Other Sway/wayland , starting mate-panel on startup

Some dude in the Reddit thread i linked uses
exec swaymsg "workspace 1; exec kitty;"
exec swaymsg "workspace 1; exec google-chrome;"
exec swaymsg "workspace 2; exec thunderbird;"
exec swaymsg "workspace 3; exec hexchat;"
exec swaymsg "workspace 3; exec teams;"

If this doesn't work i'd use a shell script and start that.
Trying starting multiple applications let sway always crash in my case, even in a script. Probably a small sway bug.
exec_always xterm& xterm& gives me two xterm windows when I load/reload my i3 config because the exec line is passed to the shell, where '&' will launch the programs in the background. Maybe Sway allows you to do something similar?