DART17 launches a testing lab for AI, VR, MR & co.


The successful pilot project with Swiss startups has resulted in the official launch of DART17, a testing lab bringing together university projects and early-stage startups working on the next human-machine interfaces. Swiss startups can now apply to join the lab and further develop their projects in San Francisco.


Founded by Sophie Lamparter and Arijana Walcott, DART17 aims to bring together the best designers, artists, researchers and technologists to build human-machine interfaces. During a period of one year, the DART team conducted a pilot project with four startups including Imverse, StruckD and Apelab, AND Humanising Autonomy and two university projects in San Francisco. The program was run under the arms of swissnex in San Francisco with support from Swisscom, Pro Helvetia, Engagement Migros and Gebert Rüf.

In the pilot, the Dart17 team supported the participating startups to advance faster by connecting them to the right industry players. Through connections, the startups attended important events such as Sundance New Frontiers or SXSW which gave them great exposure and press. Each one of the startups could expand their contacts and build partnerships, which that are still continuing from Daimler, HTC, Intel, Logitech to Facebook, only to name a few. Moreover, DART provided guidance for startups’ fundraising efforts by introducing them to investors and by bringing other business angel on board to form syndicated investments.

Thanks to this success, the team has now launched DART as a company with offices in San Francisco and Zurich to build on this success.

“We are entering a time where we are building all kinds of new interactions with technology. Just think of AR, VR, voice-controlled AI assitants, brain-computer interfaces or the interaction we will have with autonomous cars on the streets. By bringing the best designers, artists, researchers & technologists together we believe we can build better human-machine interactions. The only way we can stay ahead and create a future we all want to live in is by being inclusive and by working together across industries and disciplines”, said Sophie Lampter, Founder and CEO of DART.

DART is an incubator and testing lab where startups can further develop their ideas. Every year, 6-10 startups with solutions in the fields of AR, VR, MR, BCI, AI, Robotics and Human-Machine interfaces will join the program for a period of 1-3 months where they will benefit from coaching, mentors and workshops. Startups will also receive tailored support to meet their needs while they test, scale, fund their ideas in San Francisco. Through matchmaking with local industry experts, technology partners, mentors and investors, they will receive fast and valuable inputs to make the next moves. Moreover, selected startups will receive a travel stipend. Upon completion of the program, the DART team will maintain its relationship with the startup to offer them continued guidance in their development journey.

Interested startups can submit their application to Arijana Walcott, Founder and COO or Sophie Lamparter.