Editorials

A symphony of efficiency

21.04.2017 12:59

What McDonalds and the Swiss fintech sector have in common.

Dear reader

Have you seen the current film The Founder? In it, Dick McDonald, one of the two founders of the eponymous fast-food chain, describes his gastroconcept as a “symphony of efficiency”. Consumers liked the music. Every day, McDonalds caters for 80 million people worldwide.

Digitalisation also promises leaps in efficiency. But it will lead to a disruptive reorganisation not only in one but in many sectors, including the finance industry. Not a day passes without reports on new initiatives, financing rounds or partnerships.

For example, yesterday Geneva-based IT company Wisekey announced that it plans to build a competence centre for blockchain technology, with Zug designated as the location. The canton in central Switzerland is fast developing into a blockchain cluster, so it is not surprising that the initiators of a new international blockchain competition come from Zug.

The Swiss insurance industry is behind this CHF100,000 competition. Together with banks and consulting firms, it is also involved in the Zurich start-up incubator F10. This week, after two years of work, the leaders drew their first conclusions.

The pressure in the sector to act is high. That is why PWC is collaborating with the crowdfunding platform Crowdli and the Raiffeisen Group with Contovista, and why Visa is opening its programming interfaces to selected fintech start-ups. All this has attracted investors: the crowdlending platform Lend has completed a Series A financing of more than CHF3.5 million. 

And there’s been a political response too. According to the Federal Council, there should be tailor-made regulations for fintech projects: the consultation process is running. Read the opinion of the highly successful Geneva incubator Fintech Fusion.

“Our ecosystem is world class,” says Dominique Gruhl-Bégin, the new Head of Start-up and Entrepreneurship at the CTI. She succeeds Vital Meyer in the post and takes over an ordered field: an external evaluation attests to the CTI’s excellent work in the area of start-up promotion. And to sing our own praises, the startupticker news portal also received high marks.

Looking ahead, the Startup Champions Seed Night 2017 will take place in Lausanne next Wednesday. My colleague Stefan Kyora will be there.

Have a good weekend.

Jost Dubacher
Editor, startupticker.ch

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