At a new level

The Swiss start-up ecosystem has reached a new level, with improvements in support and financing, as well as in the political perception of start-ups.

Dear reader

I don’t know about you, but some days I hear or read the word ‘ecosystem’ a little too often. Nonetheless, the term is of enormous value in order to understand what is going on in the start-up scene. It emphasises that the different elements of the sector are interconnected and that this sector will develop only if all elements continue to grow. Events over the past week have shown how this is happening in Switzerland.

Let’s start with the exits. Dybuster and the Propulsion Academy were taken over by the Schaffhausen Institute for Technology, a facility launched by Acronis founder Serguei Beloussov. Basel dental group Straumann took over 39% of Mininavident: the start-up has developed a miniature navigation system for dental implants.

We published a total of seven news items on investments. Fintech Yokoy secured the largest amount – CHF 24 million – from top investors such as Balderton. Daphne Technology received CHF 10 million, with the cleantech start-up’s sponsors including Shell Ventures, Trafigura and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. Ernesto Bertarelli also took a stake in a Swiss start-up company, as the lead investor in the financing round of HR start-up atwork.

Young Swiss technology companies are also becoming more interesting for investors since they can finance important initial development steps with grants, loans and prize money. About CHF 2 million has been awarded over the last five days: Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact is funding six projects with CHF 85,000 each, MassChallenge Switzerland is providing the winners of this year’s programme with CHF 400,000, and the Fongit Innovation Fund has approved loans to MagicTomato and The Content Engine. SUN bioscience secured a Tech Growth loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT), and has received CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick.

It’s also gratifying that start-up concerns are being heard in political circles. We reported on a meeting of founders with federal president Guy Parmelin and the start of the consultation process for a change in the law to make recruitment easier for start-ups. Specifically, graduates of Swiss universities from countries outside the EU should receive more work permits.

Next week Swiss Robotics Day will take place in Zurich on Tuesday and Energy Startup Day on Thursday. The 11th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Week Switzerland will start on 8 November. Over 70 events are planned, mainly physically.

The deadlines for both the F10 Incubation Programme for early stage fintech and insurtech projects and the Day One accelerator programme for digital health ventures expire on 5 December. Applications are open for the IMD Startup Competition until 8 November; the winners will work with top-class participants in the IMD MBA and EMBA courses.

Don’t forget, the clocks go back this weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,