People behind Swiss Innovation
The Inno-Swiss platform is dedicated to boost
Swiss innovation and the people behind

  • cmillan-crm.jpg
    Chris Millan

    Interview of an American founder in Switzerland: “We planned to stay for 6 months – it’s been 6 years now”

    Fr. 01.05.2015, 10:00

    In many cases, young entrepreneurs who want to develop cross the borders, for example in the US or in Germany. The contrary is rare. But for Chris Millan, this is what happened. He developed his startup CellSpring with Kramer Schmidt in Switzerland. Soon the two partners will go back to America with the Swiss national startup team. ...Read more

    Chris, CellSpring is a bio-tech company based in Zurich. How and when did you found the company?
    Actually we have not founded the company yet. We plan to do so very soon, and will be headquartered in Zurich. We work out of the ETH Zürich Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab.

    Your core technology is the 3D Bloom. What is that exactly?
    Traditional in vitro tests are done by growing cells on plastic surfaces like petri dishes or well plates. Those have been valuable tools for a number of important discoveries in biology, but there is a revolution underway as we develop new ways to culture cells in 3D environments that better mimic the conditions in which they live in the body. 3D Bloom is our proprietary platform for assembling cells in 3D - think of it as a “bio glue” - and we can use it to make tissues with different functions depending on the cell types we use. These small tissues, which are about 0.5mm in diameter, can be used to test a new pharmaceutical and improve the predictability at a very early stage as to its effectiveness or potential toxicity. Our vision is that 3D Bloom microtissues will reduce the number of drugs that fail during clinical testing, with a long term goal of significantly reducing the number of animals needed for preclinical drug screening.

    CellSpring is an American company. But you decided to come to Switzerland, which is unusual. Most of the time it is the opposite way. Why did you come?
    CellSpring is a Swiss company, which just happens to have 2 American co-founders. I came to Zurich in 2009 after finishing my bachelor at Tulane University in New Orleans - which happens to be the hometown of both my co-founder, Kramer, and I. A research mentor encouraged me to look abroad for Masters programs, and I settled on ETH which has a great reputation. It was a bit of a spontaneous decision and it was only supposed to be for 18 months, but 6 years later, I’m still here! I had a great opportunity to stay for my PhD and work on a project that really motivated me, and now my scientific network is actually based in Zurich so it wouldn’t make sense to leave now.

    How difficult was it for you to leave your homeland?
    It was easy to leave. I was ready for an adventure and excited to be challenged in a brand new environment. Things have become more difficult over time, though. I was late to meet a friend recently and was told “You can’t do this anymore, you’ve been here a long time and you know how it works here now”. I do know how it works now but just because you take the boy out of New Orleans, doesn’t mean you can take the New Orleans out of the boy.

    Can you describe the american business culture? How do Americans handle business? Is it very diffierent to the Swiss?
    CellSpring seeks to blend the best aspects of American and Swiss business culture into our identity as a company. We’re fortunate to come from the U.S. - an entrepreneurial country with a relationship-driven environment that encourages risk-taking and building businesses on a global scale. We’re also fortunate to be headquartered in Switzerland - where investors and industry emphasize the key details and push you to establish highly specific plans. We believe there is great power in combining the American attitude of big thinking with the Swiss devotion to precision and quality, and that is what CellSpring aims to do.

    How many partners/investors do you have and who are they?
    We have been very lucky to partner early on with one of the bigger pharma companies in Basel, with a smaller cancer diagnostics company in the US, and a number of academic labs in the Zurich area. Those partnerships have been extremely valuable to us as learning tools for test-driving and validating our technology with our future customers. Nobody can give better input than the product end-users. We have been fortunate with funding so far through grants and competition winnings, and we plan to raise our first investment round in Q4 of this year.

    Last year you were named ETH Pioneer Fellow and CellSpring got the stage II kick by Venture Kick. How did these successes push CellSpring?
    The ETH Pioneer Fellowship was really crucial in enabling us to commit to CellSpring full time as it covers our salaries, lab space, and office space for 1 year. With the Venture Kick stage II we’ve been able to invest more into our partnering, using the funds both for fueling our ongoing pilot projects and for traveling to big biotech conferences to look for additional collaborators. Winning these prizes has also been a great confidence boost for us since it shows a certain validation of our business model and that we have a solid team that is proving that it can execute.

