From vision to reality

Employees from universities, corporates and start-ups encourage each other to achieve top performance: this is the vision of Switzerland Innovation Park, as an important milestone is reached in Basel.

Dear reader

The life sciences cluster in the Basel region is of enormous importance to the Swiss economy, as Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin said at the opening of the main campus of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area in Allschwil. The new building offers 50,000 m2 of floor space and anchor tenants, including the University of Basel and pharma company Johnson & Johnson, have already moved in.

After Biel/Bienne – with its main focus on Industry 4.0 – Switzerland Innovation Park’s second new building is now under occupancy. Others will follow: construction and planning is underway in St. Gallen, Dübendorf, Villigen (AG) and Lausanne.

In addition to actual drug development, the focus in Basel will be on digital health and precision medicine. In the interaction of universities, corporates and start-ups, the aim is to create products that increase patient care and quality of life.

Naturally, these are the markets of the global north. In some emerging and developing countries, where even the simplest hygiene standards cannot be met, other problems are still to the fore. Zurich-based start-up Mister Loo, which installs public toilet systems in major south-east Asian cities, wants to change that. Now founders Dominik Schuler and Andreas Wanner have raised another USD 5 million in venture capital.

Among the week’s other financing rounds: security start-up Decentriq obtained a loan of USD 5 million from a British bank. Digital health start-up Akina closed a seed round worth CHF 1.6 million. The e-learning platform Evulpo raised CHF 7 million. Fruitful Farming, founded in 2021, completed a pre-seed round with a volume of CHF 500,000. And Coachbetter is already active again a year after its pre-seed round of more than USD 1 million and reports the entry of further backers.

On the other side of the investment cycle, Swiss Post has taken a majority stake in CRM company Unblu. The transaction volume was not disclosed.

The quality of an investment is measured by the exit. And a retrospective analysis shows which characteristics distinguish a successful start-up. Privilege Ventures’ analysis found that start-ups led by women are twice as lucrative as start-ups run only by men. Consequently, the Ticino VC has launched a fund that invests exclusively in teams with female participation.

The application period for the «Venture» business plan competition is now open; teams with non-profit projects can also apply. On Friday 11 November, the zünder Inspirience Day will take place in Emmenbrücke, Lucerne – with an opportunity to meet the startupticker team. Also on Friday, a 54-hour hackathon will begin as part of Startup Weekend Zurich.

Global Entrepreneurship Week Switzerland has not one but more than ten locations: the organisers expect 4,000 visitors at 70 events.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Jost Dubacher