People behind Swiss Innovation
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Swiss innovation and the people behind

  • aeon1.png
    Aeon Scientific won the SWISS TECHNOLOGY AWARD

    Aeon Scientific cream off the Swiss Technology Award

    Do. 20.11.2014, 16:00

    venture kick and TOP 100 winner Aeon Scientific get the 2014 Swiss Technology Award in the category Start-up. The company convinced the jury with its robot-controlled surgical system, which can be used to treat cardiac arrhythmia. ...Read more

    The award ceremony took place on November 20 at the Congress Center in Basel in the presence of more than 1000 decision makers in business, science and politics. A top-class 15-member jury has choosen the winner of the Swiss Technology Award in 2014, among them the venture leader and venture kick alumnus Aeon Scientific. The startup is a medical device company based in Schlieren. Aeon Scientific develops medical equipment together with physicians that will simplify cardiac interventions whilst enhancing their effectiveness and safety. They strive to become a technology leader for steering medical instruments within the human body and enable state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic methods. A first application is the AEON Phocus, a catheter steering system for treating cardiac arrhythmias. In May 2014, the startup has already conclude a financing round of 4.3 million Swiss francs.

    Swiss success stories made by venturelab and venture kick
    A great help for the winner were the venturelab and venture kick programs. 2011 they traveled together with the Swiss National Startup Team to the US. In addition they won 2011 the last and final round of venture kick and won the maximal funding of CHF 130'000. Four other venture kick and venturelab Alumni were nominated for the Swiss Technology Award, too: Versantis, TwingTec, SwissLitho and Squirro.

    Additional Links
    More about the winner
    Want to get the kick? Apply now!
    Check out the venture leader US program

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    The DATANEXT team

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    The team of Shared Electric

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    Ban Wang from Smart-LED

    AVA.jpg
    The AVA team

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    Onevisage`s team

    venture pitch shows the latest startups out there

    Do. 20.11.2014, 09:00

    DATANEXT, Shared Electric, Smart-LED, AVA and OneVisage are the fortunate winners of venture kick’s first stage. They got kick with CHF 10’000 of pre-seed capital. venture kick will allow them to expand their project and compete for CHF 20'000 next stage....Read more

    DATANEXT offers an asset management system from the cloud. With its platform, each asset management company can do what a big investment bank does. The solutions covers the entire investment process: from idea generation to client and regulatory reporting. This makes it a perfect choice for small independent asset managers in Switzerland.

    Shared Electric develops technology for electricity utilities to make their consumers more responsive in usage with minimal investment. Responsive consumption brings energy savings, optimal operation of grid and more use of renewables. The first product is tailored for utilities extending supply to first-time users of electricity. 


    Smart-LED delvelops smart led streetlights which empowering safety and green functionalities. The startup applies a smart wireless sensor network to LED streetlights allowing to gather traffic information and manage illumination accordingly.




    AVA is working on the future of birth control. The startup is introducing a fertility band that allows for natural, reliable and convenient birth control.






    OneVisage is a selfie authentication company. The startup provides mobile authentication services by using mobile devices as 3D face scanners.

    Additional Links
    Want to get the kick? Apply now!

  • Xsensio-crm.jpg
    Esmeralda Megally founded Xsensio at the EPFL Innovation Park in 2014

    Meet Esmeralda, founder of Xsensio and winner of venture kick stage two

    Di. 18.11.2014, 10:00

    Xsensio develops “intelligent stamps” the size of a credit card able to autonomously monitor our physical and physiological states as well as our direct environment. We grabbed the impressions of Esmeralda Megally, founder of Xsensio, before she goes to the big venture kick final. ...Read more

    Hello Esmeralda. Can you introduce Xsensio?
    Xsensio is a spin-off of the EPFL Nanolab. We develop a zero-power wearable platform of tiny intelligent stamps that accurately and robustly monitor our physical and physiological states and our direct environment.

    These tiny intelligent stamps are autonomous, harvesting their energy from their immediate surroundings. They can be used directly as ultra-thin patches on the skin, or integrated in a garment or into objects, to help people make smarter health and wellness decisions.