    Recently you were named venture leader 2015 and will travel to Boston and New York for a business development trip. What do you expect from this event?
    The trip to the U.S. will be another great opportunity for us to get feedback from industry leaders regarding our business model and plan for reaching the market. While we are based in Zurich, we will want to establish a presence in the US – it will help that both co-founders are Americans. We will have a very early opportunity to evaluate which parts of our pitch resonate in the US market, and where we should put our focus. On top of the Venture Leader events in NY and Boston, we will also travel to Philadelphia during the trip to take part in BIO 2015 — the largest biotech conference in the world.

    What are your next steps?
    We have a lot on our plate for the next 6 months. We are applying/in the running for a number of additional funding opportunities that will help us grow our team, with a first hire likely coming in the form a scientific-minded director of research. Along that vein, it will be critical to continue executing successful collaborations with our partners to grow the bank of data that supports the 3D bloom technology.

    Additional Links
    Meet the Swiss national startup team of 2015

  • Lunaphore-crm21.jpg
    Meet the Lunaphore team: Diego Gabriel Dupouy, co-Founder & CTO, Déborah Heintze, co-Founder & COO and Ata Tuna Ciftlik, Founder & CEO

    Lunaphore successfully closes Series A financing round of CHF 2 million to develop its revolutionary tissue diagnostics platform

    Mi. 29.04.2015, 11:00

    Lunaphore Technologies SA, a young Swiss medtech company developing a disruptive technology for tissue diagnostics, announced today the closing of a Series A financing round of CHF 2 million. The round was led by Redalpine Venture Partners in Zurich with the participation of private investors from Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Proceeds will be used to develop Lunaphore’s first tissue diagnostics platform....Read more

    Lunaphore, a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), was founded in April 2014. Lunaphore has developed an innovative tissue diagnostic platform, primarily for analysis and classification of tumors. The platform is based on a microfluidic chip technology that allows fine-tuning of such diagnostic assays, and increases their speed and accuracy. To bring the products closer to the market, the company raised CHF 2 million from Redalpine Venture Partners and private investors from Switzerland and the UK.

    “From the very beginning, our philosophy was to build a great team and a great product, and this very first investment is a significant validation of both. Besides, we are excited to have a lead investor on board with such an impressive track record like Redalpine.” says Dr. Ata Tuna Ciftlik, the founder and CEO of Lunaphore.

    In addition, Lunaphore announces the assignment of Dr. Michael Sidler to the Board of Directors. “We are excited about the unprecedented speed and flexibility of the platform and the passion and dedication of the founders”, says Sidler. “Solutions like Lunaphore’s are required in a world where medicine is becoming more personalized and determined by panels of biomarkers”. Michael is a co-founder and partner at Redalpine and contributes his longstanding experience in as an entrepreneurial life science investor, with his background in Biology and Diagnostics.

    Lunaphore’s core technology, which has been developed at EPFL during the last 6 years, is called Microfluidic Tissue Processor (MTP). The MTP increases the speed and accuracy of basic processes required to implement diagnostic assays on tissue samples like solid tumors. The first application is going to be on searching signatures of certain proteins in tumor tissues, a procedure known as immunohistochemical analysis. A set of clinical studies has already been conducted with 76 breast cancer patients, and the results showed that Lunaphore’s platform can perform such analysis within 5 minutes when compared to 2 to 8 hours for current standards. Furthermore, the obtained diagnostic results are 90% more accurate than methods used in a state-of-the art pathology laboratory. Lunaphore has already a few prototypes are under validation in collaboration with key opinion leaders and players in the field.

    The tissue diagnostics market that Lunaphore is aiming at is worth a few billions and is growing fast. Market researches show that the increasing age in population and the high number of new biomarkers that are being discovered will generate an even larger market with a higher growth rate. “This puts us in a great position as a technology provider” estimates Ciftlik. By combining accuracy, speed and automation, Lunaphore wants to be the core technology provider on the international scene.

