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Press Release

Big Booster (Lyon) Builds Ties With MassChallenge (Boston)

LYON, FRANCE--(Marketwired - Sep 10, 2015) - Big Booster, launched in Lyon on April 16th, is the first non-profit, international accelerator program between Lyon & Boston, for startups working on cutting edge innovations in Health, Digital, Environment or Sustainability fields.

MassChallenge (Boston) is the world's largest startup accelerator and will help selected startups connect US advisors, customers and sponsors. MassChallenge will advise on set up of Big Booster accelerator, will contribute to communication's operations and will organize the Boot camp in Boston.

The Big Booster's ambition, in the coming three years, is to become the largest European contest for early-stage startups companies with international ambitions, backed by a group of iconic experts and industrial leaders.

Big Booster targets innovative startups developing a proof of concept or prototype for breakthrough solutions, and which are based in region (but not exclusively).

The first edition offers selected startups:

  • Direct Lyon/Boston connections giving access to:
    • 2 world-renowned innovation hubs in these sectors
    • 2 major markets: EU & North America
  • A direct path to decision-makers and their networks including:
    • Key Accounts
    • Investors
    • Successful entrepreneurs
  • A high-level international support program over a 6-month period:
    • Boot Camp in Lyon with European experts, for the Top 100 candidates (Oct. 2015)
    • Mentorship (Oct. 2015 - Apr. 2016)
    • Boot Camp in Boston with US experts, for the Top 20 (Feb. 2016)
  • EUR 100,000 award for the Top 3 (Apr. 2016)

200 startups have already applied just 5 weeks after the launch call for candidates. 40% of the projects are from Europe-Middle East-Africa, including 30% from Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes region and 30% from the rest of France.

The city of Boston and the Greater Lyon Metropole agreed to develop bilateral collaboration on issues including economic, cultural, academic and social policy. Big Booster is the first operational and targeted joint action for these two cities. The project is built on close collaboration with Boston, a top research and innovation ecosystem.

The partners of the project:
On the operational side, this program will be supported by: Lyon Métropole, Rhône-Alpes Region, City of Boston, MassChallenge, University of Lyon, Axeleo, BPI France, Capgemini, La Banque Postale, EDF, GL Events, Keolis, Klesia, Sanofi, Veolia, ...

Big Booster's calendar:

  • Launch: April 16th 2015
  • Call for application: until September 20th 2015
  • Announcement of the 100 selected startups: October 2nd 2015
  • Boot Camp Lyon: October 27th, 28th, 29th 2015 (during BlendWebMix event)
  • Boot Camp Boston: February 2016
  • Final: April 14th 2016 (during Biovision Forum)

Find out more:
All the interviews:

Lyon and Boston: global leaders in the fields of biotech, cleantech and digital:


  • 59,000 jobs in the life sciences, 42,000 jobs in digital, 78,000 jobs in environment technologies
  • Renowned competitiveness clusters and centers of excellence: Lyon Biopôle, Axelera, Imaginove,... 
  • 144,500 higher education students, nearly 13,000 researchers

In 2013, some 15,000 businesses were created in the local area.


  • 127,000 jobs in the field of health and social services, 82,000 jobs in technical and scientific sectors
  • World's 6th best ecosystem for startups, according to the 2012 Startup ecosystem report
  • 3 development agencies for key sectors: Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

World-class universities such as MIT and Harvard.

Dalyce Semko Suanez
Phone: (403) 869-3259

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