CHF130'000 venture kick prize goes to Vatorex

Vatorex from the ZHAW Runway Startup incubator has been awarded CHF 130’000 at the final of Venture Kick. The startup is resolving the dying honey bee problem using a chemical free solution called Hyperthermia.

Bees are irreplaceable in keeping up the degree of biodiversity and the ecosystem, as they are responsible for the pollination of different agricultural plantations. Every winter however, 10% of the total European bee population disappears mainly due to a parasitic mite called varroa destructor. The loss of pollination has a direct impact on the economy, too, with a loss estimated at CHF 170 million per year. Although many methods to fight varroa mites exist, such as the use of chemicals, they still harm the bees. Chemicals are also stressful for the animals as well as the beekeepers, as resistance evolves fast.

Vatorex developed and patented a hyperthermia treatment which stops the growth of the mite population in bee hives. The sustainable procedure is based on the different temperature tolerances of the mite and the bee. The product consists of a heating coil that is introduced into the wax foundation of the brood combs, and which heats up the main area of the brood from the inside. It allows an effective, fully automated and repetitive treatment against varroa mites and preserves the natural thermoregulation of the bees. Thanks to the suppport from Venture Kick, Vatorex will further test and develop its product for customers, mainly beekeepers.

“Venture Kick is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, as it enables them to identify the strengths and challenges of their business case. The whole process helped us turn an idea into a product, a product into a company and a company into a customer-oriented, successful venture", explains Pascal Brunner, Vatorex CEO.

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