People behind Swiss Innovation
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    © Bilan magazine

    Bilan Magazine: Here are the 50 startups in which to invest

    Di. 24.02.2015, 16:00

    Earlier this month and for the third consecutive year, western Switzerland’s magazine “Bilan” published its selection of promising startups looking for investors. In total, 25 venture kick Alumni were part of the selection....Read more

    At the beginning of the process, no less than 97 high-tech startups were pre-selected by Bilan’s editorial board and its partners. Then, a jury composed of experienced entrepreneurs, Lift Conference representatives and journalists analyzed and chose the 50 startups of this year’s edition.

    Among the 50 young companies in the cleantech, IT, electronics, Internet, medtech, biotech and luxury sectors, 25 are venture kick Alumni. Furthermore, 35 have been supported by venture kick as well as venturelab, and many were part of the venture leaders’ adventure in Boston and New York as well as China. Some are part of TOP 100 Swiss Startups of 2014, too.

    Bilan’ selection confirms that Swiss startups have a high growth potential, in Switzerland and abroad. Switzerland’s number one startup, InSphero, is for example in it. The ETH spin-off counts the world’s 15 most important pharmaceutical and biotech companies in its clients list. As per Bilan, it is looking for CHF 19 Mio to multiply its production sites in the United States and in Asia and develop its activity in personalized medicine.

    Discover the 25 venture kick startups in Bilan’s ranking below (an online version of the magazine will soon be available):

    CLEANTECH

    eSMART, venture kick, venture leader China 2014, Alumnus venturelab, winner of the Swisscom Startup Challenge 2014:
    IT

    • Geosatis, venture kick, Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2014, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #92, Alumnus venturelab:
    • - Read the article about Geosatis in the 2014 annual report of venture kick here
    • - Read the article "Swisscom invests in TOP 100 startup" here
    •  
    • ELECTRONICS
    •  
    • Bitspitters, venture kick
    • Flyability, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2014
    • - Flyability is the winner of many prizes (p.ex. Hello Tomorrow, >>venture>>). It recently won USD 1M at the Drones For Good Award organized by the United Arab Emirates. Read the full news here
    • Gait Up, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Green TEG, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Scrona, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Xsensio, venture kick
    • - Read the interview of Xsensio's co-founder Esmeralda Megally here after winning the second stage of venture kick
    •  
    • INTERNET
    •  
    • Audiolize, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014
    • TawiPay, venture kick

      MEDTECH
    •  
    • Aeon Scientific, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2011, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #69
      • - Read "Aeon Scientific creams off the Swiss Technology Award" (2014) here
    • Calcisco, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #38
    • G-Therapeutics.com, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014
      • - G-Therapeutics won many awards and prizes in 2014, such as the Hello Tomorrow Challenge in Paris and the Universal Biotech Innovation Prize. Discover how the EPFL spin-off helps paralyzed people walk again in an article and video here (in French)
    • Lunaphore, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2014, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #35 (Lunaphore is the youngest startup of the ranking).
    • - The EPFL spin-off was ranked Nr. 1 at the PERL Prize and received CHF 100.000 from the Fondation pour l'Innovation Technologique (FIT) in 2014. It is also one of the 5 best startups of Western Switzerland
    • Medirio, venture kick
    • Nanolive, venture kick, venture leader USA 2013
    • - Nanolive recently announced having received more than 40 pre-orders of its revolutionary microscope, the 3D Cell Explorer. Read the article written by the French weekly magazine BiotechFinances about Nanolive (in FR) here.
    •  
    BIOTECH

    • InSphero, Switzerland's Nr 1 startup, venture leader USA 2010, Alumnus venturelab and venture kick
    • - Discover InSphero on page 13 and 14 of venture kick's 2014 annual report on http://www.venturekick.ch/report
    • PB&B, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014, Alumnus venturelab. In 2014, PB&B received the Innovation Trophy of the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). It also raised CHF 300'000 at the end of 2014
    • SpiroChem, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Stemergie, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2009
    • Versantis, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014
    • - Versantis won the final of venture kick early 2015. Find out how the ETH spin-off will be able to save lives here

    LUXURY

    • Relish Brothers, venture kick, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #62
    • - Read our article about Relish Guitars and "Jane", their revolutionary electric guitar here
    •  

    Additional Links
    Is your project good enough? Kick-start your startup here

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    Daniel Dessauges and David Becker.

    "Swiss products always have a chance in the US"

    Mo. 23.02.2015, 18:00

    David Becker and Daniel Dessauges from zkipster launched their Guest List App for event professionals in 2009, solving the problem of paper lists for ever. Their idea was a good one: They now operate their business from New York and where virtual doormen at this year's Oscar Parties. ...Read more

    In an interview, we asked zkipster's co-founder and venture kick Alumnus David Becker about how to be successful on the US market and what is it like to live and work in New York.

