Editorials

It depends...

16.06.2017 14:27

This week the media carried numerous reports on the Swiss start-up scene. The question always arises as to how well Switzerland stands out in international comparison. Well, it depends.

Dear reader

The Geneva-based company MaxiVAX is currently testing a new approach to personalised cancer therapy. The approach is based on research at Geneva University Hospital and EPFL, and combines a vaccine with a targeted strengthening of the patient’s immune system. The first test results have been impressive. The young biotech company won the CTI Swiss Medtech Award this year together with Geneva University Hospital.

The award was presented at the Swiss Medtech Event, where one of the keynote speeches was given by Eric Amble, founder and CEO of Neomed. The investor revealed that Swiss life sciences start-ups can offer lucrative investment opportunities: the value of Neomed’s investment in Actelion has increased 30-fold.

This week the media carried many interesting contributions on Swiss start-ups, which prompts the question of how Switzerland stands in international comparison. The answer is not straightforward. Of course there are weaknesses and weaker sectors, but there are also many strengths – and not just in the life sciences.

Blockchain is a good example. Zug-based Crypto Fund AG is launching a fund that invests in the most important crypto currencies, such as bitcoin, ethers, ripples and others. It is the first diversified investment vehicle in this sector. In addition, the 10 start-ups selected this week for the venture leaders Fintech show how well Switzerland is doing in this sphere.

In the legaltech sector, we reported this week on the merger between Skuani and NextLex and their new digital law firm. The edtech sector – the use of digitalisation in education – is also developing In an interesting direction: thousands of Thymio learning robots already navigate schools and children’s rooms, and this week Kickstart Accelerator and EPFL announced a new edtech program.

The second UBS Future of Finance Challenge also started this week, and is looking for fintech start-ups.

The registration periods for other important programmes and awards are approaching their end. The deadline for the StartCup Ticino expire shortly. Registration is open until 30 June for both the life sciences accelerator Baselaunch and the seif Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.

Next week, a series of interesting events takes place: the prize-giving ceremony for the competition venture will be held on Monday - Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann will share his perspectives on innovation and entrepreneurship -, the Swiss-South African venture leaders pitchfest takes place on Wednesday, and on Thursday you can meet me in St. Gallen at the Investors Forum. Find further events in our event calendar.

Have a quiet summer weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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11.08.2017
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