    Technology-wise, our intelligent stamp - the size of a credit card - integrates on a flexible substrate multiple sensors (physical but also physiological, including a unique sensor for sweat analysis), a local processor, a wireless antenna to transmit data to your phone or to your smart watch and an energy harvester to make the system autonomous.

    At what stage is Xsensio today?
    In the past months, we have worked on a proof-of-concept we showcased at the Swissnex Zero Power Smart Fashion exhibit in New York. We are now building a working prototype.

    When and why did you launch Xsensio?
    We created Xsensio because we knew that the cutting-edge zero-power technologies developed at the EPFL Nanolab could make uniquely smart and miniaturized systems that would improve our quality of life. We created the company at the EPFL Innovation Park in 2014, after I received an EPFL Innogrant to pursue the idea of a company, and we got support from SPECo.

    Prof. Adrian Ionescu from EPFL Nanolab, our main technical and scientific advisor, had been involved in developing technologies for ultra-low power miniaturized devices for many years. He has been collaborating with multiple research centers and industry partners in Europe to advance the science in this field. Together with our colleague Karin Jaymes (our adviser and support for financial planning), we saw not only the commercial value of this work but also the importance of combining technology with design to create products of high commercial value.

    How is your product positioned regards to your competitors on the market?
    Compared to products currently on the market, our product differs in two major ways. First, they will have more local “smartness” than any existing wearable sensing solutions and consume significantly less power than any product on the market. We will rely on ultra-low power sensors and communication technologies developed at the EPFL Nanolab and by other research partners. Second, our products will be truly non-intrusive and non-invasive: our philosophy and technology target is that once one wears the miniaturized, autonomous wearable module, he or she forgets about them. They work in the background for the user, monitoring his body and his immediate environment, and notifying him in time so he can make smarter decisions that improve his quality of life. We would like to build a pipeline of many applications, in the area of health and wellness.

    You are a founder of Xsensio. Can you introduce yourself?
    I come from a business background, and wanted to start a tech company. After a master degree in Economics in Belgium, and an MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan), I joined an investment firm in Boston to work on an innovative health technology project with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A great learning experience! I came back to Europe and enrolled in the Management of Technology program at EPFL in 2013 to be close to one of the greatest European technology hubs.

    What are the next steps for Xsensio?
    We need to finalize the beta version of our prototype. Then we will showcase it in the US and in Asia at the beginning of 2015, at industry events. And next on our agenda: the planning of our first round of financing!

    Why did you apply for venture kick?
    We wanted to participate in venture kick for two reasons: first, to test our ideas and second, to access a network of advisors with a wide range of expertise. We are very happy we have done it!

    In your opinion, how did you convince the jury on stage two?
    I believe that we were able to show the jury that we had carefully invested the money from round 1, and that investment was starting to bear fruits. Between round 1 and round 2, we built a proof-of-concept which we showed to many stakeholders in Switzerland and in the US, from individuals to large technology and consumer goods companies. We received very valuable feedback that we are now integrating into our beta prototype. And we have also started working with a development partner in the US on a very specific application.

    How will you convince the jury on stage three, in your opinion?
    We would like to show the jury that our business model is scalable and that it has potential at a global level. We are currently working on a pilot project in the US. In a few months, we would like to show three things: first, that this pilot has been successful. Second, that we could extract key learnings to improve our product and service. And third, that we have a clear roadmap to reproduce our pilot with other partners.

    “We all tend to delay the validation step, and remain in the lab until we are very satisfied with the technology or the product”

    What are the 1-2 most important benefits of the venture kick program for Xsensio?
    First, the validation. The program pushes you to go out of your comfort zone and quickly validates your assumptions with potential customers. We all tend to delay that step, and remain in the lab until we are very satisfied with the technology or the product. But with venture kick, you learn to move fast and continuously integrate the feedback into the successive versions of your prototype. Second, the jury expertise: Every time we pitch, we get tough questions and that makes us progress (laughs)!

