Editorials

Support at home and away

20.07.2018 14:26

Swiss start-ups can attract major companies from home and abroad. Even teams that are still in the start-up phase have what it takes to win global competitions.

Dear reader

Participants from 12 countries, 30 start-ups, five intrapreneurship teams: the field in this year’s Kickstart Accelerator could hardly be more diverse. All the selected teams, in addition to the novelty of their products and their entrepreneurial spirit, are united by the will to innovate in large companies.

Not only start-up founders are able to receive support, individuals that have innovative solutions and are aspiring to become founders can benefit too. This week the University of Zurich (UZH) completed the first innovators camp in which five teams of students from UZH, ETH and ZHDK participated. Through an intensive week-long programme, the teams gained a better insight into entrepreneurship and establishing a business. Two teams were awarded at the end.

The strength of these young teams is shown by Voliro. The team from ETH Zurich, which has not yet formally established a start-up, was able to outcompete its opponents at the Krypto Labs’ Drone Innovation Startup contest in Dubai, winning itself USD 500,000 in funding.

Swiss start-ups can also attract foreign major companies: micro-handling pioneer Touchless Automation has signed its first large customers from the US, and SkyCell, the start-up that develops temperature-controlled containers for pharma companies, has joined forces with DuPont.

Other start-ups are on the go abroad. Logistics start-up Annanow has already acquired Fleurop and Globus as customers in Switzerland, and recently opened a branch in Vienna. Zippsafe, which makes space-efficient storage/wardrobe systems, concluded a financing round of CHF 1.1 million that will drive its European expansion forward.

As pleasing as all these achievements are, Switzerland still needs to learn from other countries in order to boost its start-up scene. Israel is an excellent example, as Samuel Scheer, an Israeli serial entrepreneur, demonstrates. In his guest contribution, he summarises what Switzerland could learn from this country.

Talking of role models, Adam Sterling, a venture capital expert from Silicon Valley, talked to us about the growing interest of US investors in European start-ups, and gives tangible tips to Swiss start-up companies on the search for money. More first-hand information will be available in August at Venture Capital Academy Switzerland presented by SGE and UC Berkeley, at which Sterling will be a speaker.

Sign up now for Startup DAYs, which will take place on 25 and 26 September in Bern. Early bird tickets are still available. And several deadlines are approaching: Climate-KIC Accelerator on 29 July, the Blockchain Competition on 31 July, and the Ticino Boldbrain Challenge on 5 August.

Have a good weekend
Ritah Ayebare Nyakato

Editor Startupticker.ch

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