From exit to serial entrepreneur

The number of people who have worked in several start-ups is increasing. This should increase the probability of success – and also the pace of development.

Dear reader

The most spectacular news of the week came from the biotech sector again. German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has taken over T3 Pharma for up to CHF 450 million. The team will continue to work in the Basel region after the acquisition. T3 Pharma was founded in 2015 and has announced a total of CHF 40 million in investment over the years. It should be a lucrative exit for the investors.

Such exits are important for the local ecosystem, as they provide the most convincing argument for investors to participate in Switzerland. Successful founders often invest in other start-ups and team members, who have gained valuable experience over the lifecycle of a start-up, often move on to other young companies and take their expertise there.

For example, Alivion’s CEO is serial entrepreneur Kurt Ruffieux, who built up medtech company Degradable Solutions and ultimately sold it to a Japanese group. Alivion has now secured CHF 3.8 million to further develop its breathable air analysis platform and test it on patients. The start-up has already launched the world’s first portable methanol detector.

In the case of proptech start-up Norm, the four co-founders have exit experience; they now digitising the creation of energy certificates for buildings. Swiss Life was announced this week as the first major customer.

The two founders of biped also have start-up experience. The healthtech start-up has now closed a financing round of more than CHF 1.2 million, and one of the investors is Joel Roos, who sold his own start-up to a US company in 2021. Biped has developed a smart harness that alerts blind and visually impaired people to obstacles, enabling them to move independently.

In addition to financing, some notable announcements about prizes were made this week. AI start-up Transcality has secured CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick, and two foodtech and three deeptech start-ups have each received CHF 150,000 from Innobooster.Mynerva has secured CHF 100,000 by winning the DCB Open Innovation Challenge, the SEF.WomenAward announced its finalists and the PowHer Award its winners.

Speaking of awards, registration is now open for the Swiss Economic Award. Next week I will be at the Swiss Innovation Forum: in addition to the exciting programme, the Swiss Technology Award will also be presented there. Baselaunch’s deadline is approaching; those with biopharma projects in pre-seed or seed stage must apply by 4 December.

Next week my colleague Eugène Schön will attend the Tech4Eva Conference 2023 in Lausanne on Thursday. You can also meet Ritah Nyakato on Tuesday at the FE+MALE Think Tank event in Bern and on Thursday at the Blue Lion Demo Day in Zurich.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,