    What do you think is the impact of the venture kick program on the Swiss startup industry?
    Venture kick plays a crucial role in the Swiss startup ecosystem, by giving a chance to many aspiring entrepreneurs to work on a very concrete solution to a problem they have identified. Compared to other entrepreneurship competitions, venture kick forces these aspiring entrepreneurs to deliver results.

    Would you recommend the venture kick program to other startups?
    Definitely: I would for the opportunity to learn and improve. I particularly recommend the kickers camps: one learns to articulate a vision and pitch more convincingly. Listening to the other teams pitch is very valuable as well!

    What kind of advice would you give to another young entrepreneur?
    Apply to venture kick: there is absolutely nothing to lose and possibly a lot to gain. One’s initial idea will be challenged many times: venture kick is indeed a tough audience - but this is what will make one grow.

    Additional Links
    Learn more about Xsensio
    Get the kick for your startup!

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    Sven Rizzotti and Pius Kobler the team from milKit

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    The CellSpring Team: Kramer Schmidt and Chris Millan

    Here come the winners of venture case

    Di. 18.11.2014, 10:00

    Four projects were selected and had the opportunity to present their business ideas in front of a jury of successful entrepreneurs and investors. CellSpring and milKit got the second stage kick and won CHF 20’000 of pre-seed capital. In the final they have the chance to get CHF 100'000....Read more

    milKit is a new system for measuring and refilling sealant in tubeless-ready tire. The startup is a team of experienced engineers, designers and computer scientists that share one passion: mountain biking. They work together to develop solutions to everyday problems that they face as mountain bike enthusiasts. The idea for milKit originated from a personal need that those of you that ride tubeless will understand: the need to know how much sealant is in our tires. Because no one wants to deflate and dismount their tires before every ride a solution was needed. The solution to this is milKit, the simple and clean way to measure and refill tire sealant.

    Pharmaceutical companies normally use 2D cell culture to test new drugs. But 3D structures imitate organs and tumors much better. That`s why 3D cell culture offers many advantages over traditional 2D techniques. CellSpring has developed the 3D Bloom platform which enables creation of biomimetic microtissues independent of cell type in a matter of minutes. 3D Bloom improves upon existing 3D cell culture technologies with regard to speed of fabrication, reliability, versatility, and ease of use.

    Additional Links
    More about milKit
    More about CellSpring
    Want to get the kick? Apply now!

  • SwissICTAward_martin_odersky21.jpg
    Prof. Odersky, alumnus venture kick and Top 100 winner

    Prof. Martin Odersky winner of the 2014 Swiss ICT Special Award

    Fr. 07.11.2014, 14:00

    The Swiss ICT Award took place early November 2014 in Lucern. Prof. Martin Odersky from EPFL is the winner of this year’s Special Award. The scientist developed the programming language Scala and co-founded Typesafe, a venture kick alumnus and a TOP 100 best Swiss startup....Read more

    Scala, the programming language on which is based Twitter, is considered by many as the possible successor of Java. The language of Martin Odersky does not depend from any platform. It is extensible, scalable and in this sense adapts itself to the requirements of the users and to the next generation of software. “There is a paradigm shift in the conception of software, with the more and more frequent use of functional programming”, states the official press release of the Swiss ICT Award. “Scala is a relay language in the true sense: it supports functional programming while combining it to classical, object oriented, methods.”

    A force if innovation in Switzerland
    Martin Odersky is the Head of the Programming Methods Laboratory at EPFL. He is the co-founder of Typesafe, a firm which is dedicated to the development of Scala. For the Swiss ICT Award jury, “Martin Odersky represents the force of innovation and the commercial success of research projects in industry, in the highest tradition of Swiss Universities”. The venture kick alumnus explains more about his work in
    a video made by the ICT Award organizers (in German).

    More about Typesafe
    The demands placed on software are growing. The response to this is referred to as reactive applications – scalable, failsafe, responsive and event-driven. Typesafe offers a platform for developing these types of solutions, which includes the Scala computer language developed by co-founder Martin Odersky at EPFL Lausanne and which is used by Twitter and other top Silicon Valley companies.