    About Lunaphore
    Lunaphore Technologies SA was incorporated in April 2014 by Dr. Ata Tuna Ciftlik, CEO, Diego Dupouy, CTO, Déborah Heintze, COO and Prof. Martin Gijs, as a spin-off of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss institute of Technology in Lausanne) with the vision of building tissue diagnostic platforms for –omics era. Since its incorporation, Lunaphore has been supported by various programmes like Innogrants by EPFL, Venture Kick, venture leaders and venturelab, Start-up Coaching of Commission of Technology and Innovation (CTI), SystemsX.ch initiative, Fondation pour l’Innovation Technologique (FIT), SPECo & Innovaud initiatives of Canton de Vaud. In addition, Lunaphore has won more than 12 awards in the national and international scene, including PERL Prize (Lausanne Regions Entrepreneurship Prize), IMD Start-up Competition, and is the youngest start-up in the 2014 TOP 100 Swiss Startups by IFJ and Handelszeitung, entering the list ranked 35th (startup.ch).

    Additional Links
    More about Lunaphore
    Read the interview of CEO Ata Tuna Ciftlik about the great news

  • lunaphore-intw-crm.jpg
    The tissue diagnostics market targeted by Lunaphore (from left to right: CEO Ata Tuna Ciftlik, COO Déborah Heintze and CTO Diego Gabriel Dupouy) is worth a few billions and is growing fast.

    Raising money: “You have to play both smart and hard”

    Mi. 29.04.2015, 11:00

    Lunaphore was founded in 2014. On April 29th, 2015, the EPFL spin-off just announced closing its first Series A financing round of CHF 2 million to develop its revolutionary tissue diagnostics platform. We met CEO Ata Tuna Ciftlik to discuss the great news – and learn more about how he feels about the startup adventure he jumped into after his PhD....Read more

    What are the origins of Lunaphore?
    We created Lunaphore in April 2014. However, until the company incorporation, there was a period of preparation where I have found (and agreed with) my co-founders, acquired basic knowledge and secured some funds that would finance the first year of the project. This preparation period, indeed, dates back to April 2013, the date of my major PhD publication.

    Why did you decide to embrace the entrepreneurial path?
    This is a question that is asked rather very often, and also a very hard one. I would need a few pages of bullet points to explain myself, since decision-making (I am no exception) is a process with many emotional and rational reasons. Briefly, the most important emotional reason seems to be the gravity of adventure and challenge, the instinct of leading and exploring. The rational reason is the size of the opportunity in both the earning and the learning when compared to alternative jobs. There is no other setting that you can simultaneously learn and earn that fast and that much.

    You just raised CHF 2 million to develop your revolutionary tissue diagnostics platform. Tell us a little bit about how you experienced the process of raising your first substantial funds.
    Raising money is a probabilistic pipelining process, where you have to play both smart and hard. We had a preparation period, during which we sharpened our ideas, prepared some material and action plan. In the following, we could easily attract attention and create enthusiasm among investors. After 2-3 months we started pitching, the number of appointments and presentations we had to attend all over Switzerland overwhelmed us. We, 3 co-founders, even had to be split between events taking place at the same moment. The hardest part was the closing of the deal and it was particularly different than creating the demand. It was a whole different world for “first time entrepreneurs” like us, and we had to both learn and succeed simultaneously. The dynamics of the deal closing and the anticipation power was an educating experience to me.

    Can I ask you how will the money that you have just raised be used?
    In the solid part, we will work towards our first product. In the soft part, we will add people with complementary skills and experience, and finally, build a competitive company structure that can overcome the significant challenges awaiting us.

    What is your vision for your company?
    Nowadays, we hear the word “personalized medicine” almost every day, and tissue diagnostics is one of the core enabling elements of it. However, the tests based on tissue sections are so painfully long and expensive, only the 3-4 high priority biomarkers can be checked per patient. We have the enabling technology to break this limit since we are fast (5 minutes vs. a few hours) and accurate with the potential of full automation. Our vision is to build a standardized tumor analysis platform for all biomarkers, like today’s blood analyzers.

