Founded in 2018 as a spin-off from ETH Zurich, Menhir Photonics leverages the founder’s over 30 years of cumulative experiences in the ultrafast laser industry for the development of an ultrafast laser solution for industrial markets. Femtosecond lasers have become a commodity in laboratories, yet their usage for industrial applications is still limited by the complexity, costs and unreliability of these devices. Menhir’s product, MENHIR-1550 SERIES, is the first industrial-grade, femtosecond laser that will revolutionize the laser market. Menhir’s laser hardware operates at 1550 nm with GHz repetition-rate reaching the industrial-quality required by the customers. Use cases for the solution include the fields of Space, Microwave, research, Communication and Industry. The startup is currently enrolled in the ESA BIC to advance the technology. Although the company is only one year on the market, it has successfully won the attention and the votes of the Swiss public following the ongoing Top 100 Swiss Startup Award Public voting campaign. According to the interim results of the public voting, Menhir Photonics is currently spearheading the ranks. Reasons for the current victory is the company’s potential to transform the photonics market providing robust and reliable solutions that apply in peoples’ daily lives - from the Internet to eyes surgery to even for cutting the screen of a smartphone. Moreover, to solicit for votes, the startup has capitalized on the power of its broad personal network. While many companies are active on social media, Menhir has sent personal messages to its audience and together they have made Menhir Photonics Switzerland’s favorite startup. “We believe that social media channels in general including Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook are effective to reach broad audiences because one message could multiply very fast. However, taking the time to send personal messages to people that we know, and asking them to send forward the message to more people, is much more effective. It helped to multiply our votes very successfully, said Florian Emaury, CEO of Menhir Photonics AG. “Social media channels” are currently flushing us from messages every day: having a personal touch in the message is very often appreciated and lead to better conversion rate,” adds Florian. Through this campaign, the startup, therefore, seeks to further increase the awareness about photonics hardware but also prove their potential to future investors as well as employees. The Top 100 Public voting is still ongoing. The overall winner will be announced at the end of the campaign. The winner will have the opportunity to present their company to the audience at the award ceremony in September.