Growing ambitions

Medtech companies venture into the consumer market and a cleantech company aims to implement a globally unique system – Swiss high-tech founders’ ambitions are climbing.

Dear reader

Synhelion has closed a financing round of CHF 16 million. The money should enable the cleantech start-up to achieve its ambitious goal of building and operating the world’s first plant capable of producing solar fuels on an industrial scale. The ETH Zurich spin-off is a typical Swiss deep-tech start-up and it shows that founders can think big these days. The start-up also qualified for the final of the Swiss Technology Awards this week; the finalists include other similar start-ups.

Sleepiz, also an ETH spin-off, has developed a device to monitor sleep quality contactlessly. The device will not only be let to doctors and clinics, but also offered directly to consumers for short-term rental. With the high-tech product and the unusual business model, the team persuaded the investors in the television programme Die Höhle der Löwen to contribute CHF 1 million to the start-up.

Aktiia is also venturing into the B2C market with its medtech wearable for continuous blood pressure monitoring, and has now received CHF 16 million from investors for the growth phase. Calopad is another example of a young medtech company that has achieved success with end users: it has already sold 1,000 of its smart deep-heat patches and has also received the Innosuisse certificate.

And progress can also be seen with investors. Philip Morris International’s corporate venture arm has had USD 150 million available to date that has been fully invested, including in three Swiss start-ups. Now the group has made another USD 200 million available for investment.

It is crucial for investors that an exit is achievable, and this week we covered two. Flex Suisse, a platform for legal services founded in 2019, went to a large German competitor, and software company Symfact was taken over by a Danish company.

In order for a start-up to be successful, it must set up the founding team correctly right from the start. Talent Kick is a new one to two-year tailored support programme designed to help masters and doctoral students form interdisciplinary co-founder teams across Swiss universities and gain a foothold in the Swiss start-up and support ecosystem. Applications are open.

Swiss Digital Day takes place next Wednesday, and from Monday to Friday numerous events will be happening as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Startfeld Investors Forum is on 16 November and Swiss Innovation Forum on 18 November. Finally, I would like to point out the deadline for the IMD Startup Challenge – applications are open only until Monday.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora 

Editor in Chief,