    Additional Links
    More information about Martin Odersky
    More information about Typesafe
    Bring your startup idea to success with venture kick
    TOP 100: The best Swiss startups

  • yeast_big2_IE_RGB_160914-crm.jpg
    Living yeast cells featured by Nanolive's 3D cell imaging technology

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    Looking inside life with Nanolive's 3D Cell Explorer

    Nanolive closes its first financing round

    Di. 04.11.2014, 13:30

    EPFL spin-off Nanolive SA, venture kick and venture leader USA 2013 alumni, successfully closed its first financing round with accrued capitalisation of CHF 2.7 million. ...Read more

    Nanolive achieved its first funding round with more money than expected, thanks to twenty-five F&F investors and its initial funding (in addition to CHF 550’000 in grants and the support of two PhD theses, infrastructure and laboratory space and filing of IP). "We are extremely thankful to all our enthusiastic supporters and friends who have believed in us since the beginning", said Lisa Pollaro, Communications manager at Nanolive. The company was incorporated in November 2013 at the EPFL Innovation Park by Dr. Yann Cotte (CEO) and Dr. Fatih Toy, following the completion of their respective PhD thesis at the EPFL Microsystems laboratory of Prof. Christian Depeursinge (Head of Advisory Board).  

    Living cell 3D imaging
    Nanolive is active in the field of research and development of new techniques for cell imaging. Its heart consists of a disruptive proprietary technology, holographic tomography: a laser-based cell tomography system combined with a powerful algorithm that, for the first time ever, allows the exploration of the interior of a living cell in 3D without modifying and thus damaging it. This discovery has been published in Nature Photonics in January 2013 and the 3D Cell Explorer is now available for pre-order.

    Initiating the next leap in life science
    Nanolive’s goal is to bring advanced medical imaging technologies to the public, encouraging technological progress, promoting and supporting scientific research and contributing to human well-being by assisting the development of new medical treatment. This cutting-edge technology is in the process of initiating the next leap in life science by introducing the unique opportunity to learn, observe and interact with living cells using advanced technology (view examples of cell images and time-lapse movies on Nanolive’s new website). Several markets are targeted with this technology, including education, research, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, diagnostics and cosmetics.

    "This first financing round will enable us to secure our product's pre-series in order to bring an affordable device to our customers. Our goal is to give every biologist, physician, scholar and student in labs, schools and universities all over the world the chance to explore and interact directly with living cells. It has required a tremendous amount of energy, effort and creativity to invent all the necessary technologies to make this possible", commented Lisa Pollaro.

    Great momentum created in the public
    Nanolive won numerous startup competitions such as the EPFL Innovation grant, the EPFL Enable grant, venture kick and the Bioinnovation prize 2013. It has also been voted among the 20 most promising venture leaders startups in 2013: "We are grateful above all to venturelab and the venture leaders. It was a great occasion to get a kick start into the entrepreneurial world and to meet other young entrepreneurs in the same situation than us, with whom to exchange experience", explained Lisa Pollaro. Numerous newspaper articles have been published about Nanolive. The company has built a strong advisory board with experts in technology, business and entrepreneurship, and is supported by experienced patent agents and corporate lawyers.

    1st birthday event on November 25
    On November 25th, Nanolive is organizing a big event to celebrate its first Birthday in its headquarters (EPFL Innovation Park area). Don’t miss this exceptional occasion to meet the start-up's founders and to discover their smart 3D cell imaging technology: register here.

