SPOTLIGHT ON START-UPS
The not-for-profit organisation MassChallenge describes itself as the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet. It seeks out innovative start-ups in the UK, US, Israel and, most recently Switzerland in collaboration with Givaudan, Nestlé and Bühler.
With only two criteria for eligibility - the company must not have already raised more than $500,000 (€445,000) in funding or generated more than €0.9m ($1m) in revenue - it has helped more than forty food-specific start-ups since is inception in 2010, and has generated over $575m (€515m) in revenue and 8,500 jobs across all start-up categories.
It provides free office space, industry mentors, large networks of contacts and a no-equity, non-dilutive grant of either $50,000 (€44,887) or $100,000 (€89,774).
Global chief marketing officer Diane Perlman told FoodNavigator one of its most successful food industry success in Europe so far has been Positivitea with its range of herbal teas that are “based on the chakras and blended for balance”. Positivitea recently surpassed its crowdfunding target of £100,000 (€131,331) and has secured contracts with retailers Urban Outfitters, Fenwick and Barrecorre.
“We believe that every start-up should choose what is best for it," said director of marketing at MassChallenge Switzerland, Dr. Ksenia Tugay. "There are accelerators that have excellent track record, they provide guaranteed seed funding, yet they take activity. We specialise in early stage start-ups from everywhere in the world from all industries. We put impact before equity.”
“We do not take equity, our mentors are volunteers, yet we provide super experienced mentors and coaches.”
To read more about MassChallenge’s Swiss launch earlier this year, click here.