From regional support to global growth

Here’s to Fondation pour l’innovation technologique – and to success stories and expansion plans from Swiss start-ups.

Dear reader

A study in 2015 by the Swiss Science and Innovation Council counted no fewer than 142 innovation policy initiatives at federal, cantonal and city level. One of the most successful organisations at regional level is undoubtedly the Lausanne-based Fondation pour l’innovation technologique (FIT). Founded in 1994, it has since supported more than 250 start-ups with a total of CHF 58 million. Initiated by canton Vaud, it is now also supported by EPFL, École hôtelière de Lausanne and regional companies including Nestlé.

Last week, FIT granted two tech seed loans totalling CHF 100,000 both to EPFL spin-offs. Twiice develops exoskeletons for the rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, and Bearmind works on helmet sensors and software for brain injury prevention and performance monitoring in sport.

From medtech to public transport: Bern-based mobility start-up Fairtiq announced that it will soon offer its pay-as-you-go mobile ticketing service in Scandinavia.

Zurich’s SimpleTrain is also on the right track to success: the booking platform for international rail travel is experiencing a strong post-pandemic upswing. Ticket sales in August are already three times higher than the previous year’s level.

Platforms make life easier and create new business models. Geneva-based start-up Powermeals has processed and delivered 150,000 meals all over Switzerland since its launch two years ago. Powermeals cooks the dishes itself and serves the growing need for convenient, yet healthy and sustainable food.

Mirai Foods is also benefiting from the sustainability megatrend: the Zurich start-up grows meat from animal stem cells and its partnership with Shiok Meats in Singapore should open the door to the Asian market.

KAEX, a supplier of dietary supplements for athletes, is moving to the US. The Zurich-based company has been accepted into a San Francisco-based ecosystem food tech accelerator and plans to enter the market in September.

Zippsafe is another start-up with US ambitions: the Zurich-based company has announced the entry of a Texan investor and plans to open a local branch to sell its intelligent locker systems.

The events calendar is filling up again as autumn approaches, but next week is comparatively quiet – a good opportunity to visit global accelerator Plug and Play Basel’s EXPO Day and meet my colleague Stefan Kyora.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Jost Dubacher