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  • Gamaya-crm2.jpg
    The team of Gamaya

    GAMAYA closes CHF 3.2 Million Series A to boost the deployment of their advanced crop analytics services

    Mo. 23.05.2016, 09:05

    Gamaya, a Swiss provider of a unique solution for large-scale diagnostics of farmland using hyperspectral imaging and artificial intelligence, announced it has raised 3.2 Million in a series A financing round. Investors include Sandoz Foundation, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman of Nestle), Seed4Equity (social-impact investment fund), as well as well-established Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners. All investors in this Series A round are committed to the vision of sustainable future of agricultural industry....Read more

    Gamaya responds to the need to feed 10bn people by providing a unique solution to boost the efficiency of industrial agricultural production. The startup utilises a unique constellation of patented hyperspectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence to empower industrial farming businesses with unprecedented level of situational awareness, allowing for significant cost savings, as well as improvement of quality and quantity of yield. Examples of the information products include early alerts for disease, pests and weeds, optimum rates of application for fertilisers, as well as prediction of yield. Currently, Gamaya provides a solution for soybean, corn and sugarcane growers.
     
    "Before we started working with Gamaya, there was no cost-effective way to for us to measure the impact of nematodes, outbreaks of weed and soil deficiencies during the crop cycle”, noted Nicolas Landolt of Agricert, a farm based in Brazil. “We are now able to accurately see where those problems are occurring and make real-time decisions that ensure that those problems are looked after. With a simple drone flight, Gamaya's technology allows Agricert to maximize profitability through production cost reductions and increase in overall yield.”
     
    “We believe food production to be one of the main challenges facing humanity in the future. Population growth, climate change, reduced water availability and environmental concerns will force food producers to become more and more efficient with less and less resources and Gamaya’s technology could in our view become part of the solution,” said Andres Brabeck-Letmathe, Managing Director of Glasshouse SA.
     
    Gamaya solution includes a drone-mounted hyperspectral camera, which records reflected light across dozens of separate spectral bands in the visible and the infrared range, as opposed to the three bands visible to the human eye. The camera is integrated with an analytical platform that automatically translates the data into actionable information for farmers using a simple, scalable and cost effective methodology. Agronomy-driven information products are delivered in a form of action maps and recommendations, such as nutrient content maps, as well as weed and disease diagnostics. The action maps are integrated into existing farm management platforms, and can be easily relayed to the field machinery for the necessary treatment, such as targeted spraying of chemicals and optimised distribution of fertilisers.
     
    “There is a clear imperative to address the food challenge in a sustainable manner. Consuming better also requires to produce better at all level of the food value chain,” said Taha Ben Mrad, founder and CEO of Seed4equity. “Gamaya has all the ingredients to become an instrumental actor of this change by combining state of the art technological building blocks (data, software and hardware) at the service of the Mother Nature. Farmers and further actors of this ecosystem will perceive significant qualitative and quantitative benefits.”
     
    Gamaya is a spin-off of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that was founded in 2015. The startup has won numerous prestigious awards in Switzerland and Europe, including Venture Kick; Venture: Companies for tomorrow; Swisscom Startup Challenge and CloudEO Copernicus Masters among others. Gamaya has been featured by Forbes as one of the 4 European AgTech startups with a potential to become a $1 billion dollar company. The underlying technology was developed as part of a sequence of international environmental research projects, carried out by a team of world-class scientists and technology experts, particularly, the Trans-Eurasian Flight Leman-Baikal project sponsored by the prominent Swiss explorer and philanthropist Dr. Frederik Paulsen.
     
    “Today, we are leaving in a society that is fully reliant on unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels, soil and water in order to produce food. Our future is dependent on whether we will be able to leverage technology and innovation in order to dramatically improve the efficiency of our food production methodology,” says Gamaya CEO Yosef Akhtman. “Our solution helps to increase production efficiency by providing farmers with full situational awareness of their farmland and crops.”
     