    David, zkipster has become a big success since its débuts. How did it all start and when did you realize it was a great business idea?
    We are in a middle of a growing phase and see our successes rather as milestones. Six years ago, when we launched zkipster, we didn’t know what it meant to build a company. We’re now in the middle of this process. It is an exciting and fruitful time. We felt a company the first time we could pay salaries with our cash flow.

    Can one still have the chance to see you in Kaufleuten in Zurich?
    zkipster emerged from the student party “use it”! Once a year, the spring party “Sechseläuten” rocks the place in Kaufleuten. I always try to be there, even if New York is not exactly around the corner.

    Meanwhile, a lot of competitors have emerged. How hard is the battle to be the leader on your market?
    When we started, there was one competitor and now, dozens worldwide. It is important that we position ourselves clearly and we are working hard for this. Our customers make so-called "invite-only" events, as well as events where there are no tickets to buy. We are not a ticketing platform either. We rather concentrate on the needs of the guests: Simple registration, express check-in, personal greeting with face detection – guest management has still much room for improvement and we are building the technology to do so.

    You have been based in the United States since two years. How is it to live and work in New York?
    Actually, our life is almost entirely dedicated to work. I live five minutes walk from our office. On weekdays, we rarely come out before 9PM. In front of our Broadway office tower, we often see open roof buses for tourists. Seeing those passing by makes me realize I live in New York. It’s a great and satisfying feeling.

    How did venture kick help you and your business to be successful?
    venture kick helped us understand what it takes to build a company. With the money from our first round of financing, we have adapted the product to the market’s needs; something that we could not have managed on our own. The shift from the nightlife to the professional event management was a crucial step and made our product ready for fashion houses, museums and PR agencies of New York. The good thing about it is that what works in the Big Apple has good chances outside.

    What would be your tips for startups that want to make it in the States?
    The question is whether the product works better in the States than in Europe. For us it was clearly the case because Americans absorb new technologies into their processes quicker. When the iPad came on the market in 2010, the question here was not whether our app was going to be used, but when. Europe moves slowly, particularly in the B2B sector. Patented, solid and well-thought Swiss products always have a chance in the US. As such, we are an exception: our product can hardly be protected.

    In January this year, you announced that Julian Jaeger would be your new Chief Business Officer. What has changed since then and how is the collaboration going?
    Julian is thoroughly Swiss like us - we understand each other almost blind! He spent the last 15 years at the World Economic Forum and at the Clinton Global Initiative. He built extremely strong relationships there which we can now translate into new contracts and strategic partnerships. He is a godsend for us, and we for him - he wanted to work for a tech startup. We are a Swiss company with a strong presence in New York, which was very likeable for him.

    What are the next steps for zkipster?
    We build the guest list app as a suite of products for guest management, open up new regions and industries. We set ourselves high goals but remain “Swiss realistic” and stick to our principles. This is important just now, as we are coming into the New York tech scene and investors radars.

    Want to go global, just like zkipster? Become a venture leader USA

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

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    © Drones For Good

    “The Swiss flag flew next to the UAE flag over the podium”

    Mo. 23.02.2015, 09:20

    Flyability has won the «Drones For Good Award» in Dubai, with a prize of 1 Million dollars. A welcome sum for our venture kick Alumnus and venture leaders USA, who will now be able to apply its rescue drone, Gimball, to commercial uses....Read more

    On the 7th of February, Flyability won enough funding to accelerate the commercialization of Gimball, a civil drone capable of entering confined spaces and nearing people without danger. Its rotating cage allows it to handle difficult environments without losing its stability. Flyability is a spin-off from NCCR Robotics and the laboratory of Professor Dario Floreano at the EPFL (LIS Lab). Its technology is proof that flying robotics made in Switzerland has the potential to conquer the world and spawn a “Drone Valley” between EPFL and Zurich universities such as ETH. Let us recall that in 2012, the two venture kick alumni and EPFL spin-offs senseFly  (also from the LIS lab) and Pix4D wooed the large industrial group Parrot. This was possible thanks to eBee, a bio-robotics inspired drone capable of mapping an area in a completely autonomous manner, and a powerful 3D mapping software.

    A strong market growth
    Flyability is aiming for the niche market that is indoor flying, as well as flying in confined spaces. Its first clients are interested in industrial inspections of sites for electrical or chemical production, and even bridges, tunnels or chimneys. “Before Dubai, rescue applications were in our long-term vision. In this market, which is now in full expansion, it is very difficult to fund a product that is still in development. This prize clearly brings rescue upon our list of priorities”, explains Patrick Thévoz, CEO of Flyability, from Dubai. The startup is still looking for 1 Million Swiss francs to meet its objectives.

    In addition to rescue, civil unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications are numerous, such as surveillance, agriculture, media and more recently, package delivery. And these small flying robots are poised to conquer the world. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the global market for civil and commercial UAVs is expected to reach two billion dollars this year. A study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) revealed that the US market alone for civil drones will represent $ 80 Billion for the 2015-2025 decade.

