Editorials

Cultural change is a reality

25.08.2017 13:51

Swiss founders are often criticised for their lack of risk appetite. However, the number of ambitious start-ups that address large global markets is growing.

Dear reader

Strong growth, 30,000 downloads, international attention and a pre-seed round of just over CHF1 million – the Swiss start-up Fennex has achieved all this in the past two months. The Fennex app transforms cordless earphones into hearing aids for those with mild hearing loss and who have difficulty following conversation in a noisy environment.

Fennex is targeting a large global consumer market, and it is not alone. NEEO has developed a universal remote control that is truly universal. In 2015, the company collected more than $1.5 million in a spectacular crowdfunding campaign. The first remote controls were delivered a week ago.

Yamo produces and markets fresh baby food. The Lucerne start-up has made a successful entry into the market and has now also attracted investors; remarkably, they include several serial entrepreneurs from the internet sector, who seem to see in yamo a similar dynamism as in internet start-ups.

These examples show that a cultural change is already taking place in more ambitious projects in Switzerland. They are driven by determined entrepreneurs and not least also serial entrepreneurs, who want to start again after selling a start-up. Among them is Dacuda co-founder Michael Born, who is building up a second start-up with a small team of experienced Dacuda employees.

The potential for global start-ups in Switzerland is great. We talked to Christina Kehl and Urs Häusler from Swiss Finance Startups about this potential in the fintech sector, and also about the obstacles that face Swiss start-ups in general, and whether and how they should be encouraged. More information and discussions will be available at Swiss Fintech Day on 4 September.

On 19 September, Swiss Startup Invest’s Swiss Venture Day Romandie will take place at EPFL. In addition to pitches from 20 hand-picked start-ups, it offers two keynotes by EPFL president Martin Vetterli and digitalswitzerland managing director Nicolas Bürer, and the possibility of one-to-one meetings. More than 100 people have already registered.

In the next few weeks, two start-up events will take place in Lucerne: Startup Tag Zentralschweiz on 29 August, and Technopark Talk Plus on 31 August – with, incidentally, yamo. You can meet us at these two events and at the ETH Industry Day, which is in Zurich also on 29 August.

Have a sunny weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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