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    Expert sessions in Beijing

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    The team jumping at the Great Wall

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    The team infront of the skyline from Beijing

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    Shanghai: the next New York?

    What’s on in China? Ten Swiss startups explore the Middle Kingdom with the venture leaders program.

    Mo. 29.09.2014, 11:00

    For Swiss startups, China is a key market to explore, with growing opportunities and exciting market prospects. Inspired by 13 years of success with the venture leaders USA program, venturelab decided to expand its offer and give new market opportunities to the most innovative Swiss startups, from September 2 to 12, 2014. Check out the adventures of the venture leaders China during their 10-days market exploration and business development journey in Beijing and Shanghai....Read more

    The ten-days program brought our Swiss national startup team to Beijing and Shanghai for a variety of activities including coaching, networking, pitching and business development. For most of them, it was their first time in China.

    After a great welcome from swissnex China in Beijing with special venture leaders’ cupcakes and the first Chinese business cards ever for our participants, the startup team had an early start on the second day of their Chinese journey. On their agenda: TusPark (Beijing) the largest university science park in the world with more than 600 startups. TusPark is an important platform for promoting innovation in this part of the world. It has an excellent reputation in China as well as in the global science park industry. There, the Swiss team dived into market perspectives and entry strategies, with great insights from Cyrill Eltschinger, a multi-cultural entrepreneur educated in Switzerland and in the United States. Cyrill Eltschinger has an experience of over 20 years working in the Chinese market. At lunch, the venture leaders China had the opportunity to network with TuSPark-based entrepreneurs. After an open afternoon dedicated to individual business development, everyone joined together at Tech Temple. Formerly an old factory, Tech Temple is now Beijing's largest co-working space. The welcome for the venture leaders couldn’t be better there: a poster with the Swiss startup team covered the full entry wall. Pitching, networking and a lot of fun during dinner, with many more insights about the Chinese market, made the evening program quite a successful one.

    The 3rd day in Beijing was fully dedicated to experts’ sessions and one-to-one discussions. The first workshop was held by Nicolas Musy, who has 20 years’ experience in trade, investment, management, strategy and living in China. He has an in-depth understanding of China’s market, culture, development and economic strategies in the global economy. He came back on several aspects of understanding and penetrating the Chinese market. It took place at the Binggo café, an extraordinary place at the Zhong Guan Cun technology hub, the first and largest techno hub in China (over 20’000 tech companies). It was followed by a full afternoon with David Kay in the amazing setup of Yuanfen Flow. David is a 20 years' resident of Beijing. After his tenure as Microsoft's Anti-piracy Czar, he decided to create a space where art and technology could come together: Yuanfen Flow. The day was concluded by a fantastic reception at the Swiss Embassy, with a very appreciated and spirited introduction by the Ambassador Jean-Jacques de Dardel, followed by the Swiss startup team pitching in front of an audience of more than 100 VIP’s. On Saturday, the crew visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, before moving to Shanghai on Sunday, for another exciting and intense week.

    Good morning, Shanghai
    Some say it will be the next New York: Shanghai. For the venture leaders, the next step of the journey was a full day on business in China held at swissnex Shanghai, often described as the “Chinese New York”. There, the Swiss startup team had the opportunity to focus on business at several meetings with industry and business representatives and at workshops about the multiple perspectives of developing business, fund-raising, company incorporation, culture, macro-economy and market opportunities in China. The continuous flow of information was a great source of expertise and experience for the participants. They learned about the right attitude to have towards this highly competitive and quickly changing market.

    The experts’ session at the HERO Center, the location of the Chinaccelerator, the first mentorship-driven seed-funding program in China, provided them with the opportunity to work in industry specific groups and interact with ten coaches from corresponding sectors. These sessions took them to the next level of business acceleration as they triggered several follow-up meetings. Every evening in Shanghai was the opportunity for a pitching session starting at the Hero Center with Chinese startups. The pitching sessions represented great opportunities to exchange with local up-and-coming companies. They were followed by a great reception at the Swiss consulate with VIP guests. Finally, the Global Pitchfest Championship was held after the first Lift conference in China on September 10th. There, our Swiss entrepreneurs competed with their Chinese counterparts in front of a friendly audience of more than 250 people. The finale was followed by a great networking reception, where the venture leaders China could create and strengthen numerous business ties.

