Editorials

Grass-roots Switzerland

01.09.2017 14:38

More and more companies and organisations are discovering start-ups. This makes the Swiss start-up scene somewhat confusing, but ultimately should lead to an ecosystem that is more broadly supported and probably more sustainable than start-up scenes characterised by top-down initiatives.

Dear reader

Starting in the middle of September, Swiss start-ups can be seen on television. GetYourGuide co-founder Pascal Mathis and the entrepreneur Sunnie Groeneveld will tour through Switzerland looking for promising young companies. The series will run on SAT.1 and ProSieben. The TV channel is just one of three new players that this week became part of the Swiss start-up ecosystem.

The second made an appearance at the University of Zurich. The UZH Life Sciences Fund announced its first investment: CUTISS received CHF1 million. In total, the fund, which works with funds from the UZH Foundation and the Novartis Venture Fund, plans to invest CHF20 million.

The fintech industry was responsible for the third new start. ASSEPRO is the first large Swiss insurance broker to participate in a fintech company – specifically Esurance.ch, a fast-growing start-up focusing on digital insurance management.

The week is typical for Switzerland. Not only because it shows the dynamism in the start-up environment, but also because the Swiss ecosystem is not distinguished by top-down initiatives, but by ever-increasing bottom-up projects.

This has created a scene that is gaining increasing international attention. For example, start-ups from 35 countries were interested in Kickstart Accelerator’s first EdTech programme. The 10 participants to make it into the programme were selected this week. In addition, another blockchain start-up has relocated its headquarters to Switzerland.

Such success is also due to the pioneers of the Swiss start-up scene, such as Swisscom Ventures. Swisscom’s venture capital arm was involved in the sale of the cloud host Exoscale to Telekom Austria this week.

One of the pioneers is Venture Kick, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. This week, Exeon Analytics received another start-up CHF130,000 from the programme. Speaking of Venture Kick, a public vote is currently taking place, in which the initiative is looking for the best start-ups from the last 10 years.

Next week you can meet us at Swiss Fintech Day on Monday and at the prize-giving awards for the Top 100 on Wednesday. We will be tweeting live from both events. This weekend, you can also discover fascinating technologies in Lausanne and Zurich: the first Drone Days will take place at EPFL and Scientifica at ETH and the University of Zurich.

Have an inspiring weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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