Editorials

Biotech takes Switzerland to the top

13.05.2016 14:22

In comparison with Europe, Switzerland does well in venture capital investment, thanks to biotech. But this week also showed that Switzerland is a good location for ambitious start-ups in ICT security.

Dear reader

This week Invest Europe, formerly EVCA, published figures on venture capital investment in Europe. Although these figures capture only a part of all investments, they still allow an international comparison. And it looks good for Switzerland: in relation to GDP flows in Europe, only Finland has more risk capital.

Switzerland owes its second place, ahead of Sweden, Ireland and the UK, to the large investments in life sciences companies, of which there were three this week:

Polyneuron’s seed round brought in no less than CHF3 million

AC Immune has raised more than CHF40 million

NovImmune, which reported a financing round of CHF30 million in January, has reported another CHF30 million

In addition, there was news in terms of exits. The Lausanne-based Sompharmaceuticals has been taken over by Amryt Pharma, listed on the London stock exchange.

The numbers seen in the ICT industry are normally less good. But this week brought an example of an area that could position Switzerland at the top of the international ICT business. Sirin Labs, the Israeli data protection start-up, has chosen Switzerland as the location for its headquarters and managing office. Sirin Labs is planning to bring a smartphone to market that combines the highest standards in privacy protection with excellence in other performance criteria. In order to implement this, the internationally positioned company has already raised $72 million.

Anyone wanting an international challenge currently has two opportunities. You have until Sunday to sign up for the Swisscom Startup Challenge and win an individual business development trip to Silicon Valley. Or you can make the leap from lab to market at the AIT camps in India and Brazil together with venturelab and swissnex: the application deadline is 20 May.

The Swiss ICT Award is also important: it represents an ideal platform in which to get to know the Swiss IT scene and network with decision makers. Moritz Zumbühl, whose game studio Blindflug won the Startup Award last year, stresses the great benefits of the prize in our current article on the start-up. In addition to classic IT companies, start-ups from other sectors in which ICT plays a key role are also invited to participate. Applications close on 22 May.

Have a relaxing long weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Managing Editor, startupticker.ch

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