    "First Swiss-class experience in China"
    On September 13th, all our venture leaders safely landed from their Chinese trip. They all had exciting news and stories to share with their respective teams and the overall startup community in Switzerland. “The venture leaders program in China is a real eye-opener. First Swiss-class experience in China", commented Salvador, CEO of Irewind: A good summary of the general impression of the participants. Looking forward, Pascal Marmier, swissnex Shanghai Director, also commented the "Chinese adventure”: “We’re looking forward to welcoming more startup entrepreneurs with risk tolerance, quick-learning capability and an open-minded vision, and having them learn and leverage how to make the best of this fast growing region in 2015”. Jordi Montserrat, venturelab managing Director, gave the final word: “We are very proud to have given our venture leaders the opportunity to dive into the Chinese market and to better understand its potential - and rules. We are very much looking forward to following them as they continue to develop their products and services internationally. Thanks to swissnex China for their warm welcome: we’re looking forward to hitting the Chinese ground for the second time next year!”.

    Additional Links
    Ready to take over China?
    Meet the venture leaders China
    Venture leaders USA

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    A first place in 3D: InSphero (photo: Tina Sturzenegger)

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    Second place goes to the Lausanne-based startup L.E.S.S. (photo: Tina Sturzenegger)

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    The Lausanne-based medtech company Abionic comes in 3rd place (photo: Tina Sturzenegger)

    TOP 100 2014: the best Swiss startups

    Mo. 29.09.2014, 08:00

    The ranking of the 100 best Swiss startups was revealed on 17 September in Zurich. The list was compiled by 100 renowned experts from the Swiss entrepreneurial scene who identify and help develop the most promising Swiss startups on a daily basis. Take a look at the 2014 ranking now....Read more

    First place in 3D: InSphero
    This year’s first place goes to the Zurich-based startup InSphero, created by graduates from the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. Founded in 2009, it owes its success to the production of 3D tissues that accelerate the development of new medicine, for example in cancer research. Its clients are internationally recognised companies in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical sectors. This up-and-coming company benefited early on from support from the venture kick, venture lab and venture leaders USA programs. Second place has been given to L.E.S.S, a Lausanne-based company whose light-producing nanostructured fibres are transforming the LED sector. The medical technology startup Abionic, also based in Lausanne, claims third place thanks to the first allergy diagnosis tool for use in doctors’ practices.

    Venture Kick: 59% of the TOP 100
    A total of 59 startups, including 8 in the TOP 10, were launched with the help from venture kick. These include L.E.S.S, Abionic, Housetrip, QualySense, Bcomp, Climeworks and Dacuda. The initial capital of 130,000CHF combined with the support network and expert assistance has helped these entrepreneurs, graduates from top Swiss universities, to lay solid foundations and accelerate their development. Amongst the 100 startups in the ranking, 39 are from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

    Switzerland, a place for innovative ideas
    Despite its small size, Switzerland is still an important place for innovative ideas which high market potential. The TOP 100 is a perfect example of the strong innovative capabilities of our country. It shows that Switzerland often meets, and even exceeds, global standards of technology and competitiveness: A key factor to enable new companies to see the light of day, generate new jobs and survive in the long term.

    Media partnership with PME Magazine and Handelszeitung
    Our media partners, PME Magazine and Handelszeitung, have paid tribute to the TOP 100 ranking again this year. A special edition focusing on this year’s best startups hit the newsstands recently. Download these special issues now, exclusively on our site www.startup.ch, where you will also be able to see the full TOP 100 2014 table and learn more about the experts behind the ranking.

