Editorials

From transfer to growth

21.12.2018 15:15

A new growth fund, 10 rounds of financing and more money for Venture Kick. The Swiss start-up year ends with a real final spurt.

Dear reader

The inventions are made in Switzerland, but the exploitation happens elsewhere – this has long been the defining pattern of innovation based on Swiss research. But the pattern has now changed fundamentally. An important role has been played by Venture Kick: over the last 10 years or so, the globally unique private initiative has supported 600 spin-offs from Swiss universities with CHF 25 million of seed capital. Now the support is intensified once again. In 2019, more than CHF 4 million will flow into spin-offs, 36% more than this year. Pascale Vonmont, president of Venture Kick’s Strategy Board, explains why the seed phase takes more money and what’s start-up-friendly about the Venture Kick model.

Fortunately, start-up financing is also having some impact at the other end: Swisscanto Invest, a subsidiary of Zürcher Kantonalbank, announced this week that the new Swisscanto Growth Fund has already received CHF 150 million. The acquisition of funds went faster than planned and initial investment in start-ups in the growth phase is expected to follow soon.

That the pipeline is well filled with suitable start-ups for a growth fund was clearly evident this week –  startupticker reported on no fewer than 10 financing rounds. The range of companies is extremely broad, from biotech company Cellestia to artificial intelligence start-up Nnaisense and IT firms such as Nezasa and Monito to agritech company  AgroSustain.

Another exciting insight into the Swiss deep-tech start-up pipeline is provided each year by the winners of the IMD Startup Competition. This year, 27 promising start-up companies have been selected.

Speaking of prizes, the deadlines for various important awards are getting closer, including Venture Leaders Technology (the winners will travel to Silicon Valley), the WA de Vigier Foundation Award (the prize in 2019 will be the 30th award from the foundation), the Global Student Entrepreneurship Award and the Climate-KIC Accelerator programme. By the way, you can apply for Venture Kick at any time.

Finally, two messages from us. Together with the investor association SECA, we are already working on the Swiss Venture Capital Report 2018. We will present the results on 29 January in Zurich and 30 January in Lausanne, at two morning events. You can sign up now.

We are taking a break over the holidays too, but will provide you with news on the working days between Christmas and New Year. The next newsletter will appear on 4 January.

Happy festive greetings to everyone.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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