    What market and first countries do you target?
    The tissue diagnostics market that Lunaphore is aiming at is worth globally a few billions and is growing fast. Our first targets are Germany and the USA. Germany is geographically close and the largest medtech market in Europe. USA is by far the largest market that we can address. Plus, existence in the US is critically important, as most potentially we’ll be acquired by an American multinational.

    Among many prizes and recognition, you are in the TOP 100 Swiss startup ranking (as youngest startup in Romandie, and among the 5 best), won Venture Kick stage 3 and were a venture leader (USA) in 2014. How did the TOP 100 help you so far (i.e. to raise money) and what have been the benefits of the Venture Kick initiative and venture leaders program for your company?
    The TOP 100 Swiss Startups ranking was quite a good leverage for our credibility. When it comes to working with a young startup, all industry players need some referral from external reviewer. Entering the list at rank 35 as the youngest startup was an incredible PR. A startup always needs cash and visibility among investors and partners. This is how it stays alive.

    Venture Kick was both of them. Just being a kick stage winner is already good to increase credibility in the Swiss startup scene. Nevertheless, I got the real benefit when I got “smashed” at the kickers camps (laughs)! If you listen instead of crying, it vaccinates you against all the odds that might kill you in the near future. It hurts but makes you stronger.

    Before venture leaders, I had psychological barriers making me think that entering to US market is a rather impossible or a remote goal. When on the return flight, the US was the first international goal in our business plan. I have also learned that in the US, the perceptions of risk and assessment criteria are primarily different that what I saw here. Now, I’m preparing Lunaphore to be “US ready” for upcoming fundraising and partnership deals.

    When you started, did you think you would have so much success, in so little time?
    For sure, we wanted to be successful and believed in ourselves. Yet, nobody can be 100% sure when it comes to a future success. We have done all the work that we think that is necessary and we can afford. We worked hard and smart. We have increased the probability of the success as much as we can in a limited amount of time with little money. Despite all these, many factors that are beyond our control can play a role in our success. Taking fundraising as an example, you can build a great project and team, yet sometimes, investors may think that is not the right moment for the investment, or sometimes they have just invested in a company in the same field and they think it is too risky not to diversify their portfolio. I can give you hundreds of other reasons beyond our control and influence decision makers. So to answer the question: We always believed in ourselves, and at the same time, doubted if we’ll ever succeed.

    How many employees do you have (when you started and now)?
    In April 2013, it was alone. Now, 2 years later, we are 7.5 FTE’s in addition to around 20 people in our collaborative network like advisors and scientific collaborators.

    Additional Links
    Read Lunaphore's media release about its financing round (29.04.2015)

  • less-crm-2.png
    L.E.S.S. started with two people (Yann Tissot, CEO, and Simon Rivier, CTO). Their first financing round will help them grow to more than 12 people and boost their sales.

    Interview with Yann Tissot, CEO of L.E.S.S.

    Mo. 27.04.2015, 10:00

    Lausanne based L.E.S.S. started in 2012 with only two people. Three years later, the company employs six employees, won the most prestigious innovation and business awards in Switzerland and is ranked 2nd in the TOP100 Swiss Startups. On April 28th 2015, L.E.S.S. announced closing a CHF 3.0 million Series A financing round and is ready to boost the revolution of lighting further. ...Read more

    Hello Yann, and congratulations for the great news! Why did you decide to embrace the entrepreneurial path?
    I think I was born entrepreneur in a sense that I always chose my different jobs with curiosity, passion and commitment. Unfortunately, I never met an inspiring boss such that launching my own venture was a logical way of living an exciting professional life.

    If I am not wrong, you raised CHF 800’000 in seed money through non-dilutive competitions and startup support over the past years. Now that you’ve raised your first round of CHF 3 million, how do you look back at your initial seed funding strategy?
    I think you have the financing strategy that you can afford at the time you are looking for money. In our case, we have an industrial project where the risk is to stay forever in the “chicken-and-egg” configuration: The customer wants a working product that requires significant product development and investors want clear indicators on sales at a very early stage to decide on financing.

    Unfortunately, we needed key infrastructures to build our first products and subsequently address our first customers. In other words, addressing our market was costly with a long-term ROI (return on investment) which is not the ideal constellation. Therefore, we did not have much choice: We needed to finance this infrastructure whatever the mean and winning all these prices was the chance we had to catch.

