Editorials

Not always spin-offs

18.08.2017 14:37

In addition to university spin-offs, numerous start-ups in Switzerland are also founded by businesspeople and engineers with experience. This week, a number of award winners and financing rounds caused a sensation.

Dear reader

Two or three founders who establish a company with a technology developed during their university doctoral studies – that is the picture most people have of start-ups in Switzerland. But it is only part of the reality and the five winners of the Swisscom Startup Challenge provide a very clear example of this. All five start-ups have the potential to succeed in Silicon Valley and amaze investors and business partners, but none is a classic university spin-off. (Article in French and German)

The advantage of these start-ups is that the founder team already has valuable experience in business life and contacts. And the skills of the Swiss universities are just as much available to them as they are to a spin-off. So it is not surprising that this week a number of high-tech start-ups that are not classic spin-offs made the headlines.

Komed Health has not only completed a seed funding round and strengthened its board of directors, but also launched proof-of-concept projects in several hospitals. Pharma start-up Vicarius, which helps innovative US companies commercialise their products for the European market, collected CHF21 million from investors.

Blockchain companies also had encouraging activities. Modum started a fundraising campaign with a pre-sale and has already collected $1.25 million. And the US bitcoin start-up Breadwallet will move its headquarters to Switzerland after a round of financing.

Young companies with state-of-the-art technology, deep-tech firms, will in future have space in a centre in Bern. An association supported by numerous individuals with start-up experience wants to build an incubator there.

As every year, Swiss Startup Days will take place in Bern in October. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann will once again make the keynote speech and many of the accustomed highlights will take place on the second day. But there are also some important innovations. For the first time, the event will take place over two full days. On the first evening, a start-up night organised by the ETH Entrepreneur Club will take place, and on the second day start-up supporters will award the Musketeer Award.

I would like to remind you of the deadline for the Swiss Technology Award – you can apply until 25 August.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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