Editorials

Greater maturity brings faster growth

02.03.2018 14:41

A new CHF 100 million fund for life sciences start-ups, two IPO announcements, investment from Silicon Valley and a Google programme for start-ups from all over the world in Zurich. The week illustrated impressively how mature the Swiss start-up ecosystem has become – and the momentum is not diminishing but seems to increase with age.

Dear reader

This week, BioMedPartners from Basel closed the third BioMedInvest fund: CHF 100 million is now available for investment in healthcare start-ups. The track record was a key reason why well-known investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), Berner Kantonalbank and Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank entrusted their money to the fund. BioMedPartners has been active for 15 years, demonstrating that it can generate a financial return for its donors and thus building trust.

Sensirion is already 20 years old: the ETH spin-off was one of the first start-ups to benefit from the slowly emerging Swiss start-up ecosystem in the late 1990s, and now it has announced its IPO. Medtech company Medartis, founded in 1997, is also aiming to go public. These examples show that an internationally significant start-up hotspot can not be created in just a few months, but takes decades to appear.

However, developments seem to accelerate as the ecosystem matures. The IFZ Fintech Study 2018, published this week, shows the progress of the Swiss fintech scene and how it stands in international comparison. Switzerland is one of the world’s leading hotspots, especially in the areas of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Switzerland’s international visibility in March is sure to include the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange programme for start-ups in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Ten start-ups from all over the world have now been selected for the programme organised by Impact Hub Zurich.

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley investors have Switzerland on their radar. This week, Piavita completed a $5.5 million financing round that included True Ventures and Fyrfly. For Fyrfly, it is the third investment in a Swiss start-up following Altoida and Beekeeper.

And this week Tamedia made an investment in Gowago, the marketplace for car buyers, shortly after the launch. We talk to Gowago CEO Rutger Verhoef about how it came about.

The application deadline for venture leaders Life Sciences expires this Monday, but applications for venture leaders China are open until 19 March. These and other deadlines can be found in our awards list in the assets section. Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the redesigned Innosuisse training courses for Business Creation and Business Growth: the first courses start in March.

Have a creative weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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