    Improve people's lives
    The Drones For Good Award, organized by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, is the only competition of this kind in the world. It aims to be active in turning innovative technologies into practical solutions to improve people's lives. For Flyability, the competition was a unique opportunity to show that its technology has much to contribute to society: "Passionate teams like ours can go ahead and make that a reality. Flyability will now be able to go where it is normally dangerous for emergency responders, and help save many lives." Since a few weeks, the Ecublens-based startup’s mailbox is exploding with collaboration proposals from Gulf countries but also from around the world.

    Drones, a new “eldorado” for the United Arab Emirates? According to Patrick Thévoz, "the royal family is personally interested in drones. This is part of Dubai’s diversification strategy, which involves new technologies. There is already some talk of a future edition of the competition dedicated to robotics in general. "

    "A pole of Swiss skills"
    In Dubai, Flyability showed the full potential of its technology to an international jury. During demonstrations in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (2nd from the left on the picture), against 39 other competitors: "We were the only ones to offer a completely different design to overcome one of the major challenges of the flying robotic, which is flying near obstacles and humans," says Patrick Thévoz.

    They were also the only Swiss startup in the competition: "The Swiss flag flew next to the UAE flag over the podium, but I do not think the 'Made in Switzerland' tag was instrumental. We were competing with many other countries (Germany, Spain, England, USA and Australia, among others). However, it is certain that a true centre of excellence in flying robotics is emerging in Switzerland."

    Swiss startups interest industry
    If Flyability recently won the heart of the United Arab Emirates, other venture kick Alumni have also attracted the industry. In 2012, Parrot, a global leader in wireless devices for mobile, acquired a majority share of senseFly, a spin-off from EPFL, for the sum of $5 Million. They also injected 2.4 Million francs in Pix4D, a startup from the School of Computer and Communication Science of the EPFL, active in the calculation of 3D images.

    As early as 2010, Parrot was investing in consumer drones market. It has sold more than 700,000 models of the AR.Drone, a small device capable of taking photos and videos. Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux was also the guest of venturelab in November 2014, with the CEOs of senseFly and Pix4D. He gave his impressions of the quality of Swiss startups, and the reasons which led to investing in the two EPFL startups. You can live the event and listen to Henri Seydoux, Jean-Christophe Zufferey and Christoph Strecha in a video of the event linked here. 

    Another venture kick alumnus, VISNX, is active in the field of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). It develops optical sensors for environmental uses or in the field of agriculture.

    Valuable support from venture kick and venturelab
    Just like senseFly and Pix4D, Flyability passed the successive stages of venture kick and qualified for the final. It also received intensive commercial development workshops (kicker camps) in the program: "When launching a startup in Switzerland, before the first investors and the first sales and after exhausting personal finances, venture kick is for many entrepreneurs the boost needed to survive a few more precious months to prepare for the next steps. Besides the financial aspect, many members of the venture kick jury helped us by putting us in contact with potential clients and investors. In addition, the passage of each stage of venture kick is recognized as a serious pledge by Swiss business angels. However, I want to emphasize that this financial aspect, which we sometimes want to put in the background in favour of more noble support, is precisely what is cruelly lacking for startups during their first months. venture kick is the only one to fulfil this role, and it does it very well”, said Patrick Thévoz.

    To complete the picture and add an international dimension to the activities of the Swiss startup, Patrick Thévoz went to Boston and New York in June 2014, with the venture leaders USA program. A beneficial experience: "In addition to testing our mettle in front of US venture capitalists (VC), venture leaders helped us build a powerful network of Swiss entrepreneurs with whom we still maintain close contact."

    Drone Apps, the place to be for drone specialists and innovators in September 2015 at EPFL
    Drone specialists (and even amateurs), mark your calendar! The "Drone Apps conference: Experience how drones are changing your business" (droneapps.co), will take place at the EPFL SwissTech Convention Center, on the 14th and 15th of September.

    Though drones have already proven their impact on the economy, humanitarian aid, media, entertainment and art, public mistrust and a lack of regulation hampers their immense potential for innovation. Drone Apps aims to help the UAV industry to gain recognition and support through demonstrations and discussions on their economic and social impact, while connecting industrial players with inventors and legislators. "We want to bring together business users (here for civilian applications), inventors (e.g. researchers, suppliers) and airspace regulators to discuss the best uses, new technological solutions and the best ways to regulate drones, the latter being the ‘nerve of war’" says Simon Johnson, co-organizer of Drone Apps with Benoit Curdy. "The Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) is our partner on the thorny issue of regulation and we are in contact with competent authorities all around the world".

    Many specialists from the sector, entrepreneurs, researchers and industry experts will attend to discuss Drone Apps civilian drones and their potential and regulation, such as Henri Seydoux, CEO of Parrot, Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones, Vijay Kumar, Professor at the UPS Foundation, Jean-Christophe Zufferey, CEO of senseFly, Jesper Falk, responsible for surveying at COWI and Patrick Meier, leader and thinker in the field of technologies for humanitarian purposes.
     
