Switzerland’s 100 most promising startups

05.09.2018 21:00

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Top 100 Award Ceremony

The TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award proved again the efficiency of the Swiss start-up scene. The Top 10 start-ups alone created 400 jobs already and are looking for a high number of additional employees. At the award ceremony on Wednesday, 700-plus guests including investors from around the world, corporates and experts, celebrated the achievements of the start-ups in style.

(Texts in German and French can be downloaded below)

100 experts – most of them investors – who are working with Swiss start-ups everyday: that is the jury of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award. The high number of jurors and the quality of the jury is a guarantee for an accurate selection. The proof for this are the achievements of the TOP 100 start-ups in particular those of the Top three.

TOP 3: Ava Women, Bestmile and Lunaphore
The #1 for the second year running, femtech Ava Women has raised a total $42.3 million of financing, hired 70 employees, opened an office in San Francisco, and put co-founder Lea von Bidder on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Ava’s streamlined sensor bracelet looks simple, but it is super smart: the data it harvests while women sleep is converted into highly precise information about their fertility cycles and health. CEO and co-founder Pascal Koenig said: “Winning the TOP 100 award in 2017 gave us the extra boost that contributed to our fantastic growth over the past 12 months.”

Runner-up Bestmile (last year: #7) offers a platform to integrate fleets of both autonomous and conventional vehicles that has been embraced by transport providers from Switzerland’s own PostBus and SBB to Californian Robotaxis – while earning the company a spot on the World Economic Forum’s list of Technology Pioneers.

And third-placed Lunaphore (up from #9) has signed collaborations with global corporation PerkinsElmer and biomedical research firm Vitro, both of which recognize the potential of the start-up’s technology to revolutionize tissue diagnostics. Lunaphore’s automated tissue-staining solution uses microfluidics to vastly increase the speed, and reliability, of lab processes.

The Top 10 also include:

#4 Flyability (Drones), #5 Cutiss (Biotech), #6 Piavita (Medtech), #7 Wingtra (Drones), #8 Gamaya (Engineering), #9 Advanon (Fintech), #10 Versantis (Biotech).

Anyone taking a closer look might notice one striking detail – all Top 3 start-ups have a woman on the founding team and two of the Top 10 companies have female CEOs. 28 of the full 100 start-ups have women in management. With the shortage of women in tech still a hot topic, it’s clear that more and more women start companies – and are successful.

While the Top 100 startups are selected experts, the public has the opportunity to vote for their favourite startup. This year the winner of this public award is Smallpdf, a startup offering cloud services for PDF-files. The services are already used by 15 million users. 

Swiss startups scaling new heights
In its eight years, the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has in total recognized 371 start-ups. Taken together, those start-ups have created 5,197 jobs and raised more than CHF 2.6 billion of investment. So far, we have seen 38 exits (such as Faceshift’s sale to Apple, Lemoptix to Intel, and Dacuda to Magic Leap), and with Biocartis and Crispr, two IPOs.

“The Swiss startup ecosystem is in excellent health,” said Stefan Steiner, co-managing director of the TOP 100 Awards organizer, Venturelab. “These entrepreneurs have more than just good ideas – they have excellent business sense and are taking the investment world by storm.”

Jordi Montserrat, co-founder and managing partner of Venturelab, confirmed: “Growth capital is exploding in Switzerland. 2018 will be a record year for investment, with CHF 270 million raised by just eight top startups in recent months. The arrival of capital on this scale makes it possible for these young firms to compete globally and drive the future of Swiss industry.”

Top 100 Magazine
For the first time the TOP 100 magazine is also appearing in four languages – German, French, English and now Chinese – showing how much of a global reference the list has become in today’s high-tech ecosystem. The magazine includes a story about the implications of today’s data revolution – the force driving many of the most successful start-ups, in fields from material science to medicine – and an interview about the challenges of managing a rapidly growing company with Beekeeper founder Cristian Grossmann. The magazine is published in cooperation with Handelszeitung, PME Magazine and JNB Journalistenbüro GmbH.

About the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Awards
Each year since 2011, Venturelab has organized the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award. The 100 most innovative and promising Swiss start-ups are picked by a panel of 100 leading investors and startup experts. Each one nominates 10 favorite Swiss start-ups, less than five years old, with the greatest commercial potential. The first-placed company on any list gets 10 points, the second 9 and so on. All these individual rankings are compiled to generate the final TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award ranking, which therefore recognizes the start-ups that have most impressed all 100 jury members.


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