The smartest heads for Switzerland

21.09.2018 14:44

Switzerland is interested in foreign founders and investors. And Bern, too, wants to make it easier for companies to hire foreign graduates from Swiss universities.

Dear reader

The big role played by the Swiss start-up scene in the local innovation landscape was demonstrated this week by the finalists of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In total, entrepreneurs from 12 companies were nominated for the final. Eight of these 12 companies are less than 10 years’ old, and two more are spin-offs from the ETH Domain.

This strength is being noticed more and more internationally, leading to relocations and spectacular investments. WayRay closed a USD 80 million financing round this week, with investors including Porsche, Hyundai, Alibaba and JVCKenwood. The company with its headquarters in Zurich and a Russian founder develops holographic displays that should make the car dashboard superfluous.

Several programmes are working to bring more foreign founders to Switzerland. This week, CV VC launched a new incubator for blockchain companies: three programmes, each with 20 start-ups, will be carried out per year.

Startup DAYs, which takes place next week in Bern, is also developing into an international meeting place. For example, start-ups from more than 25 countries will participate in the pitch competition. Naturally, representatives of the entire Swiss start-up scene will be there and the team from startupticker will report live. More than 750 participants have already registered, again more than last year – and registration for the unmissable event of the Swiss start-up scene is still open.

More good news related to the internationality of the Swiss start-up scene came from parliament this week. The National Council has approved a motion by Marcel Dobler to facilitate the employment of graduates of Swiss universities from countries outside the EU and EFTA.

In addition, several financing rounds took place, including for medtech company Luciole (formerly Nemo Devices), renovation platform Hausheld.ch and virtual reality start-up Imverse.

Now for those opportunities that definitely should not be missed: in January 2019, for the first time, a Swiss pavilion, with attractive conditions for start-ups, will make an appearance at the Consumer Technology Fair CES in Las Vegas. Laura Schilliger from start-up Mitipi explains in our article what makes a performance at CES so rewarding. Applications are open until the middle of next week.

The application deadline for the ZKB Pionierpreis and Technopark Zurich ends on Monday. And start-ups have only until Sunday to apply for a workshop with Swiss Prime Site, the leading Swiss real estate company: it is looking for enterprisetech, fintech and legaltech start-ups.

There is still time to apply for CERN’s new accelerator programme, and to the Paul Scherrer Institute, PARK INNOVAARE and the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland. Applications close on 30 September.

Have a good weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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