Editorials

The customer points the way

23.11.2018 15:57

Swiss start-ups have learned to listen to customer feedback when developing their products. Several articles this week show how this looks in practice and the success that can be achieved.

Dear reader

ANYmal, the four-legged robot of ETH Zurich spin-off ANYbotics, is in demand. The young company is already generating revenue, although only a fully functional prototype has been developed so far. The prototype is used to explore the applications of legged robots in different industrial sectors, including spectacular tasks such as the inspection of an offshore wind energy platform in the North Sea, a task that ANYmal was the first autonomous robot to perform.

Testing a product with customers early on is a strategy common among start-ups today. However, B2B start-ups are faced with the challenge of attracting the attention of a major customer before any tests can be made. Company competitions and accelerator programmes, in which Swiss start-ups can succeed internationally, can help. For example, the billion-euro group Douglas now integrates and tests software from Skin Match, after the company won an award from the beauty retailer. And insurtech start-up vlot will soon be included in two accelerator programmes at the renowned Plug and Play, which is supported by numerous corporations.

Livingdocs has already attracted customers such as NZZ and Süddeutsche Zeitung with its content management system. Now the start-up is aiming for the mass market with a version for clubs, companies, blog operators and media agencies. Livingdocs is also relying on tests: the public beta version is now available.

If you listen to your customers consistently, you have to change your business model from time to time. That’s exactly what the founders of PapayaPods and Joineer have done; they talk about their experiences and successes after their Pivots in our articles.

In addition, this week Swiss Technology Award and the Digital Economy Awards made important awards. Among the winners are four start-up companies that well represent the strengths of Swiss start-ups: Lunaphore, Seervision, Auterion and Modum. Their business fields range from medtech and robotics to drones and logistics.

Two important competitions are now open: Venture Leaders Technology is again looking for 10 ambitious start-ups that want to immerse themselves in Silicon Valley for a week. Applications for the Venture Leaders mobile are also open until 2 December. And registration for the Swiss Economic Award was also launched this week.

Next week, Investors Forum takes place in St. Gallen on Monday with Energy Startup Day in Zurich on Thursday.

Have a fog-free weekend

Stefan Kyora
Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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