Editorials

Corporates get fit with corporate venturing

14.08.2015 16:14

Corporate venturing used to involve almost exclusively companies from the life sciences. Now larger companies from all sectors are looking for clever start-ups with innovations that they can use to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Dear reader

Pharmaceutical and medtech companies have been doing it for a long time: corporate venturing. They provide innovative start-ups with venture capital for development and growth activities, and thus secure direct access to new technologies, innovative products and services, as well as additional research and development capabilities.

The example of the life sciences industry set the standard, but over the past decade more and more companies of all industries have come to rely on corporate venturing, including Swisscom, Logitech, ABB, Bühler, BKW, PostFinance, SIX and, more recently, UBS. UBS is launching a public competition in which the winners of the new ‘The UBS Future of Finance Challenge’ will receive cash prizes and support to the value of $300,000.

Swisscom has been in the corporate venturing business since 2007 when it established Swisscom Ventures, an independent venture capital division. To get to the really best innovation projects even faster, it now runs an annual competition, the Swisscom Start-up Challenge. The five winners of today’s final round, on which startupticker.ch reports, will take part in a Business Acceleration Program in Silicon Valley. Convincing projects can also hope for an investment by Swisscom Ventures.

PostFinance has issued invitations to its second hackathon at the end of September, this year on the theme ‘The Future of Finance’. Teams can win prizes worth CHF40,000 and there is also the opportunity to develop their ideas in cooperation with PostFinance with an implementation capital of CHF50,000. Applications are open until 11 September.

ETH spin-off Archilogic reported an investment of more than $1.5m this week. The Zurich start-up offers a technology that can convert the floor plans of buildings into 3D models. The software tool is highly coveted in the property industry.

Valais-based Inflamalps has won new capital to the tune of CHF1.8 million. The biopharmaceutical company develops novel medicines to treat inflammation with a focus on chronic inflammatory diseases of the eye and the skin.

Start-ups must react immediately if they wish to participate in the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference, Israel’s largest international high-tech gathering. The Nomads Foundation invites three promising Swiss start-up founders to join the Swiss delegation to the DLD Innovation Festival for free. Application deadline: 17 August.

And, finally, other important deadlines for grants and awards: the deadline for the Zug Innovation Award expires today, 14 August. The new FintechPitch with prize money of CHF10,000 is open until 24 August. Aspiring winners of the Swiss Technology Award at the Swiss Innovation Forum in Basel in November have until the end of August to apply. The WA de Vigier Foundation’s Young Entrepreneur Award, which gives capital of CHF100,000 each to five start-ups, runs until the end of September.

Have a good weekend.

Claus Niedermann
Editor-in-chief startupticker.ch

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