ETH spinoffs: 2023 sets a new record

Last year, a record number of 43 companies were established at the eth Zurich, almost doubling the number of companies founded in 2022. The majority of the companies in the fields of artificial intelligence and biotech. Remarkably, more women have founded businesses affiliated with the university.

Since 1973, a total of 583 spin-offs have been founded at ETH Zurich with 2023 having the largest number of companies founded. With 43 new spin-offs founded in 2023, the ETH Zurich has become of one of the top performers among its European peers. Compared to 2022 where only 26 spinoffs were founded, the new record marks a significant increase in the number of companies founded. In 2023, 9 of the new spinoffs were founded by ETH pioneers, 3 companies more than in 2022.

Two fields were particularly dominant: 12 companies have clear links to artificial intelligence (AI) and among them are solutions such as Quazel, an app for learning languages. An AI language tutor allows students to hold conversations on any topic, while the AI agent responds dynamically to everything that is said. The team at BreezeLabs also uses AI software linked to standard headphones with a built-in microphone to monitor the wearer’s breathing rates. This allows personalised and targeted training recommendations to be given during sports activities.

The biotechnology and pharmacy saw eight startups founded, making it the biggest proportion of spin-offs in 2023. An example picked from this field is ATLyphe, which aims to replace chemotherapy with antibody-based therapies to potentially make hematopoietic stem cell transplantation safer and more effective.

More female founders
The proportion of female founders of ETH spin-offs has increased compared to the previous year, with women being co-founders of eleven new ETH spin-offs. Vanessa Wood, Vice President for Knowledge Transfer and Corporate Relations at ETH Zurich is delighted: “The fact that we have managed to encourage more and more women to become entrepreneurs is not only very satisfying for me personally, but also benefits Switzerland’s economy and society as a whole.”

High levels of investment
Funding is essential to fuel growth and development of new solutions. The newly established ETH spinoffs attracted a total of CHF 47 million in non-dilutive funds. There were also several substantial equity investment rounds. For example, the spin-off GetYourGuide, an online platform for travel activities, completed a new financing round of more than CHF 70 million. The spin-off ANYbotics, which offers autonomous robots for inspections, received CHF 50 million. The two drone technology companies Verity, provider of self-flying inventory drones and Wingtra, which provides drones for mapping and geodetic, also obtained funding amounting to CHF 40 million and CHF 20 million respectively. Biotech startup Memo Therapeutics completed a funding round of CHF 25 million for research in therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of infectious diseases.

(Press realse/RAN)