    About Gamaya
    Gamaya provides the world’s most advanced solution for large-scale diagnostics of farmland using a unique constellation of patented hyperspectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence. Gamaya farmland analytics solution improves production efficiency and risk management by facilitating optimised usage of chemicals and fertilisers, as well as reducing disease and weed-related losses. Please visit http://gamaya.com/for more information.

    A winner of many prizes
    Gamaya is a 2014 Venture Kick startup and the winner of the 2015 Swisscom StartUp Challenge, where it had the chance to find more international partners and investors in Silicon Valley. Gamaya scored other prestigious startup prizes as well, such as the rank 20 in the actual TOP100 Best Swiss Startups, as a newcomer. Gamaya won additional prizes in 2015 such as the Swiss Product Excellence Award and the »venture» competition, and it is the winner of the 2016 de Vigier Prize.

  • Portrait-Yosef-Gamaya_deVigier-2016-crm.jpg
    Yosef Akhtman, co-founder of Gamaya

    “Entrepreneurship is perhaps the only way to combine what I do best with what I enjoy doing most.”

    Mo. 23.05.2016, 09:05

    Gamaya was founded in 2015 at EPFL by founders Yosef Akhtman, Dragos Constantin and Igor Ivanov, based on technology developed as part of a series of international environmental research projects. The spin-off has now raised CHF 3.2 million to boost the deployment of its innovative hyperspectral imaging technology and carry out its commercial pilots in Brazil. We could meet Yosef in his busy schedule to talk about his entrepreneurial experience, the many business opportunities now lying ahead and the support of programs such as Venture Kick, the TOP100 and the Swisscom StartUp Challenge for his venture. ...Read more

    Hello Yosef. And congrats for the financing round! How was the idea behind Gamaya born?
    The core technology behind Gamaya was developed as part of a sequence of ambitious international environmental research projects that involved a number of laboratories at EPFL, as well as research institutes in Russia and France, and sponsored by the prominent explorer and philanthropist Dr. Frederik Paulsen. Together with my co-founder Dragos Constantin, I have spent the last few years developing hyperspectral imaging instruments and analytical software with the aim of enabling better understanding of our environment and the environmental impact of human activities in particular. You may find more information on our research on the following page http://www.elemo.ch/ulmor watch the video below:
     

    The “Leman-Baikal” project, a multi-year Swiss-Russian initiative to study and preserve freshwater resources using ultralight aircraft with cutting-edge hyperspectral imaging technology.
     
    Why did you decide to embrace the entrepreneurial path?
    The tremendous potential of the newly developed technology and its applications across multiple domains have quickly become clear to us. The only way to realise this potential was to bite the bullet and turn it into a commercial venture. For me, entrepreneurship is perhaps the only way to combine what I do best with what I enjoy doing most.
     
    You just raised CHF 3.2 million Series A to develop your novel hyperspectral imaging technology. Tell us a little bit about how you experienced the process of raising your first substantial funds.
    We’ve been extremely lucky to get noticed by some prominent investors very early on, in fact well before the company was even created. We received seed funding from angel investors as well as Venture Kick who have given us tremendous support and trusted in our potential. To some extent it was a “beginner’s luck” and for a while we thought that we would leapfrog all the hurdles and pains that many of our peer startups are going through. Then the reality kicked in and we realised that nothing comes easy. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is! In the end it was a marathon of ups and downs. We had to bootstrap and soldier on to prove our capabilities and earn the trust of investors.
     
    Can I ask you how will the money that you have just raised be used?
    The current investment will be used for the consolidation and the validation of our product for the Brazilian market. In particular, we will carry out a series of commercial pilots with large prospective clients in Brazil. This is a critical phase that will facilitate large scale deployment of our crop analytics services in this key market.
     
    What is your vision for your company? And the next steps?
    We would like to become a key player and a knowledge hub in the emerging smart agriculture industry. Today, we have a unique technology and are well positioned to build the analytical platform that would empower farmers with unprecedented level of understanding of their land and crops. This is a rapidly emerging market with some very strong organisations starting to take notice of what we are doing. So, the challenge of building the necessary momentum, while staying true to our vision will be enormous.
     