    Switzerland is fantastic for pure seed money and I am glad we seized these opportunities, and that we have been lucky enough to win sufficiently prizes to finance a part of this infrastructure needed and get out of the “chicken-and-egg” loop.

    Do you plan to raise more money in the future (and was this first round difficult)?
    Yes, the plan was always to raise money and this for three reasons. First, we need a costly production infrastructure at a too early stage to get any standard bank loan. Second we are active in high volume markets where you need to get over a critical production and sales volume in order to be cash positive. Finally, the sales cycles of the industry are pretty long such that they impose cash flow spikes to the company that can kill it at an early stage.

    Obviously, it was difficult to raise money because of the three reasons mentioned above. In addition, the world of hardware components, moreover in fast growing markets, is dominated by companies located in Asia. This makes it difficult to find financing in the western world.

    Besides VI partners, venturelab’s network, via its Founders Cash Pot, contributed to L.E.S.S.’ first financing round. What is your feedback about venturelab’s contribution, and the novelty that our program brings in the Swiss startup investment scene?
    Raising substantial funding is very challenging in Switzerland, particularly in the hardware field. Gaining the support of successful Founders with solid financial capacity is essential. As former founders, they understand the entrepreneurial dynamics and what it takes to build a global company. venturelab’s approach connects founders in a straightforward and efficient manner.

    Among many prizes and recognition, you are Switzerland’s second startup in the TOP 100 Swiss startup ranking (the best in French speaking part of Switzerland), won Venture Kick stage 3 and were a venture leader (USA and China). Take the TOP 100: How did it help you for example?
    We did not have much money dedicated to marketing and sales and the TOP100 gave us a boost in visibility and credibility. Customers in our industry may sometimes be reluctant to enter into discussion with startups that future is not necessarily secured. Being selected nr. 2 in Switzerland by experts allowed to decide some of our customers.

    About recruitment: How many employees did you start with and how many do you have now?
    We started with two people, Simon Rivier and I, and are six employees today. I am proud that the payroll is entirely covered by our early turnover. The financing round will help us to grow to more than 12 people and boost our sales.

    Additional Links
    Read L.E.S.S. media release (28.04.2015)

  • Team.png
    The flatev team

    PreparationSystem_final.png
    The flatev machine

    $3M to break into U.S. markets for flatev's tortillas machine

    Fr. 17.04.2015, 10:00

    Did you know that in the United States, tortillas are consumed more than any type of bread? The tortilla market is estimated at $12 billion today with a 10% annual growth. The Venture Kick winner and venture leaders flatev raised an additional $3M to break into U.S. markets by 2016 with their capsule machine to make fresh tortillas. ...Read more

    Get some fresh flat bread in 35 seconds, as easily as one gets an espresso from a capsule: that’s the idea of Mexican born Carlos Ruiz, who developed a fully automatic tortilla machine with his team and CTO Jonas Müller. Other types of flat bread, like Nan or pita, should be created in different flavours with a single finger pressure. The machine scores many points on the “fresh” theme: one can rarely find homemade tortillas at the restaurant, and may lack the time or skills to make them at home. Aside from the traditional flavour and the chic design of the apparatus, a social component can be seen in the background: like in a raclette or a fondue, people sit together to prepare the meal.

    Now the venture leaders from 2013 and Venture Kick winner from 2012 raised  $3M to break into U.S. markets by 2016. 2014 they already made it under the Top 20 of the TOP 100 Startup Award in Switzerland. Beside the office in Zurich the flatev team moved in March 2015 to a office in the Lower East Side of New York City: The Projective Space, where they are working side-by-side with some of the best tech and food start-ups in the US. 