    A "million dollar video": Gimball at the Drones For Good final in Dubai



    Meet Gimball, the "human friendly" drone in video (© EPFL 2013): 



    senseFly presents "Mapping the impossible" or how its engineers have mapped the Matterhorn in 3D for the first time in the world:

    Additional Links
    Read the article by EPFL "Gimball takes off in the Middle East" (09.02.2015)
    Read the article by EPFL "A market leader in civilian drones joins senseFly and Pix4D" (27.07.2012)
    Is your idea good enough? Put it to the test with venture kick!
    Just like Flyability, become a venture leader USA in 2015!

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    Meet Stefanie and Marcus from ComfyLight

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    Xiang from ZuriMED (3rd from left) with his team members

    Here are the winners of venture kick stage two

    Do. 19.02.2015, 11:00

    Two promising high-tech startups recently convinced the jury on the second stage of venture kick: ComfyLight and ZuriMED. Both are qualified for the big venture kick final (CHF 130’000 to kick your startup). Fingers crossed!...Read more

    Although intrusion is increasing year over year and people feel unsecure, most homes are still unprotected today. The reason is that traditional security solutions are often complicated to install and expensive over time. The first winner, ComfyLight, brings to the market the first instant home security solution invisibly integrated in a smart light bulb. It is installed in no time and seamlessly integrates in people's homes. Compared to other traditional security systems, it not only detects intrusion but also proactively protects people's homes by perfect presence simulation based on valuable presence data.

    The second winner, ZuriMED, commercializes a revolutionary device for surgical knee ligament reconstruction. The likelihood of severe post-operative pain that comes with the use of a high performance “bone-tendon-bone” (BTB) autograft (a patient’s own tissue) 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 autograft into a BTB-like graft (“functional gain, without the pain”).

    We took the opportunity to ask a few questions to Stefanie Turber, co-founder of Comfy, and Xiang Li, co-founder of ZuriMED, about the good news:

    How and why did you launch your startup, and at what stage is it today?

    Stefanie
    : My co-founder Marcus Köhler and I are just prior to incorporating our company as a university spin-off. So far, we developed Comfy in the lab setting at University of St Gallen in the context of our doctoral studies. For Comfy, a feasibility study and demonstrators are available in addition to the business concept and a valuable partner network. We currently prepare our first comprehensive field test and first sales channels. Moreover, we hope to secure our first financing round within the next few weeks.

    Xiang: Zurimed was born in the lab during my PhD thesis at ETH Zurich. I realized that my PhD project had a big business potential. Over the past several years, our team of 3 people worked hard in order to translate the medical device developed in our laboratory into a clinical application. At the moment, we are doing assessment to realize the production line for industrial mass production with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), with documented production process and quality control system.

    How is your product positioned with regards to your competitors?

    Stefanie
    : Compared to other available security systems, Comfy is an instant solution, which not only detects intruders, yet proactively protects people's home from them. It is realized by perfect presence simulation: The bulb learns the users' movement and behavior at home and is able to perfectly simulate it during an absence through light. The added value for the user is a higher level of security by just one device at a small fraction of the price of traditional systems.

    Xiang: Our device seeks to displace use of the existing competitor - interference screws, with this well-established and highly competitive market representing a large opportunity to gain market share with “disruptive technology”.

    Why did you apply for venture kick and how did you convince the jury on stage 2?

    Stefanie
    : We applied because venture kick offers great coaching, in addition to the financial aspect. Even though the jury kicked us hard (laughs), I think that they appreciated the finesse of Comfy combined with its huge market potential. Moreover, we could in my opinion demonstrate significant progress since venture kick stage one. Not least, our team of two is highly complementary and covers a large part of the relevant skill set.

    Xiang: venture kick is a great program to kick our business, not only for the funding but also for the kickers' camps coaching and offered networking. I think the most important point for us to convince the jury on stage two has been is the achievement and progress made over the past months.

    What do you think is the impact of venture kick on the Swiss startup industry?

    Stefanie
    : venture kick is a solid quality check for your business idea and the team behind, especially at a seed-financing stage. The program adds a lot of credibility to your startup.

    Xiang: venture kick is definitely a great program supporting Swiss innovation. It is bridging funding and coaching, from the early ideas to building a startup. venture kick shall bring more brilliant ideas and early Swiss startups on the market.

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

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    The team of obViz

    Avrios-crm.jpg
    The team of Avrios

    Onirigami-crm.jpg
    The team of Onirigami

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    The team of InterAx Biotech

    Here are the latest winners of venture kick stage 1

    Mi. 11.02.2015, 14:00

    ObViz, Avrios, Onirigami and InterAx Biotech are the latest winners of venture kick’s first stage. The 4 newcomers in our program got kicked with CHF 10’000 of pre-seed capital. They are now getting ready to compete for CHF 20'000 more on the next stage....Read more

    ObViz (Opinion-based Visualization) is a news delivery platform coupled with a controversy-oriented social network. The EPFL based startup automatically displays the opposing viewpoints for a controversy, side by side. Their service empowers readers to comment and align themselves with their preferred side. It then recommends to users peers, with whom they can carry a meaningful conversation.

