More than 100 guests (on-site and online) attended the 6th edition of the 3Pi pitch competition held by the ETH Zurich Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (ETH ieLab, headed by Tomas Brenner) as part of the Pioneer Fellowship program, which offers aspiring entrepreneurs resources to transform their research into a viable business. Selected ‘Pioneer Fellows’ receive CHF 150’000 from the ETH Zürich Foundation and the ETH Zurich over 12-18 months, as well as extensive mentoring and training. The program culminates in a pitch competition to award the most outstanding pitches. Nine ETH Zurich startups presented their ‘Pioneer Pi Pitches’.
This year’s first prize, presented by Vanessa Wood, Vice President for Knowledge Transfer and Corporate Relations at ETH Zürich went to anavo medical (formerly Nanoglue), founded by Tino Matter and Sabastian Loy. Anavo uses cutting-edge nanotechnology to develop a nanoparticle paste that helps surgeons ensure patient safety and survival by reducing skin transplantation complications and providing swift healing. As part of their prize, the startup won a ticket to the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF for Growth) and the Swiss Innovation Forum (SIF).
The second runner up Diaaxo by Michele Gregorini, develops peakPCR, a low-cost, small-sized device capable of performing real-time, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to amplify and detect DNA. The team won tickets to attend the SEF for Growth and SIF events. Versics, the third-place holder, will attend the SIF. The startup is developing efficient communication devices that consume less energy and exhibit larger data rates than current commercial solutions. Its technology was invented at ETH Zurich in the early 2000s and is now ready for commercialization.
This year’s audience award went to two founders Michele Gregorini from diaxxo and Mandy Boontanrart with Ariya Bio, which develops a CRISPR/Cas9 therapeutic approach to reactivate fetal haemoglobin that will ameliorate the disease symptoms.
Further finalists in the 3pi pitching completion are Tandem Therapeutics by Mamta Chabria, MindMetrix by Marc Bächinger, positiveEnergy by Paul Baade, Semi-Autonomous Heavy Machinery by Dominic Jud and Graphene Membranes by Karl-Philipp Schlichting.