    Additional Links
    Get your kick here
    Become a venture leader USA
    More details & examples about Nanolive's technology
    Learn more about Nanolive

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    The team of Anemomind

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    The two partners of ZuriMED

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    SpectroPlast

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    Lunico

    Meet the latest venture pitch winners

    Di. 04.11.2014, 10:00

    "Why would someone buy this?" is a question that can stump startup founders as they try to explain their value proposition to a jury. Fortunately for four startups pitching in the first round of venture kick last week, the answers were both compelling and realistic. Congratulations to them!...Read more

    Bringing real-time performance analysis and auto calibrated true wind estimation to sailors
    Anemomind brings real-time performance analysis and auto calibrated true wind estimation to sailors, thereby enabling them to optimize boat trimmings and, ultimately, race results. Anemomind also proposes a platform for data visualization and sharing.

    On Nov 2 2014, Swiss skipper Alan Roura started the Route du Rhum sailing challenge with a device developed by the EPFL spin-off in order to evaluate his performance during racing: Watch the EPFL video.

    A revolutionary device for surgical knee ligament reconstruction
    The likelihood of severe post-operative pain that comes with the use of a highperformance “bone-tendon-bone” (BTB) autograft for knee ligament reconstruction leads many knee surgeons to elect for the less painful, but lower performance “hamstring” tendon autograft. ZuriMED’s device effectively “converts” the less painful tendon graft into a BTB-like autograft (“functional gain, without the pain”).

    Lifting 3D fused deposition modeling from simple display models to printed objects with full functionality
    SpectroPlast lifts 3D fused deposition modeling from simple display models to printed objects with full functionality.

    Online customized leather jackets
    LUNICO will offer leather jackets that customers can customize online through a product configurator. The handmade leather jackets are produced in Bolivia. LUNICO is the first provider worldwide offering online individual leather jackets for the mass market.

    Additional Links
    Do you want the kick?

  • EY-EOY-Gewinner-2014-Viktor-Calabro1.jpg
    Viktor Calabrò is Entrepreneur Of The Year in the category Emerging Entrepreneur

    venture leader Viktor Calabrò is Entrepreneur Of The Year

    Mo. 27.10.2014, 14:00

    The Swiss winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 competition have been decided. On 33 nominated entrepreneurs, 10 made it to the final. In the category Emerging Entrepreneur, two venture leaders were competing against eachother: Viktor Calabrò from STAFF FINDER and Tobias Häckermann from Agilentia. It is finally Viktor Calabrò - and his staff recruitment platform - who won. ...Read more

    Viktor Calabrò has redefined the staff recruitment business. His platform “staff-finder.jobs”, now in its fourth year of operation, already helps 45,000 employees in the fields of gastronomy, hotel services, event planning, retail and administration to interact promptly and automatically with 2,500 employers. Staff shortages, whether as a result of absences or temporary workload peaks, are covered within four hours. Viktor Calabrò and his 46 employees handle the entire process, from assignment planning all the way to billing. With the help of Staff Finder, just-in-time HR strategies can be implemented effectively to improve a cost-benefit imbalance in staffing caused by excessively long planning horizons. Employers and employees alike value the flexibility that Staff Finder allows and also appreciate knowing that their work assignments are handled properly.

    Viktor Calabrò elected "Emerging Entrepreneur"
    In a market dominated by large service providers, Viktor Calabrò has quickly found his company a niche with the potential to create a paradigm shift in the employer-employee relationship. By naming him Entrepreneur Of The Year in the “Emerging Entrepreneur” category, the jury has shown its appreciation for the young entrepreneur’s innovation and impressive ability to find simple solutions to complex problems.

    The success of STAFF FINDER can also be observed in the TOP 100 Swiss Startups ranking. The company is Nr. 24. In 2012, Viktor Calabrò was part of the venture leaders USA program to consolidate his business development and present his ideas in the United States. “The biggest learning was without doubt the glance outside Swiss frontiers, a key element”, explained Calabrò about his experience with the venture leaders USA. “I was astonished to see how well our idea was received during discussions. It has been a great source of inspiration and motivation for the future of our company.”

