creation of unique contents that can then be protected and valued through NFT generation directly from the platform.


VIRA DRONES is developing heavy duty cargo drones with payloads from 200 to 1000 kg for air logistics and rescue operations, designed according to aviation safety rules, capable of flying where the pilot cannot and costing up to five times less than existing helicopters.

V-Labs SA

V-Labs is a Swiss, high-tech startup that provides an engineering grade augmented reality solution for high precision geospatial data and step-by-step work instructions, enabling surveyors, contractors, and engineers in the field to increase their efficiency and avoid costly errors during construction, surveying, and installation work.