Cash and honorary awards for Swiss innovators

This month, a host of startup award competitions took place in different parts of the world, and Swiss startups have continued to impress. Seven biotech and energy startups received cash prizes and symbolic awards for their outstanding solutions.

The Primary Care Award by the Value-Based Health Care Center Europe went to John Klepper, founder of Pipra AG. To reduce the incidence of postoperative delirium (POD), PIPRA AG developed a cutting-edge AI-based CE-certified pre-operative risk assessment tool called PIPRA (short for Pre-Interventional Preventive Risk Assessment) to assess the risk of a patient developing POD, the most common postoperative complication occurring in 20% of surgical patients aged 60+. Today’s modern hospital record systems can all integrate the tool. The Pipra team has completed two pilot projects in Switzerland and validated the usability of our software in the clinical setting. Our third project, which applies targeted prevention based on our initiative in the biggest private hospital in Switzerland, will be completed in the Summer of 2023 and will show the benefit of the tool.

Hive Power – Plug and Play mobility
Hive Power, the Manno (Ticino)-based startup providing EV charging to Smart Cities and sustainable grid solutions, is one of the 16 mobility startups in Plug and Play Detroit's Batch four Startup Cohort. The program will bring the startup closer to industry players to foster collaborations, participate in pilot programs, and form connections within Plug and Play Tech Center's global ecosystem.

Cutiss and Araris selected among Rising leaders
The fourth annual listing of In Vivo Rising Leaders list presents entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide representing the next wave of creativity in healthcare. The list focuses on achievements, talent, creativity and strong leadership qualities. On the 2023 list are two Swiss startups. CUTISS AG and Araris Biotech. Daniela Marino, CEO and co-founder of CUTISS, a Swiss life science company and spin-off of the University of Zurich, is one of the Rising stars. Founded in 2017, CUTISS is focused on regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and skin pigmentation. Its lead product, denovoSkin, is a personalized human skin graft that can be bio-engineered in large quantities, starting from a small, postage stamp-sized piece of healthy skin. It promises to grow with the patient, limit scarring and reduce the number of follow-up corrective surgeries required, particularly in children. CUTISS is also developing the world’s first machines that can automate the entire production process of the personalized skin graft.

With his extensive background in bioconjugation and antibody-drug conjugates, Philipp Spycher founded Araris Biotech. The company uses linker technology to develop next-generation ADCs with the potential to be safer and more efficacious for cancer patients. In head-to-head animal model studies against FDA-approved ADCs, the ADCs created using Araris’ linker technology demonstrated improved efficacy, even at low doses and high tolerability.

BioInnovation Day Award goes to ND Biosciences
ND Biosciences took home the Startup prize for the Bioinnovation Day Awards. The startup develops next-generation therapeutics and diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. ND Biosciences has developed unique technologies that allow, for the first time, reproducing the biochemical, structural, and functional properties of pathological protein aggregates observed in NDs.

The Boost awards qCella and Faive Robotics
Two entrepreneurs were awarded in ‘The Boost’ pitching competition co-hosted by ETH juniors and the ETH Entrepreneur Club. Murielle Schreck won a CHF 25'000 cash prize for her project qCella. qCella is developing the next-generation technology for heating textile. It achieves this by impregnating natural fibers with copper and using them to develop heating pads/mats with superior properties compared to commercially available heating wires. The pad has the proper electrical resistance across the entire structure, so it heats homogeneously when connected to a battery. The Audience prize of CHF 5000 went to Barnabas Gavin Cangan from Faive Robotics. Founded at the Soft Robotics Lab at ETH Zürich, Faive Robotics is creating advanced robotic grippers made from compliant, rigid materials similar to nature.