Editorials

Growing ambitions

04.01.2019 14:59

Swiss start-ups, and the start-up scene as a whole, are becoming more ambitious – which increases international attention.

Dear reader

It is no secret that the quality and quantity of Swiss start-ups is now at a high level. This can be seen, for example, in the 20 companies newly funded by the SME instrument from the EU research programme Horizon2020, the five spin-offs that received interest-free loans from the Swiss Federal Foundation for Promotion of the National Economy in 2018, and the two newest winners of Venture Kick – Resistell and Positrigo.

It is precisely this impressive depth and diversity of innovation that visitors to CES, the world’s largest tech show in Las Vegas, can experience live next week. A good 30 companies are exhibiting there, most of them start-ups. At the heart of the show is the Swiss Pavilion, which is at CES for the first time. This appearance shows the increasing importance of the Swiss start-up scene and its growing ambitions.

At the same time, the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, an annual rendezvous in the life sciences industry, will take place in San Francisco. Businesses use the conference and its run-up to spotlight important announcements. Sophia Genetics is one such this year: the digital health company today announced the closing of a USD 77 million financing round, and is thus on course for its planned IPO.

An appearance at CES or a major financing round such that of as Sophia Genetics contribute to the growing international perception of Switzerland as a start-up location. Switzerland is already on the map with companies from the crypto sector, and this week another prominent arrival was reported. Lamassu, one of the three leading manufacturers of bitcoin ATMs, has relocated its headquarters to canton Lucerne.

Particularly ambitious start-ups can give awards a boost. The registration deadlines for several important prizes will expire shortly. Applications are open for Venture Leaders Technology only until Sunday: winners of the business development trip to Silicon Valley will meet high-profile investors. The WA de Vigier Foundation prize closes on Monday – it celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019. More awards can be found in our awards directory. Speaking of awards, you can meet my colleague Ritah Nyakato at the Swiss final of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in Zurich on Friday.

All the best for 2019.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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