Three Atlantic Canadian startups are among 112 international companies accepted into the 2023 cohort of the MassChallenge Switzerland accelerator, which will take place in the Alpine country this summer.

Bonavista, NL-based MycoFutures North Atlantic, Pleax Building Systems of Dieppe, NB, and Dartmouth-based Clean Valley CIC will attend boot camps and connection events in Switzerland. The only other Canadian startup accepted into the cohort was Toronto-based WeavAir.

Affiliated with the Boston-based MassChallenge organization, MassChallenge Switzerland has supported nearly 610 startups from multiple industries since opening in 2016. The companies have raised about $985 million in funding.

The organization says it typically accepts early-stage startups from any industry for its flagship program, so long as the business provides valuable solutions to current problems and challenges in society. However, more than half the companies in the current cohort are in the agrifood sector.

All three startups from Atlantic Canada specialize in sustainability and technology:

MycoFutures North Atlantic

Stephanie Lipp and Leonedest Gillis

MycoFutures aims to address and alleviate the environmental impacts of the natural and synthetic leathers populating the current fashion market. Lipp and Gillis were previously mushroom farmers and now cultivate mycelium, or the root of fungi, to create a new material that serves as a sustainable alternative to leather.

PLAEX Building Systems

Dustin Bowers

Founded in 2017, Plaex uses waste material to create bricks used in construction. The sustainable building materials involve an innovative interlocking system which was designed to address environmental challenges created by current building practices..

Clean Valley CIC

Nicholas LaValle

Clean Valley aims to use nature-based technology to address current problems in the aquaculture industry, as well as the medical technology industry. Clean Valley provides solutions such as a specialized biofilter designed to treat and filter water using algae.

Since it was founded in Boston in 2009, the MassChallenge organization has opened offices in Jerusalem, Mexico and Switzerland to better serve international businesses. Atlantic Canadian companies have thrived in its programs in recent years.

Earlier in May, ZeroIN Foods, a Halifax company specializing in sugar substitutes, was one of six companies that won MassChallenge Switzerland’s Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge, which had attracted 520 applicants, mainly later stage companies. The challenge aimed to find and support sustainable food technology startups to collaborate with MassChallenge’s business partners.

Two other Halifax companies, Ashored Innovations and ReelData, were ranked among the leading companies to go through the main MassChallenge program in the past few years.