Dicronis awarded with the first prize at StartCup Ticino


110 start-ups applied for the StartCup Ticino 2017. Yesterday the award ceremony took place in Lugano in front of an audience of 400 guests. Before the ceremony five finalists and three other start-ups had the chance to present their start-up to investors at the Swiss Venture Day Ticino.


Five finalists had the opportunity to pitch to the audience: BigOmics, Dicronis, EXead, Modula and Swissponics. The public had the occasion to vote for their preferred startup. The winner was chosen based on the combined audience and jury vote.

Dicronis won the main prize worth CHF 50’000. The project which was presented by CEO Patrizia Marschalkova  also received a scholarship (covering registration fees of CHF 45'000) for the Master in Business Administration at USI (EMBA). In addition, they will receive a total of CHF 5’600 for free consultancy activities by the other sponsor of prices (Connect Switzerland, STARTUPS.CH and yourCFO).

Dicronis develops innovative diagnostics for diseases with a high unmet medical need. Its first proprietary product in the pipeline, Lymphit, allows for the first time the tracking of the lymphatic function directly from home, in a simple, cost-effective and highly scalable manner.

The first addressed indication of Lymphit is lymphedema, a chronic and serious condition that can occur after some common types of cancers. The system allows for the earliest diagnosis of lymphedema today. Treatment can start much earlier as today which reduces pain for the patients and saves costs.

The technology behind Lymphit consists of a dissolving microneedles patch, containing an already FDA-approved fluorescent agent, which is then applied painlessly to the patient. The fluorescent agent is selectively taken up by the lymphatic system, and the rate of its disappearance is measured by a simple wearable device, which then automatically transmits the data to the doctor. In case of a deteriorating lymphatic function, the doctor is alerted, and is enabled to select a timely therapy, before the swelling has occurred, thus radically improving the quality of life of the patient.

After very promising preclinical results, Lymphit will be tested in clinic, in order to ensure, together with already existing decongestive treatments, a drastic reduction of lymphedema cases.

Four others startups awarded
Four other companies were also awarded at the ceremony:

2.EXead led by Fabio Grassi is developing oral vaccines for the prevention of gastrointestinal infectious diseases. First product will be a vaccine against clostridium difficile infection. The project was awarded the seconded prize worth CHF30’000.

3. BigOmics develops a cloud analytics platform for big data in the genomics field. The platform will allow biologists to analyse the data themselves, and accelerate the discovery process from months to days. The team won CHF20’000.

4. Modula (Rational Mechanicsis developing a solution that allows for diagnosing vector-borne diseases with accuracy, at point of care. The first diagnostic system targets lyme disease.

5. Swissponic developed a fully automated growing system to allow people to grow crops at home including a cultivation system, an application for the culture management and a cloud portal for access to community, marketplace and online management.

During the award ceremony Christian Vitta, Economic Minister of Canton Ticino emphasized that StartCup Ticino is “a confirmation that startups activity in Ticino is evolving and with the approaching tax reform where are ready to support furthermore this development “.

StartCup Ticino is an initiative of the USI-SUPSI Start-Up Promotion Center (CP Start-Up) promoted by the Ticino Regional Innovation System with the important contribution of EFG Bank.

Swiss Venture Day Ticino
In the afternoon the Swiss Venture Day Ticino had been held at USI. At the event co-organised with Swiss Startup Invest and SICTIC eight start-ups pitched to more than 50 investors. Apart from the five finalists of the StartCup Ticino three companies were selected:

Luckabox: Launched in August this year, LuckaBox acts as a delivery service broker, bundling and aggregating the highly fragmented existing courier services such as bike and express courier companies on its platform.

Diamond Digital AG is currently developing DiamondCoin. DiamondCoin is a unique Crypto-Token: Every DiamondCoin is backed by a high quality, certified diamond. 

WolfWay provides customizable insights into financial markets with real time investment data, analyzing the behavior and the performance of thousands of traders.

(GP /SK)

Picture: Patrizia Marschalkova CEO of Dicronis with Attilio Baggerman and Jovan Jancev. © Ti-Press / USI / Pablo Gianinazzi