    Your high resolution cameras are already in use in Europe, Russia and Brazil. Can you tell us a little bit more about the world market potential for Gamaya?
    In fact the camera itself is only one, albeit an important component of our technology. Gamaya’s core business is to provide advanced crop analytics services to large industrial growers. Our current partners and clients include several academic institutions, but the future of Gamaya is in B2B services. Agriculture is a multi-trillion dollar global industry that is in urgent need of technological innovation and transformation towards sustainability. The specific market for analytics of farmland for precision agriculture is estimated at USD20 billion per year, in the next 10 years.
     
    Who are your main competitors, and what is your customer-type?
    Agricultural technology (AgTech) is a rapidly emerging field that is teeming with ideas and innovation. In the recent year or two, it has become the fastest growing sector for venture investments. The vast majority of this activity is based in the US. Some major startups such as Mavrx, PrecisionHawk and Airinov have received considerable funding and have gathered significant momentum in our domain. Nevertheless, the market is still very young and is largely pre-competitive. Gamaya has unique technology and knowhow, and we are confident in our ability to become a major player in this space.
     
    Our target customers in this stage are large industrial producers that are technologically savvy and are aware of the potential benefits of smart farming. We were lucky to find our ideal customer profile in Brazil and we are working very hard to make sure that we will be able to deliver the results. 

    “The astute feedback received at Venture Kick was the first clear signal that I was on the right track, and this literally kick-started the project.” 

    Among many prizes and recognitions, Gamaya is a 2014 Venture Kick startup. Can you tell us more about your experience with our program? What did it bring to you and would you recommend it to other entrepreneurs like you?
    Venture Kick played a pivotal role in the development of our startup. I can consider my first pitch to the Venture Kick jury – that I have done with minimum planning and zero entrepreneurial experience – as the birthday of Gamaya. The astute feedback received at Venture Kick was the first clear signal that I was on the right track, and this literally kick-started the project. Since the first pitch and through the multiple kickers camps, we have benefitted from the continuous support of Jordi Montserrat and his team, and had access to his advice on numerous occasions including some key strategic issues. In addition, the Venture Kick program exposed us to the local startup ecosystem and helped us connect to the prominent Business Angels and advisors, including Dave Brown, Colin Turner, Gal Messinger and Francois Stieger, who have provided and continue to provide essential advice and support for our venture.
     
    You actually came into the TOP100 ranking for the first time in 2015, at position Nr. 20 (and at position Nr. 3 in the TOP5 newcomers’ list). Did the prize help Gamaya in any way?
    The TOP100 ranking is a sign of recognition that we are very proud of. It means that we are doing at least some things right. It brings publicity and attention which is certainly important. At the same time we are keeping our feet on the ground. We don’t have a proven business yet in contrast to the many wonderful teams on and off the TOP100 list. We have a great momentum right now, but the real challenge will be to sustain it over time and turn it into value for both our clients and shareholders.
     
    You traveled to Silicon Valley in 2015 with the Swisscom StartUp Challenge. What did you bring back from the US? Is it a potential market for Gamaya?
    I think the exposure to Silicon Valley’s ecosystem is important for any aspiring entrepreneur. Particularly if they embark on building an international business. Of course, you can just hop on the plane and go explore. But the remarkable amount of effort, resources and support that you get from the venturelab and Swisscom teams gets you to an entirely different level. With their help, we have been able to meet people and explore opportunities we couldn’t have dreamt of otherwise. We are deeply grateful to Beat Schillig, Penny Schiffer and their respective teams for all the hard work and great support.
     
    The biggest take away for me was the focus on execution and scalability, the “nail it, then scale it” approach. Coming from a scientific background, it can be a little disheartening how minor a role is played by the novel technology in comparison to the crucial importance of building a reliable product that somebody really wants (or ideally needs), and then figuring out a simple, inexpensive method to deploy this product on a massive scale. Of course this is not the only way you can build a business, but this is the Silicon Valley formula. Brazil is our immediate “nail it” target market, but the US certainly is on our radar!
     