    Additional Links
    Learn more about InSphero
    Learn more about L.E.S.S.
    Learn more about Abionic
    Discover this year's TOP 100
    Learn more about the experts behind the ranking
    Download PME Magazine's and Handelszeitung' special editions about the TOP 100 2014

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    Ioannis Tarnanas from Alterniity

    Interview with venture case winner Alterniity: "We didn’t fly too high or too low”

    Do. 25.09.2014, 09:00

    Alterniity a University of Bern spin-off, develops software designed to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and to retard the onset and progression of the disease. Now they obtained CHF 20’000 of pre-seed capital and are qualified for the next stage to win CHF 100’000 more. Check out their success story in our interview....Read more

    Dear Ioannis, how and why did you launch Alterniity?
    Alterniity GmbH is a University of Bern spin-off. The Serious Game project started at the University of Berne 2013, but also has a long history behind it. The research and clinical trials shaping the Serious Game project strategy at the University of Bern started 12 years ago and was awarded at prestigious events, e.g. EU Archimedes award 2001, European Open Science Forum 2006, TedX academy, Call to Innovation 2013, iENA international trade fair 2013, Novartis fellowship on healthy aging 2014 etc. That along with the scientific data to date gave us the confidence and validation to launch Alterniity GmbH at March 2014.

    What stage of its development is Alterniity today?
    We have developed a prototype, we have tested the prototype in a clinical trial for the early screening of Alzheimer Disease (AD), we have filed for IP protection and we are now preparing the next clinical trial, which will evaluate the next version of the prototype for cognitive reserve exercising.

    How is your product/service positioned regards to your competitors (on the market)?
    Our product/service for early screening is well positioned at a niche market because of our clinical trial data to date. This has been the core of our project from the start, since we are a data-driven startup. The market in general is quite promising but still untapped. It is not common knowledge yet that a software solution can offer early screening for AD comparable to some biomarkers. We will continue expanding on our dataset and clinical trials and that collection of data, which is difficult to be collected in an accelerated mode by a big corporation (because of the nature of the disease) is what will keep us ahead of the competition for the future. 
     
    Why did you apply for venture kick?
    venture kick is the lead startup “kick” instrument at Switzerland. We believe in the power of networking and since Switzerland is a Med-Tech HUB, we had really no choice but to apply for venture kick.

    How did you convince the jury?
    We said things as they are. We didn’t “fly too high or too low”. I believe that our research history, expertise on the subject matter and clinical data collection so far gave us the confidence to appear in-front of the jury with simple slides and look them at the eyes. Of course we still have weaknesses at our business model that we need to work on but we also have some strengths and one of the biggest ones is our motivation to be the first and best team to tackle such an important problem like the “early screening” and “potential slowdown” of Alzheimer’s disease type of dementia and other dementias.
     
    What are the 1-2 most important benefits of the venture kick program?
    The kickers camp is by far the most important benefit, apart from the money. You can consider the kickers camp as a “wake up call” to all wannabe entrepreneurs! The experience and lessons learned are just invaluable and you would have to spend many years and burn money at the field before you can get the same experience on your own.
     
    What do you think is the impact of the venture kick program on the Swiss startup industry?
    venture kick is an excellent filter and pre-selection mechanism for promising startups. We believe that the benefit for the Swiss industry is twofold: a) It completely registers and ranks the R&D done at the top academic institutions and give a very good overview of the trends and b) It filters and boosts the selected few that can actually generate revenue and thus bring money back to the Swiss society.
     
    Why would you recommend the program to other startups?
    venture kick is a simple and straight forward approach. If you have a good idea, team and business model, you just pitch it in front of the right people, looking them at the eyes. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. A CEO will always pitch at his life, however it is the feedback you get here that makes the program so valuable, because even if you fail, your next pitch is going to be much more effective than your first one.
     
    What kind of advice would you give to another young entrepreneur?
    Keep chasing your dreams. The route to success is tough and you make a lot of sacrifices along the way. There are no recipes and nobody knows what the “next big thing” is. However, your passion, motivation and knowledge are your tools that will give you the edge and as we say here at Alterniity GmbH: “Your time is important, but so is your knowledge”!!

    Additional Links
    Want to get the kick? Apply here

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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.

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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.

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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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  • 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