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Combining leading-edge research and business experience

13.09.2013 13:41

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During the last weeks reported about numerous financing rounds. There are a lot of top-class Swiss start-ups financing their growth with the help of investors. Other exciting companies are still looking for funding. No less than eleven start-ups presented themselves at the Swiss Venture Venture Day of CTI Invest on Wednesday.

Start-ups are usually divided in two categories: University Spin-offs founded by young scientists on the one side and companies founded by senior business people on the other side. Both types of companies have typical strengths and weaknesses. Spinoffs usually have an excellent technology. Start-ups led by experienced founders are usually strong on the business side. The ideal would be to mingle both advantages and in fact several of the start-ups at the Swiss Venture Day of CTI Invest combined business experience and leading-edge research.

The first start-up that presented itself at the event was Cosibon. It is a spin-off of the University of St. Gallen co-founded by Elgar Fleisch, who has a double appointment at ETH Zürich and University St. Gallen (HSG). At ETH, he is a full professor of information management, at HSG of technology management. But Cosibon has also an experienced management team. CEO and co-founder Thorben Keller worked four years as a software developer at IBM, and four years as a Senior Consultant most of the time in the retail innovation field. Cosibon has developed a system to allow qualified communication and interaction between consumers, retailers and product makers. The system is centered on digital receipts which are sent to the customer’s smartphone right after checkout.

Other start-ups combined business and research experience in much the same way. Jan Markoff, CEO of Ben Energy has several years of working experience in banking and in consulting with focus on strategy and risk management in the financial industry. And Ben Energy is a spin-off of the Bits to Energy Lab that combines information technology and behavioral sciences to promote sustainable energy consumption. The software of Ben Energy lets utility companies engage with their customers. The software uses data from different sources to derive customer insights. Applying a unique approach based on psychological concepts, the start-up delivers energy feedback that results in unprecedented customer engagement.

There were several other start-ups with very experienced management teams for example the young biotech company Sompharmaceuticals or the ICT start-up Cassantec. Short descriptions of all eleven companies that have presented themselves can be found in a report we published two weeks ago. CTI Invest members can find more information on the website of CTI Invest. Video podcasts of the pitches at the Swiss Venture Day will go online today.

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