    About Gamaya
    Gamaya responds to the need to feed 10bn people by providing a unique solution to boost the efficiency of industrial agricultural production. The startup utilises a unique constellation of patented hyper spectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence to empower industrial farming businesses with unprecedented level of situational awareness, allowing for significant cost savings, as well as improvement of quality and quantity of yield. Examples of the information products include early alerts for disease, pests and weeds, optimum rates of application for fertilisers, as well as prediction of yield. Currently, Gamaya provides a solution for soybean, corn and sugarcane growers.
     
    A winner of many prizes
    Gamaya has been featured by Forbes as one of the 4 European AgTech startups with a potential to become a $1 billion dollar company. Gamaya is a 2014 Venture Kick startup and the winner of the 2015 Swisscom StartUp Challenge, where it had the chance to find more international partners and investors in Silicon Valley. Gamaya scored other prestigious startup prizes as well, such as the rank 20 in the actual TOP100 Best Swiss Startups, as a newcomer. Gamaya won additional prizes in 2015 such as the Swiss Product Excellence Award and the »venture» competition, and it is the winner of the 2016 de Vigier Prize.

  • W.A. de Vigier Award 2016: 4 Venture Kickers out of 5 laureates endowed with CHF 100’000

    Do. 19.05.2016, 15:00

    On 19th of May 2016 five Swiss startups among which 4 Venture Kickers (Nanolive, Pregnolia, Gamaya and UrbanAlps) received the W.A. de Vigier Award, each endowed with CHF 100‘000. The sought-after prize was awarded in Solothurn for the 27th time in the presence of approximately 200 guests from the fields of economy, politics and science. The technology behind the winning projects can increase crop yields, put thieves out of business and even save lives....Read more

    Roughly 200 Swiss start-ups submitted their projects for the awards of 2016. This years’ projects were evaluated according to the following criteria: the entrepreneurial spirit of the CEO, the degree of innovation, the value for society as a whole, the technical and financial viability, market prospects and the potential for job creation.

    The Venture Kick laureates:



    Nanolive AG from Ecublens (VD) – 3D research on living cells Nanolive developed a revolutionary tomographic microscope to look instantly inside living cells in 3D without damaging them. The 3D Cell Explorer is a high speed, high resolution and noninvasive microscope that can look deep inside biological systems. This allows you to record stunning 3D images of entire cells and tissue slices in just seconds and with a higher resolution than any conventional microscope on the market. Recently Nanolive won the First Lab Innovation Award at the Lab Innovation Lausanne.



    Pregnolia AG from Zurich (ZH)
    – Identifying the risk of preterm birth Preterm births are on the rise. Pregnolia developed a diagnostic tool that measures cervical stiffness in pregnant women. Monitoring cervical stiffness allows for the reliable identification of women at risk of preterm birth, thus solving the long standing problem of preterm birth risk assessment and management in pregnancy. Thanks to Pregnolia 80% of women at risk of preterm birth can be detected. Currently, the detection rate lies at only 40%.



    Gamaya AG from Ecublens (VD) 
    – 30% increase in agricultural yield Gamaya delivers large-scale analytics of farmland. Proprietary hyperspectral imaging cameras mounted on drones or manned aircrafts measure the reflectance of the crop, which allows an analysis of crop and soil characteristics. Farmers are provided with actionable information about their land and crops, which can increase profit margins by at least 30% while raising the quality of produce and making farming more sustainable.



    UrbanAlps AG from Zurich (ZH) 
    – Protection against 3D copying Today anybody can copy your house key. UrbanAlps brings the Stealth Key: an inexpensive mechanical key that is safe against 3D duplication. The solution is plain and simple: a key which hides most of its mechanical security features internally – rendering the key unscannable.

