Editorials

Give the people what they want

22.03.2019 14:54

Swiss start-ups have learned to orient themselves to real consumer needs successfully.

Dear reader

Transmission of sporting events is becoming increasingly popular and the advertising cake ever larger. But there is one problem: the advertising in the stadium, which the spectators see on the screens, is the same for everyone. Until now. Swiss start-up uniqFEED has developed a technology that enables virtual advertising. Spectators in different countries see advertisements tailored specifically to their market on banners or in the space itself. The system has recently proven itself in a first live transmission and the demand is great.

The Propulsion Academy also meets a real need. It trains people with diverse backgrounds as urgently needed web developers and data scientists in intensive courses. The business is thriving: 200 people, who usually pay for the course themselves, have already participated.

The winners of this year’s Spark Award make drinking water safer. They have developed a cost-effective membrane that filters fluoride particularly effectively. The market is huge: 260 million people around the world live in areas where the drinking water contains too much fluoride. Since one of the co-inventors has already founded a start-up, commercialisation is anticipated.

The Spark Award honours the best inventions made at ETH Zurich in the previous year – in total, more than 220. The high number leads to more and more start-ups, so it is no wonder that the number of applications for awards such as the W. A. de Vigier Foundation has increased. Of the 256 original applications, 17 start-ups are now on the short list.

Thirteen Swiss start-ups are involved in new projects funded by the EU’s Eurostars programme. Although they are also deep-tech start-ups, as are the finalists of the de Vigier Awards, there is no overlap between the two lists – a clear indication of the growing number of promising science-based companies. So it is not surprising that Switzerland is now in fourth place in terms of venture capital investment in Europe, as a new survey by EY shows.

The chances are good that the positive development will continue due to technological excellence and customer orientation. Those who want to experience the latter first-hand should come to Zurich’s main railway station at the weekend. There, start-ups test their prototypes with the passers-by.

The deadlines for various awards expire at the end of March: the seif Awards – Tech for Impact, the Swiss Innovation Challenge and the Cantonal Bank of Valais’s Prix Créateurs. Also until 31 March, life science companies can apply for a place in the StartLab at Biopôle life sciences centre. Applications can be made at any time for Venture Kick.

Next week we will be at the CV Labs Open House in Zug on Tuesday, at the Female Founder Drinks in Zurich on Wednesday, and at the LogTech Innovation Day in Basel on Thursday.

Registration for Venture Day in Zurich on 16 April is open, as is registration for Startup Days, which will take place this year at the end of May. Early bird tickets are still available.

Have a sunny weekend.

Stefan Kyora
Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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