Change of leadership at Swiss deeptech startups

As of January 2022, three CEOs and one president will assume responsibility in the Swiss startups, Bitcoin Suisse, Aktionariat, Versantis and Abhahti. Former Red Bull football top manager Markus Egger intensifies his relationship with sportTech startup coachbetter. Egger had participated in the startup’s round in October.

Bitcoin Suisse founder and chairman Niklas Nikolajsen von Karlshof will hand over his responsibility to Luzius Meisser on January 1, 2022. Convinced of the potential of digital assets and crypto-financial services, Nikolajsen, together with Fabian Hediger and Andrej Majcen, founded Bitcoin Suisse in 2013. Today, the company, which employs over 290 employees, has crypto assets of more than CHF 7 billion under direct custody and generated revenues of CHF 70.3 million in the first half of 2021 alone. Following the leadership change, Nikolajsen remains with the company as Honorary Chairman.

His successor as President of the Board has been part of the journey of Bitcoin Suisse since 2017. As a member of the Board of Directors. He has been closely following Bitcoin and crypto since 2011, co-founded Bitcoin Association Switzerland in 2013, and is a member of the expert council of the Swiss Blockchain Federation. He holds a master’s degree in computer science from ETH Zurich and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Zurich. After graduating, Luzius Meisser co-founded a decentralised cloud storage company and, after its sale, started investing in Swiss technology and crypto startups, accompanying them in various roles. Most recently, he was CEO of Aktionariat.

Aktionariat | Nicola Plain
With the role change at Bitcoin Suisse, Luzius Meisser has handed over his CEO position at Aktionariat to Nicola Plain. The startup provides tools enabling companies to tokenise their shares and build a market for their shares. Until February 2021, Plain was the managing director of PLAIN Project Management and consulting GmbH for six years. Between August 2019 and January 2021, he co-founded the marketplace Robin Room and later joined Aktionatiat in February 2021 as Chief Commercial Officer. In his new role as CEO, he will help build the organisation, driving it forward to reach its targeted growth.

Versantis | Mark J. Fitzpatrick
Versantis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel therapies for orphan liver and pediatric diseases, appointed Mark J. Fitzpatrick as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors. Fitzpatrick brings more than 25 years of experience in the biopharma industry, primarily in senior executive roles, and will be based in the US following the establishment of Versantis Inc. Fitzpatrick currently serves on the boards of directors of Allena Pharmaceuticals and Stone Rehabilitation and Senior Living, a non-profit, community-based skilled nursing facility in Massachusetts. He began his professional career at Arthur Andersen LLP. Former CEO Vincent Forster will assume the role of Chief Scientific Officer.

Abhati | Mark Brunner as CEO
By combining technology with natural ingredients sourced directly from farmers and accredited suppliers, Abhati Suisse creates and commercialises natural skin-care and hair products while investing in social projects such as girl education in India. The startup’s founder Anju Rupal is handing over her role as CEO to Mark Brunner, previously General Manager at Kao. Brunner brings 13 years of international experience in the beauty industry. The Swiss & British Citizen has driven global beauty brands including Goldwell, Oribe, KMS, John Frida, Bioré & Sensai. Mark was sought after given his senior leadership success in Switzerland, France, the UK, Italy and South Africa. Moving forward, Rupal will lead the creative direction as Founder and Mark driving global growth with the team in sustainable working culture.

Coachbetter | Red Bull Topmanager Markus Egger
Following his investment in the sportTech startup Coachbetter – a fully digital and integrated football coaching platform for associations, clubs and coaches from amateur to professional level – Markus Egger, former Red Bull football top manager, joins the startup to support its vision and international expansion strategy. Egger has extensive experience building, growing, and managing ambitious companies in the sports industry. Since 2015, he has been Director of Sport & Strategy at the Qatar-based Qatar-based Aspire Academy, one of the leading sports academies in youth development. Prior to his role at Aspire Academy, he spent nearly ten years at Red Bull, where he focused on the successful development of Red Bull-owned teams in Formula 1, NASCAR and Ice Hockey before taking on the role of Managing Director of the Red Bull Football Division. In this position, he managed Red Bull’s professional football clubs and academies in Brazil, Ghana, USA, Austria and Germany, where RB Leipzig was founded during Markus Egger’s tenure.