    Read the full press release

  • PolyneuronPharmaceuticals_RubenHerrendorf©TinaSturzenegger_1.png
    Ruben Herrendorff, co-founder of Polyneuron

    CHF 3 million to fight autoimmune disease

    Do. 12.05.2016, 12:00

    Polyneuron a spin-off of the University of Basel is developing a compound for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. The substances developed on the Antibody-Catch technology platform block specific antibodies that attack the body's own tissue. In June 2015, the Basel-based startup was part of the venture leaders US program in Boston and New York and won the third round of the Venture Kick initiative. If this isn't enough the startup was one of the newcomers in the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Ranking 2015. Now the team completed a financing round raising over CHF 3 million with a group of private investors together with early investors such as the EVA Basel and the ZKB....Read more

    The funding will be used to progress the further development of the company’s drug discovery platform for autoimmune diseases and the preclinical development of its lead candidate calles PN-1007 for the treatment of anti-MAG neuropathy, a devastating autoimmune disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. PN-1007 selectively targets and eliminates the disease-causing autoantibodies and potentially enables a first highly specific immunotherapy for this rare disorder with a significant unmet medical need.


    The team of Polyneuron
     
    Dr. Ruben Herrendorff, CEO and founder of Polyneuron said: “The successful closing of our seed financing round puts us in a position to rapidly develop PN-1007 towards the clinic and to further expand our Antibody-Catch® technology platform. The company team is confident that the Antibody-Catch® approach carries the potential to realize breakthrough treatments for specific autoimmune conditions – for the benefit of affected patients, which nowadays can mostly only be treated with non-selective immunosuppressive agents.”
     
    Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG is a Swiss biotech company developing carbohydrate-based drugs for the targeted treatment of autoimmune disorders affecting the nervous system. Polyneuron’s Antibody-Catch® technology platform enables the rational design of immunomodulatory compounds acing as molecular scavengers for disease-causing autoantibodies.

    Learn more about Ruben Herrendorff, co-founder of Polyneuron in the venture leaders video from 2015

  • PN Solutions.png
    The team of PN Solutions

    CatchEye.png
    Members of the CatchEye Team

    Eyes on our latest Venture Kick stage one winners

    Mo. 09.05.2016, 14:00

    We're excited to announce the winners who have made it through the first stage of Venture Kick. PN Solutions, CatchEye, Brix and drivrrr won CHF 10’000 each. And Venture Kick will allow them to expand their project and compete for CHF 20'000 next stage. Congrats!...Read more

    PN Solutions develops unique software for simulation of parasitic signals in integrated circuits for the automotive environment. Using 3D substrate models, their product is primarily intended for optimization and design of safe and robust automotive electronic systems.
     


    CatchEye's vision is to make video calls as engaging and as similar as possible to a physical meeting, increasing the feeling of trust and mutual presence between participants.Their video chat add-on can correct common issues in video calls such as missing eye contact, unfavorable lighting or a distracting background. 



    Brix is developing “SimEDU”, a 3D interactive game-based software, which can fit as a course into school extra-curricular activities. “SimEDU” is a full year course of 3D design and 3D printing designed in 12 levels for K-12 students.
     



    Get your driver‘s licence for half of the price with the virtual reality based solution drivrrr. It is a comprehensive solution to learn faster, safer and cheaper to drive a car. Don't miss the video for more information.




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    Benedikt Kirchgässler from Cyanoguard

    Prometheus.png
    The team of Prometheus

    Explore the winners of Venture Kick's second stage

    Mo. 09.05.2016, 14:00

    "Why would someone buy this?" is a question that can stump startups as they try to explain their value proposition. Fortunately for three startups pitching in the second round of Venture Kick, the answers were both compelling and realistic....Read more

    CyanoGuard has developed an innovative quick technology to detect toxic substances in food, water and other samples. The technology combines efficient, non-toxic and easy-to-use indicators for toxins with accurate detection and will improve environmental monitoring, food safety and health care in remote settings and locations.



    The idea of Prometheus is to replace whole liver transplantations by repopulating patient livers with transplantable liver cells. The technology will help to circumvent shortage of immune-compatible donor lives.




    Insolight aims to simplify sunlight concentration for photovoltaic systems (CPV) by drastically changing the way of tracking the sun throughout the year. They combine the advantages of standard solar panels mounting structure, with the high efficiency of concentrated photovoltaics.

