Doors open for start-ups

Traditional companies are collaborating more and more with start-ups. The trend comes at the right time, as it reduces dependence on investors.

Dear reader

ABB and artificial intelligence start-up Svenesense have been working together for some time. This week, ABB officially announced that from the third quarter of 2023 Sevensense’s navigation solution will be built into ABB’s autonomous mobile robots. Latticeflow is another AI start-up that will soon be working with DEKRA, a long-established large testing and certification company with about 50,000 employees. Together, they will offer AI security assessments for corporate customers. Anapaya’s secure network protocol will be used for data exchange in the Swiss healthcare sector, thanks to a partnership with Health Info Net, founded in 1996 by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) and Ärztekasse.

These examples show that the start-up climate in the German-speaking region has changed. This began with the digitalisation push during the pandemic, and now the greater openness of established companies is resulting in tangible results. This is very good news for start-ups, as an increased interest in partnerships reduces dependency on investors.

This trend comes at the right time, since venture capital is currently moving only hesitantly – this week we reported on just two investments. And it is clearly noticeable in the biotech industry, as confirmed by the Swiss Biotech Report presented at the beginning of the week. Companies are relying instead on income from out-licensing or the sale of assets.

The good news provided by the report is that the number of companies increased significantly in 2022, as start-ups continue to be founded. The reason is probably not least due to intensive funding. Innosuisse launched the Swiss Accelerator in 2022 as a replacement measure for the EIC Accelerator, in which Swiss start-ups are currently unable to participate. The approved projects have now been announced: a total of 53 companies are being supported with CHF 112 million.

Private funding initiatives are also active. In the last few days, three start-ups have each secured CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick: Apheros wants to make cooling more energy-efficient, Neology is creating a new way to store energy, and a-metal has developed a small-scale, affordable and easy-to-use solution for 3D metal printing.

Swiss start-ups are also asserting themselves in international competitions. Digital health start-up machineMD was a winner at the Innovation World Cup 2023, as was SafeOcean, and Zario out-fought 1,300 companies at the EU-Startups Summit 2023 Pitch Competition.

Speaking of prizes, deeptech start-ups can now apply for the Swisscom Startup Challenge 2023 – the prize is an individual business acceleration programme in Silicon Valley. In addition, the challenge has repeatedly led to collaboration between Swisscom and the winners and to investments in the past. Applications are now open for Venture Leaders Cleantech 2023, as is the application window for the first Smart Energy Start-up Pitch Contest. The deadline for this year’s Kickstart programme is fast approaching – 4 May.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,