Editorials

Fearless founders

13.02.2015 14:31

Fear of failure does not stop the Swiss from establishing start-ups. So says the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. More from GEM, plus success stories of intrepid entrepreneurs such as Phillipe Dro in the newsletter.

Dear reader

With a turnover of CHF30 billion, GSK is one of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical business. This week, the British group went on a shopping spree in Switzerland and took over the young biotech company Glycovaxyn for about CHF200 million. Philippe Dro is the CEO of Glycovaxyn and he has a remarkable CV by Swiss standards. Dro is the former CEO of Endoart, a medical technology company that was bought in 2007 by Allergan for more than CHF120 million, and before that he was COO and member of the founding team of AXOVAN, a drug discovery company that was acquired ultimately by Actelion.

There are still too few start-up managers like Dro in Switzerland. As the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found, one reason might be that start-ups appeal to relatively few people as an attractive career option. GEM also provides numerous analyses of start-ups around the world and the position of Switzerland in international comparison, and turns up a surprising fact: it turns out that fear of failure discourages only a few Swiss from starting a new business. GEM’s Swiss report, published in April, will offer more information about the peculiarities of the Swiss in terms of company formation.

Another interesting question is answered in a recent survey by ETH Zurich and SECA: does the strong franc hinder start-ups? In addition to the link to the survey, our article contains further information, tips and background information on the strength of the Swiss currency.

Alongside analysis and studies, start-ups also made headlines this week. TVP Solar closed a financing round of CHF5.9 million in order to enter the manufacturing stage. And the social TV station joiz is taking part in Skim, which will make Skim the leading flirt app in Europe. The story of Lausanne bistrots Ta Cave is also interesting: the three founders collected CHF200,000 per crowdfunding for the launch of their restaurants.

Finally, some information on dates that should not be missed: the deadline for applications for venture leaders USA is 1 March; a competition for start-ups in the field of children and young people has just been launched, along with the 22nd Zentralschweizer Neuunternehmerpreis.

Next week sees a noteworthy SECA event on studies and statistics related to start-ups and in Basel an informational event promises to shed light on crowdfunding. Also in the pipeline are three Startup Weekends in Lausanne, Biel and Lucerne.

Have a happy Fasnacht weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Managing Editor, startupticker.ch

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