  • flatev.png
    Team members of flatev

    Less than 2 minutes: Fresh tortilla maker on Kickstarter

    Mo. 09.05.2016, 12:00

    Flatev has created a fresh tortilla maker that enables you to cook the perfect tortilla with all the freshness, texture and consistency of the traditional homemade style in less than 2 minutes. May 3rd, the venture leaders of 2013 and Venture Kick winner 2012 has launched a 30-day campaign on Kickstarter to help cover manufacturing costs on. ...Read more

    Flatev is a cultural fusion of the delicious taste of Mexico, the reliability and precision of Swiss engineering and the iconic aesthetics of Californian design.
     
    Their pods contain a fresh ball of dough that is all organic and non-GMO, as well as free of any artificial preservatives or additives. They only source the very best natural ingredients to achieve the freshness, consistency and texture found only in handmade tortillas. Their dough pods can be refrigerated for up to 45 days.


      Founders of flatev

    Founder and CEO Carlos Ruiz says:
    “Our vision is to provide the luxury of fresh bread at the heart of every meal to everybody around the world. Our focus with this first product is with corn and flour tortillas that will come in a variety of natural flavours such as chilli and cinnamon.”
     
    Backers are able to pre-order flatev through their Kickstarter campaign, which runs through June 3rd. The earliest backers can expect special, early bird rewards that are as low as 60% off of the machine’s future retail price.

    Meet the founders:

  • anthony-aho-crm.jpg
    Anthony Aho, CEO and co-founder of PB&B (credits www.pbbtech.ch)

    2014 Venture Kick winner PB&B raises CHF 2 million

    Di. 03.05.2016, 14:00

    The Lausanne based MedTech startup, PB&B, focusing on making Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery procedures natural and minimally invasive, announced that it has raised CHF 2 million from a strategic investor in April 2016....Read more

    PB&B, winner of Venture Kick in 2014, has raised 2 million Swiss Francs. “It is an equity investment of a single strategic investor”, explained CEO and co-founder Anthony Aho.

    The funds will be used to fund on-going R&D testing and development, in the view of launching a first clinical study by Q2-2017. Since 2014, pre-clinical studies have been conducted in collaboration with scientists and doctors from EPFL and HUG (University Hospitals of Geneva).

    The company has positioned itself as a novel remodeling injection in the market of fillers and fat transfer procedures, through implementation of a market entry strategy directed towards anti-aging and facial rejuvenation of the mid-facial area. The “PB&B Technology” uses biodegradable microspheres that are loaded with lipids and later injected into the skin in a controlled manner to increase the volume of fat tissues. As a result, the process directs the patient's own tissues to naturally rejuvenate the face and diminish any wrinkles for a period of up to 20 months on average; longer than with any dermal filler.

    About PB&B
    PB&B was founded in 2013 in Ecublens, Lausanne by a group of bioengineers who are working together with Swiss academic institutes and doctors to develop their technology and products. Their passion for Aesthetics has enabled them to win a number of awards including Venture Kick, venture leaders, HUG Innovation Trophy 2014 and they have also been nominated in several others internationally.

    (source: startupticker.ch)

  • buddy-team1.png
    The BuddyBroker team: Flurin Müller and Patrick Mollet

    XING buys Venture Kick startup BuddyBroker

    Di. 03.05.2016, 14:00

    XING has acquired the 2012 Venture Kick startup BuddyBroker and its product eqipia. eqipia is the leading intelligent and automated employee referral programme in Switzerland. The purchase price is set at CHF 3.2m. ...Read more

    An earn-out payment of up to CHF 4.8m may also take effect if the operative goals are reached. BuddyBroker AG has seven employees who will all continue working for the company. Both founders, Flurin Müller (30) and Patrick Mollet (39), will stay on board to drive the product's further development. Companies like Migros, Swisscom, SBB, Zühlke, BKW (Bernische Kraftwerke) and EMC have already begun using eqipia successfully.