    Three-stage challenge
    An Entrepreneur Of The Year winner will have successfully made it through the three-stage selection process. The first hurdle is qualification and with it the nomination round. To qualify, participants need to meet criteria based on real-life business. In the second stage, the EY interviewers take a closer look at the entrepreneurs and their companies. The observations made in the second stage are then used by the jury (see box) to select the finalists. In 2014, 10 finalists were chosen from among 33 nominees. The jury also selects the winners. In making their decisions, the jury members hold in-depth discussions with the finalists and visit their companies to obtain a clearer picture of each one. They assess the candidates’ and their companies’ entrepreneurial accomplishments, business performance, innovation, leadership, future potential, and overall contribution to society. The subsequent discussions, although controversial at times, culminate in a decision on who is to become the Entrepreneur Of The Year.

    Additional Links
    Go international with the venture leaders program
    The best Swiss startups
    More about STAFF FINDER

  • Routerank-420x3151.jpg
    CEO Jochen Mundinger is making people's lives easier thanks to smart travel planning and mobility solutions.

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    routeRANK is launching a new commuter solution for travel and mobility managers: commuteRANK.

    “We are filling a gap in the fast growing mobility management market.”

    Do. 23.10.2014, 09:00

    The idea behind routeRANK came to CEO Jochen Mundinger’s mind in 2006, after he had lost a whole afternoon on the Internet organizing a travel itinerary for a seminar in Poland. Today, the company counts numerous customers like the WWF, the TCS and the Swiss Confederation as well as worldwide leading travel management companies. All of them are using routeRANK’s smart multimodal solutions for travel planning. The EPFL spin-off recently announced the launch of a new commuter solution for travel and mobility managers, commuteRANK, in collaboration with the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV). We met Jochen to talk about the exciting news....Read more

    Congratulations for the great news. Can you briefly explain what commuteRANK is?
    commuteRANK is an additional mobility interface to our multimodal routing engine allowing the analysis of large numbers of commuter trips in an automated manner. The system accurately calculates all relevant door-to-door route options by considering all means of transport such as rail, public transport, P+Rail and P+Ride, carpooling, private car, walking and biking, and their many combinations.

    Seven years ago, you launched routeRANK on the market. What value is added by commuteRANK today?
    Our multimodal route planner addresses the entire door-to-door route by considering rail, road and air connections as well as their many combinations. It ranks the best possible travel routes and allows users to sort them according to their priorities such as price, travel time and CO2 emissions. Users can compare and book their tickets directly with the travel providers, enabling them to save up to 35% in cost and 2½ hours in planning time. We cover Switzerland, Europe and North America, as well as much of the rest of the world. Our solution is used both in managed business travel, i.e. integrated with the relevant internal processes and tools, as well as in unmanaged business travel, i.e. typically by smaller companies or companies with less travel activity. With commuteRANK, we are adding a new tool for mobility departments and professionals for a new use case: commuters in addition to business travelers and visitors. Our existing travel offering is now part of a wider mobility offering.

    How did the collaboration with the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) start?
    CHUV’s mobility management department needed a powerful system to analyze the commute trips of its employees in order to attribute limited parking spaces around the hospital. Now, the system also analyses support measures, i.e. an employer’s contribution to an e-bike, a travelcard or a P+Rail pass. It can further help with strategic decisions such as the comparison of multiple sites for a new building premise according to their impact on commuter mobility.

    Mobility management is a growing trend in Switzerland…
    This industry is still relatively young and is mostly based on consulting activities. Companies’ and institutions’ mobility problems are becoming ever more important. However, mobility managers still lack IT solutions helping them with the different issues involved and the decisions to take. This is where routeRANK comes in. We are filling a gap in the fast growing mobility management market.

    Your mobility solutions offer other significant benefits to companies and organizations. What are they?
    We provide different solutions and the benefits depend on the products and their use cases. For example, the travel planning solutions help travelers and their company to save time and money, reduce their carbon footprint and gain productivity. The visitor solutions provide a similar service and similar benefits. The commuter solutions help with the attributions of parking spaces or with the identification and analysis of suitable support measures.

    You were recently granted a patent in the US.
    This patent concerns the personalized real-time location-based travel management method for multimodal travel. We are very pleased that our technology has now also been recognized in this way.