    Avrios develops and markets business intelligence solutions for operators of commercial vehicles. The Avrios Business Intelligence Platform helps operators of commercial vehicles utilize their assets as efficiently as possible. Applying the latest research in machine learning, Avrios helps them automatically extract valuable and actionable business insights from the data they already have.

    Onirigami is an adventure game with an innovative setup: An iPad and two connected figurines which are the heroes of the story. Each figurine is controlled by one of the two players. By moving the figurines on the screen, the players discover an interactive story. Watch Onirigami’s first prototype in a video here.

    InterAx Biotech provides stabilized complexes for drug discovery. Over one third of all marketed drugs target G protein-coupled receptors. Dissection of drug-induced signaling requires understanding and access to complexes composed of receptor and signaling protein. These complexes are transient and dynamic in nature. The products of the Canton Aargau based startup are the missing tools necessary for comprehensive drug-induced signaling analysis contributing to qualified decisions before entering clinical trials.

    Additional Links
    Is your project good enough? Kick-start your startup here

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    The team of ETH spin-off Versantis

    Bild_Adaptricity_venturekick_3001.png
    The team of the ETH spin-off Adaptricity

    Fighting drug overdoses and climate change: Two ETH spin-offs kicked by CHF 130.000 each

    Mi. 04.02.2015, 14:00

    The ETH Zurich spin-offs Versantis and Adaptricity are starting a new era in the treatment of drug overdoses and the management of power systems – two burning issues in today’s society. By winning VENTURE KICK, both startups have secured the total funding amount of CHF 130.000 each....Read more

    Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Heath Ledger, to name but a few, are celebrities who died of drug overdoses. Deaths from drug overdose have been rising over the past two decades to become the leading cause of accidental death in industrialized countries. Every day in Europe alone, 260 people die as a result of drug overdose. Until today, no simple and efficient methods are available for the detoxification. Just like drugs, the wastes your body produces can also become life-threatening in case of liver failure (affecting 450 million people worldwide).

    Revolutionizing dialysis to save lives from overdoses and liver failures
    The team around Dr. Vincent Forster from the ETH spin-off Versantis is developing a ground-breaking dialysis approach to remove these toxins from your organism. Versantis uses small hollow spheres (i.e. liposomes) to efficiently and rapidly extract the toxic compounds from the blood. Thanks to its technical simplicity, this new dialysis approach presents a great opportunity to save patients’ lives, even in developing countries, where expensive detoxification therapies are rarely available. Dr. Vincent Forster expressed his enthusiasm about the program: “VENTURE KICK has been extremely kind at opening its large network within the biotech and pharma ecosystem. This bridge towards Switzerland-based advisors and investors is the most valuable support Versantis could profit from at a startup phase. In addition, the business acceleration programs, the online visibility, and obviously, the financial supports were very helpful.”
     
    ETH spin-off makes electricity systems smart
    One of the goals of Switzerland`s Energy Strategy 2050 is the expansion of the renewable energy sector. But the energy transition towards renewable energy creates entirely new challenges for grid operators who are in charge of ensuring a stable system operation. Adaptricity helps operators through innovative simulation tools to prepare for these new challenges in network planning and network operation. The first product, the simulation software “DPG.sim”, provides a comprehensive simulation environment for active distribution grids. It allows distribution system operators to integrate SmartGrid features into their grid planning processes. This enables optimal decision-making in costly grid upgrade projects and the improved utilization of the existing grid infrastructure. "The power sector is changing rapidly due to the expansion of renewable energy, market liberalization and increasing fusion of energy and information technology. Thanks to VENTURE KICK we now have even more power to bring our software solutions to our customers to help them in the improvement and the expansion of their power grids," explains Stephan Koch, co-founder of Adaptricity.

    Additional Links
    Is your business idea good enough? Get the kick

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    Flyability is focused on developing the world's first collision-tolerant robot.

    Flyability announces completion of a seed round of financing

    Mi. 04.02.2015, 14:00

    The EPFL spin-off Flyability SA develops robust flying robots. On February 2nd, 2015, the start-up announced the completion of its first external round of equity capital from European and Swiss business angels. ...Read more

    Founded last year, Flyability is focused on developing the world's first collision-tolerant robot, Gimball, which is also safe to fly close to humans. In 2014, its CEO Patrick Thevoz was part of the venture leaders USA adventure and flew to Boston and New York for a 10 days commercial development program. Here is his reaction after his US trip: "New York is huge! At least 5 to 10 times larger than Ecublens!" Flyability is also a venture kick Alumnus. On February 2nd, 2015, the economy magazine Bilan selected the young company in its list of 50 Swiss startups in which to invest.  

