Google challenger MapTiler wins 2021 Grand Prize of >>venture>>

At this year’s >>venture>> award MapTiler ranked first amongst an unprecedented 357 business submissions to the competition. The reward was CHF 150,000 in non-dilutive funds. MapTiler is a software mapping platform building a new generation of tailor-made smart maps.

Determined by a jury of industry experts, seasoned CEOs of Switzerland’s most successful corporations, and investors, the winners of >>venture>> were announced on Monday during the award ceremony at ETH Zurich. The importance of innovative startups for Switzerland was highlighted by a message from special guest, Swiss President, Guy Parmelin who not only spoke about the economic importance of the startup scene but also mentioned fields such as access to skilled labour and financing where he sees room for improvement.

The Grand Prize went to MapTiler. MapTiler uses vector technology to curate and offer high-resolution street and satellite maps of the entire world for companies. The services make it easy to integrate companies’ own data, and the resulting maps can be customized to fit every website, app or brand, and are available via the cloud or even offline. Furthermore, MapTiler guarantees users privacy, thereby ensuring safe usage of its solutions for both the companies and end-users interacting with the maps. The jury was in particular impressed by Maptilers success on the market. Major global companies and institutions, including Airbus, Oracle, Siemens, NASA, are using MapTiler maps.

Apart from the Grand Prize three companies in five verticals were honoured. The winners of the verticals received CHF50k, the runner-up CHF20K and the third CHF10k. The top three in the verticals are:

Finance & Insurance

First place: Lyyna (Zurich): Empowers banks to unleash the full value from payment data and offer insurance for small purchases to their customers.

Second place: aisot (Zurich): Builds the next generation (predictive) analytics tools, with an early focus on digital assets.

Third place: Ignatica (Bern / Hong Kong): Their core platform helps insurers grow their markets, increase profitability, and service customers digitally.

Health & Nutrition

First place: Luya Foods (Bern): Provides flavor loaded and natural plant-based alternatives to meat from rescued resources.

Second place: Pipra (Zurich): Aims to reduce the enormous burden of postoperative complications by identifying high-risk patients prior to surgery thanks to an AI-powered software licensed to hospitals.

Third place: Inanna Fertility (Zurich): Revolutionizing in-vitro-fertilizations through AI-powered clinical decision support for IVF clinics.


First place: MapTiler (Zug): Software platform for building a new generation of tailor-made smart maps. Trusted by brands such as SBB, Siemens, IBM, or NASA.

Second place: Lumiphase (Zurich): Our communication chips boosted by a unique optical crystal allow all of us to be better connected at faster speeds.

Third place: Nimagna (Zurich): Nimagna's immersive video technology allows for a true sense of presence in remote collaboration allowing for less business travel, reduction in costs, and lowering the world’s carbon footprint.

Industrials & Engineering

First place: NaturLoop (Biel): NaturLoop engineers biocomposites made from agricultural waste coupled with bio-based adhesives and develops the required technology to produce them on an industrial scale.

Second place: Infrascreen (Neuchatel): Infrascreen develops an innovative nano-material used to increase the energy efficiency of agricultural greenhouses. Greenhouses are both more profitable and more sustainable - drastically cutting their CO2 emissions.

Third place: Cowa Thermal Solutions (Lucerne): Cowa is developing compact thermal energy storages to boost renewables in buildings and in thermal energy systems. The technology is based on capsules filled with a high energy density material based on sustain.

Retail & Consumer Services

First place: Boostbar (Zurich): Provides the most affordable and sustainable solution for healthy meals and personal coffee breaks for small business to large corporates.

Second place: Bottle+ (St. Gallen): Bottle+ is a reusable, modular water bottle for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle on-the-go. They create sparkling water anytime anywhere, eliminating the need for single use plastic bottles.

Third place: Jawsome (Geneva): Developed the first personalised teeth whitening kit that is connected to an app and is made in Switzerland. Thanks to their innovative technology, users of "The Bright Lab" can track their progress and receive a tailor-made program that adapts over time.

Edtech start-up wins audience award

The audience also had their say in their favorite innovation. Presented by the Swiss French broadcast station, RTS, the Swiss public voted for Modus Operandi, an application that has the capability to scan handwritten math solution paths, verify them, and give hints about why a calculation step is right or wrong, as the winner of the 2021 Audience Award. Pelephant, the company behind the solution, was awarded CHF 10,000 to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.

(Press release / SK)