Editorials

The strength of the home market

27.04.2018 14:31

The Swiss market is small, but has world-renowned players. Not a bad starting point for start-ups, particularly since collaboration between established and new companies is increasing.

Dear reader

On has achieved in a few years what most Swiss start-ups can only dream of. The innovative running shoes are turning the global market upside down. More than three million runners use On footwear worldwide and its export rate is 90%. For this, On has received the Export Award.

It is the usual recipe for Swiss companies that want to grow fast: a quick venture into foreign markets. The eight start-ups that will appear at the final of the 2018 Sports Technology Awards in London on 3 May are looking to emulate On’s showpiece example.

But although the home market for Swiss start-ups may be too small for rapid growth, it has an important advantage: anyone who succeeds here benefits from Switzerland’s reputation. The fact that a new product or service has attracted Swiss customers serves as a marketing argument worldwide and a first-class reference; for example, Swiss bank Julius Baer’s full subscription to the first diversified Swiss crowdlending bond from fintech start-up Lendity.

This applies in particular to innovations around the blockchain, a technology that still causes uncertainty. However, several major Swiss companies are investing in the blockchain company Metaco and Swiss Post is testing modum’s blockchain logistics solution, both of which should provide confidence abroad. Further such investment and collaboration will be facilitated by the crypto cluster that is emerging in Switzerland and which includes not only large corporations and start-ups, but also politicians and associations, as demonstrated at the Blockchain Summit this week. An encouraging sign also is that Zurich and Zug’s fintech and crypto scene are joining forces with the new partnership between F10 and Crypto Valley Labs.

The Swiss medtech cluster shows how a Swiss industry can gain international recognition and this can be experienced live at Swiss Medtech Day on 12 June. Two start-ups have been nominated for the Swiss Medtech Award – AVA and Xeltis. The keynote speech by Marco Gadola, CEO of the Straumann Group is also likely to be interesting.

Of course, start-ups working in a cluster with other players does not mean that they do not challenge the established players. A current example is neon Switzerland: the start-up is developing a banking app and this week brought a well-known business angel and the innovation foundation of Schwyzer Kantonalbank on board as investors.

Next week, you can meet us on Wednesday at the Startup Champions Seed Night in Lausanne and on Thursday at Swiss Biotech Day. In addition, several deadlines expire next week – in particular, the application deadline for venture leaders Fintech ends on 6 May. The winners will travel to New York in September for a business development programme.

Have a good weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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