Want to scale your startup to Lyon and Boston? Here’s how


International non-profit acceleration programme for early-stage startups Big Booster has opened applications for its second edition, offering companies from Europe, the Middle East and Africa the chance to expand into the Lyon and Boston innovation ecosystems.

Big Booster is looking for startups in bio and heath, informative tech and global impact to take part in its programme, which looks to empower businesses to cross borders and go global.

The programme is looking for 100 international early-stage startups to take part in intensive three-day seminars, one in Lyon, France and one in Boston, United States (US), where they will connect with top-notch mentors and experts.

While the Lyon Booster Camp is an opportunity for startups to test and improve their proposition value, strategy and pitch using feedback from mentors and experts, the Boston seminar is a gateway for startups looking to get to know the Boston and American innovative ecosystem.

“We want to become the largest European competition for early stage startups. Our goal is to have startups looking at Big Booster as a reference, the “must-do” competition for global startups,” said Didier Hoch, Big Booster’s president.

Big Booster, which takes no equity in startups accepted into its programme, received over 500 applications for its first edition. In Lyon, 72 startups, and150 mentors, judges and experts took part in 120 hours of pitches, while the Boston Booster Camp brought together 20 selected startups for over 30 hours of pitching with 50 mentors, speakers, judges and experts.

The programme is organised by the Fondation pour l’Université de Lyon, and is the first of many projects coming from the specific relationship between Lyon & Boston. The two cities, known for their excellence in biotech, cleantech and digital, have teamed up to foster growth and connections.

To stand a chance of being accepted into the programme, startups must demonstrate that they offer an innovative solution with proof of concept, a prototype or demo and a true aspiration to cross borders. Applications close on September 18, with the chosen 100 to attend the Lyon Booster Camp in November. A total of 20 selected startups will head to Boston in February of next year, with three overall winners to be announced in April.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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