    Additional Links
    More information about flatev
    Is you business idea good enough? Get the kick

  • Rai-TBD-crm.JPG
    The team of esvanir

    odoma-crm.JPG
    The team of Odoma

    Meet the winners of Venture Kick stage one

    Mi. 15.04.2015, 11:00

    esvanir, Odoma, Wicard and Simon Zumbrunnen are the latest winners of the first stage of Venture Kick. The 4 newcomers in our program got kicked with CHF 10’000 of pre-seed capital. Fingers crossed: They are now getting ready to compete for CHF 20'000 more on the next stage. ...Read more

    esvanir: A fully distributed, infrastructure-less, end-to-end secured communication solution with user privacy. The startup aims at building and marketing a fully distributed, infrastructure-less, end-to-end secured communication solution with user privacy as primary concern. Current solutions only focus on security, which does not protect users from powerful adversaries. The product does not require any investment in depreciating assets (i.e., server farm) which also significantly strengthens privacy guarantees, and reduces operating cost.

    Odoma: Turning historical archives into searchable information system. Historical archives are dormant, fragile physical systems. But they are also full of promises: A dense network of people and places, dates and objects, a rich source of untold stories and heritage knowledge. Using the right mix of technology and expertise, Odoma’s goal is to help organizations transform their past into a customized, searchable information system.

    Wicard: A free app that allows smartphone users to share their playlists of businesses with their friends. What about sharing mood instead of ratings? Wicard is a free app that allows smartphone users to share their playlists of businesses with their friends. They can memorize in one touch their entire favorite places, add personal notes and pictures.

    reseaTECH: Micro dosing unit for bioreactors. This project is an innovative droplet dispenser which helps to make biotech experiments smaller and simpler to control, thus saving time, waste, material and money.

    Additional Links
    Is your idea good enough? Put it to the test with Venture Kick

  • advanon-fb.JPG
    Philip Kornmann, Stijn Pieper and Phil Lojacono of Advanon

    Here are the latest winners of Venture Kick stage two

    Mi. 15.04.2015, 11:00

    Very recently, the Fintech startup Advanon won the second stage of Venture Kick and got awarded with CHF 20’000. Advanon develops an online platform that shall make financing of small & medium businesses (SMBs) easier and more flexible. We interviewed one of its three co-founders, Phil Lojacono, about the news – and the future....Read more

    Are you happy to have won the second stage of Venture Kick?
    Yes, we are very happy about it. We couldn't believe it when we won stage one and now it is even better. Venture Kick really helped us kick our project and showed us that we're on the right track. Venture Kick is an amazing initiative and we are really happy to be part of it.

    What kind of technology are you developing?
    We are developing a platform that brings companies that are in need of liquidity together with investors that are looking for new investment possibilities. With our platform, we provide a noncyclical, liquid and reasonably secure investment vehicle. We want to surpass traditional factoring companies and banks in the way that we link supply and demand directly.

    At what stage is Advanon today and what do you plan next?
    We are still at an early stage, currently developing our platform. We'll launch it in July this year.

    How did the idea of Advanon come up?
    I met my two partners, Philip Kornmann and Stijn Pieper, last year in Dublin while interning at Google. We were on a road trip together and kept discussing about ideas that we had, the existing problems that could be solved with modern-day technology and how to make it more efficient. This is how the idea of Advanon came up. We have kept pushing towards a solution since then.

    What distinguishes your technology from your competitors’?
    We are a Financial Services company that really emphasizes the importance of technology. Our main asset is a new technology that helps small & medium businesses (SMBs) refinancing themselves. We are aiming at being faster, more flexible and more user-friendly than our competitors.

    Why did you apply for Venture Kick and what are the benefits of such a program for you?
    Well first of all there is the funding. As we are all Master students our financial resources were a bit limited and Venture Kick really helped us to kickstart everything. We could invest in marketing and website development. But then there are also the amazing Kickers Camps. These two day camps help us improve ourselves constantly and show us our weaknesses immediately. We could establish a lot of very important contacts and enlarge our network thanks to Venture Kick. We are very happy to be part of this organization; it does an amazing job for startups!

    In your opinion, how did you convince the jury on stage two?
    We put a lot of hard work in Advanon in the last months and were able to establish some promising partnerships with large corporations, such as Swisscom. I think the jury recognized our progress and realized that we are on the right track. Furthermore, we benefit a lot from our advisors, who have many years of experience and are always willing to help us. We highly appreciate that.

    And how do you think you will convince the jury at the final?
    We keep pushing ourselves and go further on this path. We will start in July and we will show the first (hopefully good results) in the final presentation. Also we are looking forward to the next Kickers Camp where we will learn more on which things to improve.