    The world's first collision-tolerant robot - Swiss made.
    The company's patented technology allows drones to enter places unreachable with other robots and offering a cheaper, faster and safer alternative to sending humans in dangerous locations. First targeting the inspection of energy and transportation infrastructures, the company's technology opens a world of new applications and interaction with flying robots in the fields of entertainment, security, domotics and search and rescue.

    Equipped with a HD camera, Flyability’s first product, Gimball, is protected by an external spherical frame decoupled from the avionics which allows the robot to fly in contact with objects, to roll on any surface, and to remain stable after a collision. In addition to improving the safety of the operation, these unique features allow the robot to gather close-up images to detect even the smallest defects, and requires almost no prior training or experience in piloting as mistakes that previously meant crashing a drone now only result in the robot bouncing against obstacles. Moreover, the cage means that it is safe for humans to touch it during the flight. It is bringing the vision of service drones operating among populated areas one step closer to reality, for instance for goods delivery.

    Dr. Adrien Briod, CTO and co-founder of the company comments that "the funds will be used to finalize the development and manufacturing of our beta prototypes, to allow the delivery to our first customers as early as April 2015". CEO Patrick Thévoz adds that a second round of financing will be opened during the year to prepare the launch of the commercial product.

    Listen to the BBC interview of Patrick Thévoz (04.02.2015).

    Watch the EPFL video about Flyability (2013):

    Additional Links
    More about Flyability
    Like Flyability, be part of the venture leaders USA adventure (applications are opened until March 2, 2015!)
    Is your project good enough? Kick-start your startup here

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    Photo: la start-up genevoise Apelab (© François Wavre)

    Magazine Bilan: voici les 50 start-up dans lesquelles investir

    Mi. 04.02.2015, 09:00

    Le magazine Bilan propose pour la troisième année consécutive sa sélection de start-up suisses prometteuses, qui recherchent actuellement des investisseurs pour financer leur croissance. Une édition spéciale qui sort en kiosques aujourd'hui, mercredi 4 février 2015....Read more

    En tout, pas moins de 97 start-up high-tech ont d’abord été pré-sélectionnées par la rédaction et les partenaires de Bilan (venturelab, CleantechAlps, AlpICT et BioAlps). Un jury composé d’entrepreneurs expérimentés (Raphaël Domjan, éco-aventurier, Laurent Farinelli, CEO de Fasteris, Dominik Grolimund, fondateur de Wuala, Carlos Moreira, CEO de WISeKey, Abir Oreibi, présidente de Lift et Fabrice Delaye, journaliste chez Bilan) a ensuite analysé et choisi les 50 start-up qui sont à l’honneur cette année.

    Parmi ces 50 jeunes pousses dans les secteurs cleantech, informatique, électronique, Internet, medtech, biotech ou du luxe, 35 ont bénéficié du soutien de venturelab ou de venture kick. 15 start-up sont en outre parties à Boston et à New York avec les venture leaders USA et 4 à Beijing et Shanghai avec les venture leaders China. Plusieurs d’entre-elles font partie du classement des 100 meilleures start-up suisses.

    La cuvée 2015 de Bilan confirme que les start-up suisses ont un potentiel de croissance élevé, en Suisse mais aussi à l’international. La 1ère start-up de Suisse, InSphero, fait par exemple partie de la sélection de Bilan. La spin-off de l’ETH Zurich compte les 15 plus importantes entreprises pharma- et biotech parmi ses clients et a prouvé que ses micro-tissus en 3D ont de l’avenir, notamment en Europe, où elle a remporté le prestigieux prix de création d’entreprise ACES en 2014. Selon Bilan, InSphero, qui recherche 19 millions de francs, «a besoin de fonds pour multiplier ses sites de production aux Etats-Unis et en Asie et développer son activité dans le diagnostic personnalisé.» L'édition spéciale de Bilan "Innovation: cinquantes start-up suisses dans lesquelles investir" sort dès aujourd'hui en kiosque.

    Découvrez les 35 start-up venture kick et venturelab au classement de Bilan en 2015 ci-dessous, ainsi que sur la plateforme dédiée aux start-up suisses www.startup.ch:

    CLEANTECH
    • Anerdgy, venture leader USA 2014
    • eSMART, venture leader USA 2011, venture leaders China 2014, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, gagnant du Swisscom Startup Challenge 2014:
      • Lire l'article "eSMART sur le chemin de l’expansion globale" ici.
    • Imperix, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #78
    • Karios Games, venture kick
    • Plus Mat, venture leader China 2014
    • Stignergy, venture kick
    • TwingTec, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab

    INFORMATIQUE
    • Crisalix, Alumnus venturelab
    • Geosatis, venture kick, Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2014, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #92, Alumnus venturelab.
      • Lire l’article que le rapport annuel venture kick a consacré à Geosatis en 2014 ici.
      • Lire l’article "Swisscom investit dans une start-up au TOP 100" ici.
    • iRewind, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader China 2014
      • Lire l’article consacré à iRewind lors de sa victoire au Swiss ICT Award en 2014 ici.

