Editorials

Global growth – stay Swiss

28.09.2018 14:56

Is Switzerland making progress in keeping fast-growing start-ups and technologies with great business potential in Switzerland? Yes is the answer, if you follow this week’s news.

Dear reader

Swiss eyewear label VIU, which was created just five years ago, is on course for European expansion. Recently, a flagship store was opened in Sweden; in total, VIU now has 39 of these stores and employs 250 people. In addition, the start-up is a pioneer in 3D printing: 10% of the prescription lenses that VIU sells come customised from the 3D printer.

In Zug, newly founded SEBA Crypto AG is building a bank that will connect the world of cryptocurrencies with the traditional financial world. A financing round of CHF 100 million is providing the necessary seed capital.

Such successes also motivate younger entrepreneurs to think bigger. The pitching battle at Swiss Startup DAYs saw many very ambitious start-ups, including in particular Swiss Vault Systems. The pitch from Bhupinder Bhullar triggered critical questions from experts and investors, but he was able to answer them with ease. In the end, he prevailed and won CHF 50,000 in cash.

The pitching battle was just one highlight of Startup DAYs. Others included the appearance of Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann, hundreds of planned and ad hoc one-to-one meetings, and interesting and controversial panel discussions, which pointed up challenges such as the lack of digitalisation in the school curriculum and the still scarce venture capital.

At least in terms of investment, there was reason for hope this week. Not only were there a particularly large number of financing rounds, but in most Swiss investors had a leading role. For example, Tamedia invested in the blockchain start-up Lykke, the Bertarelli fund Forestay joined BlueBotics, BioMedPartners was the lead investor at Tolremo.

DiVentures was the co-lead investors at fintech firm Futurae and Redalpine at digital health start-up aktiiaWith the Swiss investors, the probability that the start-ups remain in Switzerland increases.

In this week’s background stories and interviews, learn how Smartwatcher is expanding, the start-ups tips from Felix Moesner of swissnex China, and the conclusions the funding initiative Innovaud has drawn after five years. Reading material is also available from digitalswitzerland in yesterday’s announcement of the 100 Digital Shapers 2018.

In the coming week, the fintech conference Fintech Plus takes place on Monday and Tuesday, Winterthur Startup Night on Friday and Technopark Zurich’s open day on Saturday.

Last but not least, an opportunity that should not be missed: Swiss Fintech Awards has launched the registration phase for the 2019 awards. 

Have a sunny weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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