    Employee referrals are on the rise in HR. In the USA, around 40 percent of all new hires can be attributed to referrals from employees. Employee referrals are already the most effective recruiting tool in the German-speaking world today. Most companies have implemented a bonus programme in order to make use of employee referrals. This, however, is a manual process that is inefficient and time-consuming for both HR and employees. 

    The “eqipia ReferralManager” digitalises and automates this complex process. It analyses employees' networks, which it can access via their XING profiles, and identifies suitable colleagues using a matching algorithm. These potential candidates can then be contacted automatically via the tool, significantly reducing the workload in HR. The employees concerned receive all the important information about the vacancy and can pass this on to their contacts. HR departments then receive transparent reports about the success of the recruiting tool. They also have the option of awarding a bonus for the successful referral of a contact. 

    Read full press release here.

  • Alberto-Hernando_SThAR-crm.jpg
    Alberto Hernando, CEO of SThAR

    Xorlab003-crm.jpg
    The team of xorlab: from left to right, CTO Matthias Ganz, CEO Antonio Barresi and COO Marco Nembrini.

    Helping marketing campaigns go viral and prevent attacks from cyber criminals: two promising startups kicked by CHF 130.000 each at the Venture Kick final

    Mi. 27.04.2016, 14:00

    Two great IT startups, SThAR from EPF Lausanne and xorlab from ETH Zurich, raised CHF 130.000 each by winning the third and last round of Venture Kick. Both startups develop groundbreaking software technologies to help advertising agencies and politicians design wildfire-spreading campaigns, and companies or governments defeat cybercriminal attacks as well as cyber espionage. ...Read more

    What if an algorithm could predict collective human behavior and send the right messages to the right people, at the right time and place? For sure, marketers would like to use it to design efficient and viral advertising or electoral campaigns. Hopefully for them, SThAR has got it all. The EPFL spin-off developed a software capable of identifying where and when to deliver a message most effectively and create buzz both on traditional (offline) and online media such as social media.

    SThAR: When the laws of physics apply to marketing
    SThAR develops predictive softwares based on an emergent science called “sociothermodynamics”. Their algorithms draw on large quantities of telecommunications data from telecommunication companies (i.e. mobility, connectivity) to generate a roadmap with the best places and the best times for executing coordinated marketing actions. SThAR’s predictive models are borrowed from physics, the field of CEO Alberto Hernando: “After my PhD in quantum mechanics and complex systems, I started to study social and economic processes behind electoral results or demographics using mathematical methods. I got fairly good results about describing and predicting population flows and opinion dynamics” he explains. SThAR’s system was successfully tested during local elections in Spain and is now on its way to the market, thanks to the money of Venture Kick: “Venture Kick is not just about the money, but about the support that we found from the excellent professionals to enhance the robustness of our business strategy and make a market entry a reality”. To help him boost his venture, Hernando was recently selected in the venture leaders in Technology team of 2016. He will present his Big Data technology to American investors in June.

    xorlab: Defeat sophisticated cyber-attacks beyond conventional and easy to break solutions
    Cyber-attacks can bring companies or even states to their knees. Take the attacks on the computers of the German Federal Chancellor and the US State Department last year, or the ones on the American bank HSBC early 2016, which led to the shutdown of its e-banking and mobile services. xorlab’s innovative software solution protects against so-called “client-side attacks” such as “spear phishing”, “watering hole” attacks or “drive-by” infections, which open up a pathway to an organization's IT infrastructure and are usually the first step in a targeted attack. The product, a hardware appliance, can be integrated in the customers’ network and goes beyond conventional computer security solutions. It allows the data coming from external emails (i.e. PDFs, Word or Excel documents) and websites to be scanned, in order to check whether they try to attack the computers of an organization. The victory at Venture Kick comes at the right time for Antonio Barresi, xorlab’s CEO: “We already have two pilot customers. Now, our objective is to deploy our product’s first beta version in a productive environment.” The help of Venture Kick was substantial for Barresi to achieve his goals: “The direct feedback received at the kickers camps were very instructive and the pressure, a real driver. We were forced to dare the next strategic steps and not only focus on the technology.” 

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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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