    Sustainability has been behind your philosophy for the past eight years. In your opinion, how big is it outside Switzerland today, i.e. in the US?
    It is increasingly relevant, directly and also indirectly. For example, if business travelers care about productivity and leisure travelers about time to read a book, they might end up on a train instead of driving for those reasons as well. Ultimately it is about multiple, different priorities and their trade-offs, which might even change between trips.

    You have received the support of venture kick from the start. What have been the benefits of the program for your company?
    A lot has happened in the Swiss startup scene over the last decade or so, not least thanks to venture kick and venturelab. I benefited from the venture leaders USA program in 2007 and routeRANK was a venture kick winner in 2007/2008. Both have proven extremely valuable in the development of the company.

    Additional Links
    More about routeRANK
    Company blog
    More about commuteRANK

  • bros.jpg
    Since 2010 Pirmin Giger (left) and Silvan Küng (right) have been developing their e-guitar "Jane"

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    "Janes" sound is unique, due to the innovative construction, materials and design.

    A Blues session at the venture kick final

    Mi. 22.10.2014, 10:00

    Since 60 years, electric guitars have always been built the same way. Relish Guitars, a Lucerne-based startup founded in 2010, promises to revolutionize the market with their e-guitar called “Jane”. Jane’s innovative manufacturing technique (no tropical wood is used), as well as her sound and design, have already impressed many musicians and key industry players in Switzerland and abroad. Now they convinced the venture kick and TOP 100 Swiss Startup Jury. In our interview you hear more about the Rockstars of the Swiss startup scene....Read more

    Silvan, how and why did you launch relish guitars?
    We first just had our prototype “Jane”, which my colleague Pirmin did in his studies for industrial design. We showed it around in our music network and the feedback was fabulous. So we decided to develop the guitar construction concept and make it more serial like. More and more we realized “Jane” is getting more attention in the market. So we incorporated the company.

    What stage of its development is relish guitars today?
    The stage of proof of market has been successfully established - even with the prototypes we got up to 10 preorders. So until the end of this year we will have produced our first serial models, which will be an enormous improvement again compared to the prototype models. We are attending in November the Holy Grail Show in Berlin, where 120 producers will show their high-end guitars. Next year we will be at the NAMM Show in California and at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. Our distributor in Japan showed our guitar already in Tokyo. After attending the Frankfurter Musikmesse last year we built up a distributor network for in Germany, Austria, Japan and France.

    How your product is positioned regards to your competitors?
    We have a complete new construction in building an e-guitar, which enhances the sound of an electric guitar to more sustain and richness of sound.

    Why did you apply for venture kick?
    To be able to finance the expensive production of our product. We needed new machines and many handcrafting tools.

    How did you convince the jury?
    “Jane” did (laughs). We helped just with a good thought-out business plan and that we do our business with a lot of passion. I don't think our Blues session in beginning of the pitches was the reason to win at all - there are other musicians as Philipp Fankhauser who do better Blues as we do.

    What are the most important benefits of the venture kick program?
    Beside the money they helped us very much in creating the right business case and also to have the right vision in a global business.

    What do you think is the impact of the venture kick program on the Swiss startup industry?
    They select with a good board of experts which product has a reasonable chance to be successful. Without venture kick there wouldn't be many opportunities to get kicked-money in an early stage. This is really important, because many ideas balk while not having the needed seed money to try out an idea into prototypes - I suppose.

    Why would you recommend the venture kick program to other startups?
    Due to learn how to pitch - it is just a great experience to stand in front of a jury, convince them about your product and show them a great business plan - it makes fun.
     
    What kind of advice would you give to another young entrepreneur?
    Be passionate about what you do - don't try to find a money business only - start the other way around - try to make the world better, but not too much - just as possible as you can do with your skills. With this way everybody else will believe in your product / service as you do.

    "Janes" sound is unique. Watch the video to hear it:

    Additional Links
    Is your business idea good enough? Get the kick
    More about the startup rockstars
    Everything about the TOP 100 winners 2014
    Relish Guitars live at venture ideas

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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