Swiss Startup Day: Spotlight on the Swiss start-up ecosystem

22.10.2015 14:00

Yesterday at the Swiss Startup Day over 600 participants gathered at Stade de Suiss to share, inspire, support and connect with one another. A number of individual elements on the agenda occupied attendees through the day and some start-ups went home with a prize from the start-up pitching battle. 

The Swiss start-up Day event was a success, thanks to the high number of participants who consisted of people from all disciplines of entrepreneurship_109 investors Corporate Partners, 313 innovative start-ups companies, 64 start-up coaches, 92 support organisations.

The Agenda of the day consisted of several elements which were well utilized to connect start-ups with potential investors and support organisations. These elements included; Investor and start-up pitches, two panel discussions, 720 1on1 meetings which were well attended by 385 participants as well as workshops with Corporates Representatives.

After the welcome session by Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier, Director of CTIinvest , also the moderator of the event, more than 20 investors pitched before the audience to present their achievements, current status and their special interests in terms of start-ups. The 20 investors can be considered as a representative of all investors who are actively seeking for start-ups to invest in.

The event consisted of a panel discussion in order to tackle some of the tough questions concerning start-ups in Switzerland. Panel members who included; Ash Maurya, Author Running Lean, Pascale Vonmont, Vice-Director Gebert Rüf Foundation, Johannes Reck, CEO GetYourGuide, Mike Baur, Co-Founder Swiss Startup Factory and Christian Wenger, Chairman CTI Invest responded to the posed questions centered on the swiss ecosystem basing on their opinion. For instance, Johannes Reck, CEO GetYourGuide founded in Zurich and now based in Berlin responded to the question, why are Swiss startups moving out of the country instead of establishing themselves in their own home country? He said, “At the moment the conditions for growing a company are better in Berlin than Zurich.”  Christian Wenger empatheized with Johannes Reck, however, he states stated “Zurich will be on the list of the hottest Global start-up Ecosystem in Five years to come, implying that there is potential for growth in Switzerland.

These discussions were intense but also assessed the Swiss entrepreneurship ecosystem to a certain degree. There are several aspects Switzerland has to improve in order to attract new talents who develop innovative projects, backup investors as well as ease the means of financing start-ups. There are several challenges that are still hindering the developments of start-ups such as difficulty in finding capital, high costs among others.

Other discussed topics concentrated on establishing ideas that could be employed in Switzerland in order to develop the ecosystem. In fact, Ash Maurya accorded with an example of himself by saying that “in Austin we stopped trying to copy Silicon Valley and we were successful with that.” This example for instance could be copied by others in this disciple in order to be successful because finding your own identity will make a major difference not only for one’s personality but for the entire ecosystem.

Start-ups also pitched to the investors in order to improve their chances of finding a potential investor as well as win the battle. Six start-ups made it to the finals and three of them won the prize. The Finalists were, Tawipay, Bookbedder, Rqmicro, Topadur and Ava from which the winners were  Bookbedder founded by Skye Legon, Topadur by Reto Naef and Ava by Pascal König.

Below is a list of investors who pitched at Swiss start-up Day

Acton Capital, Frank Seehaus

AP-Swiss, Stefan Buckenmaier

Aravis: Venture capital, Daniel Bach

Aster Capital, Alexander Schläpfer

Blueocean Ventures, Thomas Zehnder

Creathor Ventures, Claus Glückert

Emerald Technology Ventures, Philipp Hasler

Eva, Basel Inkubator, Biovalley Business Angels Club, Dr. Peter E. Burckhardt

Go Beyond, Maria Carolina Romero

HelveticCapital, advising SVC Venture Capital, Eric Gisiger

High Tech Gründerfonds, Christian Jung

IBM , Michael Neuffer

Investiere Venture capital, Steffen Wagner

MTIP, Philipp Howaldt

Partech, Alban Wyniecki

Redalpine, Michael Sidler

Ringier Digital Ventures, David Hug

Schwyzer KantonalBank, Markus Oswald

SHS, Hubertus Leonhardt

SICTIC, Thomas Dübendorfer

Swisscom, Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler

Tamedia Digital, Robin Simon

TechFund, Simone Riedel Riley

VI Partners, Diego Braguglia

Zürcher Kantonalbank, Erika Puyal

Zühlke, Patrick Griss

Speed Invest, Daniel Keiper-Korr

More information about investors and promising start-ups can be found in the Swiss Venture Guide which was published at the Swiss Startup Day. 



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