    ELECTRONIQUE

    • Bitspitters, venture kick
    • Flyability, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2014.
      • Flyability est la gagnante de nombreux prix (p.ex. Hello Tomorrow, >>venture>>). Elle vient notamment d’annoncer une levée de fonds (equity capital et business angels suisses) et a reçu une bourse FIT en 2015. Lire l’article fait par CNN sur le drone de Flyability (Nov 2013) ici.
    • Gait Up, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Green TEG, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Scrona, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • SmartCardia, venture leader USA 2013, Alumnus venturelab
    • Xsensio, venture kick
      • Lire l’interview d’Esmeralda Megally réalisée fin 2014 ici.

    INTERNET

    • Audiolize, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014
    • TawiPay, venture kick

      MEDTECH
    • Aeon Scientific, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2011, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #69
      • Lire "Aeon Scientific rafle le Swiss Technology Award" (2014) ici
    • Calcisco, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #38
    • G-Therapeutics, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014
      • G-Therapeutics, une spin-off de l’EPFL, a remporté un grand nombre de prix en 2014 dont la 1ère place du Hello Tomorrow Challenge à Paris en 2014, ainsi que l’Universal Biotech Innovation Prize. Découvrez comment G-Therapeutics aide les gens paralysés à marcher à nouveau dans un article et en vidéo ici.
    • Lunaphore, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2014, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #35 (Lunaphore est la plus jeune start-up du classement). Elle a en outre reçu le prix PERL et une bourse FIT en 2014. La spin-off de l’EPFL fait partie des 5 meilleures start-up de Suisse romande.
    • Medirio, venture kick
    • Nanolive, venture kick, venture leader USA 2013
      • Lire "Un premier tour de financement pour Nanolive" ici. Nanolive a récemment annoncé avoir reçu plus de 40 précommandes de son microscope révolutionnaire en 3D permettant de voir l’intérieur d’une cellule sans la tuer.
    • One Drop Diagnostics, venture leader USA 2014, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #26
      • Lire la news sur les “vedettes venturelab de 2014”, dont fait partie la start-up basée à Neuchâtel ici
    BIOTECH
    • InSphero, 1ère start-up Suisse, venture leader USA 2010, Alumnus venturelab et venture kick.
      • Lire l’article consacré à InSphero lors de sa victoire au prix européen ACES ici. Découvrez InSphero en pages 13 et 14 du rapport annuel venture kick de 2014 http://www.venturekick.ch/report
    • PB&B, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014, Alumnus venturelab. PB&B a reçu en 2014 le Trophée de l'Innovation 2014 des Hôpitaux Universitaires Genevois (HUG). Elle a récemment levé CHF 300'000 de financement (fin 2014).
    • SpiroChem, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab
    • Stemergie, venture kick, Alumnus venturelab, venture leader USA 2009
    • Versantis, venture kick, venture leader USA 2014
    Virometix  venture leader USA 2014

    LUXE
    • Lockstyler, venture leader USA 2014
    • Relish Brothers, venture kick, TOP 100 Swiss Startups #62
      • Lire l'article consacré à Relish Guitars et à "Jane", une guitare électrique en passe de révolutionner le marché ici.
      • Lire aussi l'article consacré à Relish Guitars lors de sa victoire en finale de venture kick en septembre 2014 ici.
    • Von Arkel, venture leader China 2014
    Retrouvez la liste complète dans le magazine Bilan, actuellement en kiosque. La version électronique sera disponible dans 15 jours.

    Additional Links
    Votre idée est-elle assez bonne? Le programme venture kick vous attend!
    Sur le chemin de l'expansion globale? Devenez venture leader USA en 2015
    startup.ch, la plateforme pour les start-up suisses
    Les 100 meilleures start-up de Suisse

  • composyt-fb.jpg
    The team of Composyt

    Composyt Light Labs acquired by the Intel Corporation

    Do. 29.01.2015, 16:00

    At the end of 2014, the EPFL spin-off closed an exit deal with Intel. Composyt, a 2014 venture kick finalist, has proven to have key technology for wearable displays....Read more

    Thanks to the support of venture kick, Composyt’s co-founders, Eric Tremblay and Mickaël Guillaumée, as well as fellow Composyt co-founders, Christophe Moser and David Ziegler, were able to travel to the US to meet potential investors, including Intel. The start-up, now part of Intel, will remain based in the Lausanne area: A truly inspiring story for future entrepreneurs and a great momentum for the overall innovation community of western Switzerland.

    In 2014, Composyt was also part of the venture leaders USA program. Eric Tremblay was able to benefit from a great business development program in Boston and New York during 10 days, in Boston and New York: "We started with venturelab programs. We have now sold our startup to Intel”, said Eric Tremblay after the announcement.