    Additional Links
    More about Advanon
    Get the Kick here

  • 61c82ed61.jpg
    © 2015 MindMaze

    MindMaze enters a new dimension in video gaming

    Do. 02.04.2015, 11:00

    MindMaze, an EPFL spin-off, Venture Kick Alumnus and venture leader USA in 2009, has entered the world of video games: It used its expertise around a device for the rehabilitation of stroke victims to develop its new system, called MindLeap. The technology allows video game fans to evolve in a virtual environment using thoughts and directly interact through some emotions....Read more

    MindMaze CEO, Tej Tadi, presented its new product at the beginning of the month at the Game Developers Conference of San Francisco. His invention (in video here) was a big hit.

    The startup also announced having raised 8.5 million francs recently. It hopes to market the new device end 2015. Good news also fell on 18 March: Tej Tadi was named among the Young Global Leaders. These talented young people under 40 are chosen internationally by the World Economic Forum for their professional accomplishments, their commitment to society and their potential.

    Additional Links
    Catch the lenghtier story by EPFL
    Is your idea good enough? Put it to the test with venture kick
    Become a venture leader

  • iju_startup052-450x300.jpg
    Switzerland's best startup: InSphero

    InSphero, Geosatis and Winterthur Instruments, finalists of the Export Awards 2015

    Mi. 01.04.2015, 15:00

    The finalists of the Export Awards, organized by Switzerland Global Enterprise, are standing: Among them, our Venture Kick and venturelab Alumni InSphero, Geosatis and Winterthur Instruments. Fingers crossed!...Read more

    The three companies have been nominated in the categories "Step In" and "Success". The award will be given to the winners on April 23 at the Forum for Swiss Foreign Trade 2015 in Zurich.

    Geosatis, a Venture Kick finalist and a winner of the Swisscom StartUp Challenge in 2014 as well as Winterthur Instruments, Venture Kick finalist and venture leader USA 2011, have been nominated in the category "Step In".

    InSphero, Switzerland's best start-up, and Venture Kick and venturelab alumnus (CEO Jan Lichtenberg was a venture leader USA in 2010), is standing in the category "Success".

    Additional Links
    More information about the finalists (in French)

  • UF_Webslides_2014_MC_87014.jpg
    Rooftop farms provide a new experience by revolutionizing fresh.

    UrbanFarmers successfully closes Series A financing round of CHF 2.1m with current & new investors

    Mi. 01.04.2015, 12:00

    UrbanFarmers AG, the global pioneer in Aquaponic rooftop farming, today announced the closing of a Series A financing round of CHF 2.1m. Proceeds will be used to develop a robust project portfolio, build internal capabilities in engineering, procurement & contracting, and strengthen UF proprietary operating technology and brand assets. The Fresh.Revolution continues!...Read more

    In 2012, the Venture Kick finalist UrbanFarmers AG opened UF001 LokDepot in Basel, the worldwide first commercial Aquaponic rooftop farm. Operating a fully climate controlled rooftop greenhouse, UF serves leading restaurant and food retailers such as Migros Basel and excited Basel’s customers with its ultra-local, ultra-fresh fish and vegetables. Roman Gaus, CEO of UrbanFarmers AG comments: “Raising a Series A is a tough entrepreneurial challenge, and I am glad we have reached a critical milestone and came closer to crossing the “valley of death” of a tech start-up. With this new funding, we can now fast-track our international farm development projects, build strong internal capabilities to engineer, procure and contract rooftop farms and invest strategically into our IP and operating technology. We will also strategically invest into the UF brand to provide a strong price umbrella for our produce. Our goal to scale urban farming on a global basis with a profitable business case has come a step closer.”

    New investors include Eckenstein-Geigy-Stiftung in Binningen, Switzerland, and Walden Woods Holdings LLC from Boston, USA. Mr. Gabriel Eckenstein, principal investor behind the foundation will also join the UF Board of Directors. He explains: “We believe UrbanFarmers is the ideal impact investment combining a strong business model with our sustainability criteria. We want to provide growth capital where it helps accelerate robust business opportunities and sustainable solutions for a healthier planet and the next generation.”

