Editorials

Hollywood and unicorns rely on Swiss start-ups

17.02.2017 13:04

In their worldwide search for technologies, large Hollywood studios such as MGM have found their way into Switzerland – and an American unicorn grabs its chance in Zurich.

Dear reader

Steven Spielberg, one of the most successful film directors and producers of all time, has now teamed up with Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox and MGM to invest in a new start-up: Dreamscape Immersive. The company will help virtual reality make a breakthrough in the entertainment industry. The start-up is based in Los Angeles and Geneva, and its technology comes from Swiss company Artanim. Artanim co-founders Caecilia Charbonnier and Sylvain Chagué are also co-founders of Dreamscape.

Magic Leap’s investors are as similarly prominent as those of Dreamscape. The start-up from Florida has collected more than $1 billion from donors such as Google and Alibaba. In the search for new technology, however, the unicorn found it in Switzerland: it bought the 3D division of ETH spin-off Dacuda.

Everyone knows that good technology is developed here in Switzerland, but when Hollywood and American unicorns come to this country to access it, it means that the technology is not simply good but the best worldwide.

But it’s not only US companies buying in Switzerland, Swiss companies are also growing through acquisitions. This week Symetis from western Switzerland acquired a US medtech company.

Organic growth has been reported by Sophia Genetics and SensoPro: Sophia Genetics has achieved success in South America, while SensoPro, thanks to the right sales partner, is conquering Germany with its innovative training device.

Haelixa and SensArs also offer unique technologies: the two spin-offs of ETH Zurich and EPFL both won CHF130,000 in the final of venture kick this week.

Speaking of awards, the deadlines for venture leaders China and venture leaders Life Sciences, which is going to Boston, are coming to an end. You can also apply for the START Summiteer, the award given at the START Summit in St. Gallen and which has had its prize money doubled to CHF20,000.

I would also like to point out a pitching event with renowned international investors in Zurich in late February, for which start-ups can now apply.

In its CTI Entrepreneurship training programme the CTI offers courses for the business men and women of tomorrow. The programme is divided into four integrated modules. The courses in module 3 and 4 should continue after 2018, but be adapted with a stronger sector-specific focus. Potential service providers can submit their bids until 7 April 2017.

Finally, some news of our own: we are looking for support for our online editorial team in Lucerne and applications are now open. And startupticker also welcomes two new Supporters: canton Aargau and be-advanced, canton Bern’s innovation agency.

Have a sunny weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, startupticker.ch

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