    Additional Links
    Read the news made by EPFL about the exit
    Read the news by ICT Journal
    Become a venture leader USA in 2015!
    Get the kick here

  • Jilion-team-nl.jpg
    Jilion was formed by Zeno Crivelli and Mehdi Aminian in 2009 at EPFL

    Jilion: A successful exit and a kick in return for the next generation of entrepreneurs

    Do. 29.01.2015, 14:00

    Early 2014, our venture kick Alumnus Jilion (the creator of SublimeVideo, the world’s first cloud-based HTML5 video player), was acquired by Dailymotion. The team, formed at EPFL in 2009 by Zeno Crivelli and Mehdi Aminian, subsequently decided to support venture kick in return and provide capital for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Just one year after the exit, we interviewed Mehdi about his amazing adventure. ...Read more

    Mehdi, how and when was the SublimeVideo technology born and subsequently, Jilion?
    We launched SublimeVideo, our cloud-based universal video player service (HTML5 + Flash), in August 2010. Everything actually started by accident: Our initial project was to develop a music social network. While working on this project, we launched a simple demo of the world’s first HTML5 Video Player (with custom controls), somehow for fun and to please our web and “geek” friends. Because of the huge buzz that followed in the web developer community, on some important blogs and on Twitter (we passed from 0 to 3.500 followers in one week!) we decided to freeze our initial project and build a working HTML5 Video solution for the web.

    What need(s) did you fill with SublimeVideo?
    A pretty big one: Video has become colossal on the web. However, simultaneously, the end user experience has significantly degraded: This is due to the fact that today, people have to deal with two incompatible technologies to play video within a web browser: A proprietary one, Flash, which is rather well supported on personal computers, and the official standard, HTML5 Video, which is the only way to play web video on the exploding mobile platforms. The result is that very often, videos are not playing at all, depending on the platform used. SublimeVideo was designed in a very Swiss fashion, as a universal platform supporting both Flash and HTML5 without any compromise on reliability and features.

    Who have been your first customers, and competitors?
    One key thing to note in the Jilion and the SublimeVideo story is that we have been identified as pioneers in the HTML5 Video field by the web developer community. This authentic blessing has been instrumental for everything we did afterwards and it brought us a lot of recognizance. Soon after we launched SublimeVideo, we rapidly had thousands of web sites using our service and ten of thousands at the time the company was sold to Dailymotion, including Sony, Breitling, Nissan, etc. From a technology standpoint, we did not have any real direct competitor. Our two main competitors were a well-established Flash player company and an open source package firm.

    Let’s talk about the initial days of Jilion. How did you and Zeno meet?
    We met at EPFL where we were both working. We discovered that we had really similar interests in web technology. We really took the time to know each other before starting to work together.

    When and how did Dailymotion approach you?
    They approached us in January 2013, right after our second technological milestone which really fitted their needs. In fact, during the “viral” buzz phase of SublimeVideo, we had already been approached by two well known US companies, both looking to make what they call a "talent acquisition". At the time, we decided not to pursue those discussions because we really wanted to implement our own vision, as we did. This was not an easy decision: But our guts simply refused to sell! We were happy to join Dailymotion as they wanted both the technology and the team.

    What is the added value of your technology for Dailymotion?
    In a nutshell, it allows them to bring a very reliable and customizable player to their content partners.

    What changed for you and Zeno after the exit? Are you still on board?
    Zeno is working hard at Dailymotion in the South of France, leading the player development team. On my side, I am “recovering” a bit: My entrepreneurial job having ended!

    Did you invest in other startups?
    Not yet but it might be the case in the future.

    You very recently decided to kick the next generation of entrepreneurs in return by giving capital to venture kick. Can you explain why?
    We were among the very first startups to receive support from venture kick. We really appreciate and admire the energy and passion of Jordi Montserrat and Beat Schillig, and what they are doing with their team for our country's startup ecosystem. We are also very grateful that wealthy foundations and donators were able to support us at a key stage, when you are “nothing”. This was very important. Another great thing about venture kick is that it is a Swiss-wide platform, which creates a sense of community and emulation among entrepreneurs.

    What would you like to say to the next generation of entrepreneurs, if you had an advice to give them?
    It's the best time to do a startup. Follow your passion and never betray what you believe in.

    What is your view about the Swiss startup ecosystem, now that your exit is behind?
    We are a small country with a rational and quite efficient environment where innovation is very much favored. That said, in order to scale from great innovation to big successes, we absolutely need to collectively improve on two important factors (which by the way are not a problem in the US for instance): First, a more "let's celebrate success" culture, more "good vibes" toward entrepreneurs. Second, in my opinion, startups need more capital and investors at later stages of their development.

    Can you give us one best souvenir & anecdote about it?
    We'd love to but we signed a non-disclosure agreement, and it does prevent us to tell a lot (laughs)! What we can say is that we learned a lot. The merger & acquisition (M&A) process is a key part of the startup life and must be more familiar to all entrepreneurs. One very important message to all startups founders is: Lead the M&A process yourself. Work with the best advisors possible. Never delegate it.

    Additional Links
    More information about Jilion
    Is your project good enough? Kick-start your startup here

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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