    Mr. Brett Hershey, principal investor of Walden Woods Holdings LLC adds: “In the U.S., urban farming has already met strong consumer demand and clearly addresses major market challenges in the fresh produce supply chain, such as high transportation cost, product shrinkage and waste. It’s evident that UrbanFarmers is at the forefront of a global trend that will change the way we grow food in the city and excite consumers with a new ultra-fresh product experience.”

    Current investors have also joined and significantly added to the round.

    Previous investments were rolled into the Series A through a convertible bond offering issued last year.

    Additional Links
    More about UrbanFarmers
    Is your idea good enough? Put it to the test with venture kick

Angezeigt: 1 bis 10 von 172 1 2 3 4 5 6

Watch videos from success stories

TOP 100 Startups

Powered by startup.ch and Handelszeitung

60 venture kickers made it to the TOP 100 startups

Each year, startup.ch launches the TOP 100 STARTUP AWARD in cooperation with the Handelszeitung. From over 100,000 young companies, the 100 most innovative and promising Swiss startups are picked by top startup experts.

Check out the TOP 100

venture leaders

venture leaders program – ten intense days in USA or China

Swiss startups ready to take over the World.

The venture leaders - the members of the Swiss national startup team- have a clear-cut goal. They envision themselves as global players and want to take the first step to their global expansion. The ten-day business development program is specifically structured to help them achieve this goal.

More

venture kick

Kick your startup idea to success with venture kick

venture kick helps potential entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to win up to CHF 130,000. Moreover, startups can also use the know-how of experienced experts and entrepreneurs and be granted access to a national network of investors.

Apply

venturelab workshops

Powered by industry professionals

Learn from entrepreneurs and industry leaders

In the last 10 years venturelab alumni have raised several 100 millions from investors and built successful businesses. Now they are ready to share with the next generation of talented hightech startups.

Learn more about the program

Directory of active investors

Powered by startup.ch

The investors in early stage Swiss startups

In the last 5 years the venture kick startups raised more than 365 millions. Following all these transactions we compiled and update the list of active startup investors in different fields and stages.

Filter your potential investors

Institut für Jungunternehmen

The first address for Startups in Switzerland

More than 50.000 startups were accompanied by the IFJ. A little more then 25 years ago, we have made it our mission to guide these entrepreneurs on their way to successful businesses. So they can develop their role as a part of the Swiss economy.

More

Connecting the dots between Switzlerand and the world

Gioia Vichis Deutscher is the director of swissnex Brazil. After spending four years as the Haed of Startup and Innovation Services for swissnex San Francisco, Gioia Deutscher is now taking the lead in opening a new swissnex office in Brazil.

More on Swissnex Brazil

Suzanne Hraba-Renevey is the director of swissnex Singapore. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoree. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation.

More on Swissnex Singapore

Pascal Marmier is the director of swissnex China. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoree. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation.

More on Swissnex China

Felix Moesner is the director of swissnex Boston. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoree. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation.

More on Swissnex Boston

Chistian Simm is the director of swissnex San Francisco. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoree. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation.

More on Swissnex San Francisco

Balz Strasser is the director of swissnex India. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoree. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation.

More on Swissnex India

  • 60 venture kickers made it to the TOP 100 startups

    Each year, startup.ch launches the TOP 100 STARTUP AWARD in cooperation with the Handelszeitung. From over 100,000 young companies, the 100 most innovative and promising Swiss startups are picked by top startup experts.

    Check out the TOP 100
  • Kick your startup idea to success with venture kick

    venture kick helps potential entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to win up to CHF 130,000. Moreover, startups can use the know-how of experienced experts and entrepreneurs and be granted access to a network of investors.

    More
  • Swiss startups ready to take over the World.

    The venture leaders have a clear-cut goal. They envision themselves as global players and want to take the first step to their global expansion. The ten-day business development program is specifically structured to help them achieve this goal.

    More
  • The first address for Startups in Switzerland

    More than 50.000 startups were accompanied by the IFJ. A little more then 25 years ago, we have made it our mission to guide these entrepreneurs on their way to successful businesses. So they can develop their role as a part of the Swiss economy.

    More