Executives with business acumen to lead startups


Three startups have announced changes in their management and leadership to drive the company to the next level. Jill Allemang, Roberto Iacone and Dave Marver have taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Smartwatcher, Alentis and GTX Medical respectively.



From its headquarters Zurich, smartwatcher provides safety services through its technology a platform consisting of personal safety apps for smartwatches and smartphones complemented by personal safety alarm smartwatches. With a firm foothold in Switzerland, Smartwatcher solutions are today available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Further international growth is expected.

The company has recently appointed Jil Allemang to the position of CEO to lead the company through its next phase of international growth in elderly care services. Her responsibilities include strategic, commercial and financial direction. “I first met Smartwatcher in 2018 as part of the Zurich Aging 2.0 chapter inauguration event,” says Allemang. "The design and relevance of the company’s personal safety alarm made a strong impression – simple elegance that helps people remain independent and active as they age.

As part of the new changes, Erik Stricker, Co-founder and CEO since 2016, remains on the executive team as Product Director, responsible for product pipeline vision and hardware strategy. Morgan Cohen, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer also remains on the executive team and Thijs de Bruijn, who has been with Smartwatcher since 2019, joins the executive team as Operations Director.

Alentis: Roberto Iacone
Basel based Alentis Therapeutics, developing breakthrough treatments for fibrotic diseases, named Roberto Iacone CEO. Iacone is a physician-scientist, a serial entrepreneur and brings more than 15 years life science industry experience to Alentis. Most recently, while at Versant Ventures, he co-founded Bright Peak Therapeutics and Ridgeline Therapeutics, and was part of the leadership team that built the precision oncology company Black Diamond Therapeutics from inception through to its NASDAQ IPO in three years. Prior to Versant, Roberto was Roche's Global Head of Rare Diseases Research, where he established numerous collaborations with academic and biotech partners, which included large and small molecule as well as gene therapy programs.

GTX Medical: Dave Marver
The medical technology company GTX Medical is creating innovative therapies to accelerate and augment functional recovery and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. The startup announced Dave Marver as CEO to guide the company through the development and commercialization of its neuromodulation technologies.

Marver has a substantial track record in the medical technology industry, driving success as a senior executive across a range of companies in the United States and Europe. He spent nearly 15 years in a variety of executive positions at Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology. He was also CEO of Cardiac Science Corporation, then a NASDAQ-listed manufacturer of automated external defibrillators, stress test treadmills, and electrocardiograph machines. Dave also co-founded two startup companies, one in orthopedics and another in sports technology, which developed two TIME Magazine Inventions of the Year.

Photo L-R: Jil Allemang (Smartwatcher), Roberto Iacone (Alentis Therapeutics) and Dave Marver (GTX Medical)