Innovation as a team sport

The start-up ecosystem is maturing and the number of actors working with start-ups is increasing, thus increasing the likelihood that Switzerland will remain world champion in innovation over the long term.

Dear reader

This week Novartis acquired a Bern-based start-up. Arctos Medical develops therapies to reverse the disease-related loss of photoreceptors in the eye and thus prevent blindness. The acquisition is good news, since it shows that Swiss corporations are becoming more interested in Swiss technology start-ups. Orell Füssli took over blockchain start-up Procivis just 10 days ago.

In the search for investors, start-ups are increasingly finding what they are looking for at home. We reported on nine investments this week, with Swiss VCs and business angels contributing funds to eight of these. A group of institutional backers from Switzerland were involved in the largest financing round – proptech start-up Locatee secured almost CHF 8 million. Zurich-based VC Wingman Ventures was involved in two financing rounds: one for proptech Kollabo and the other for Tune Insight, active in the enterprise data and analytics market. Another local VC, Spicehaus, acted as lead investor in fintech fidentity.

A new fund was also launched: LVG Capital plans to raise USD 100 million for investment in start-ups in the luxury area. And this also is a collaboration between a young company and an established player. LVG Capital is a joint venture from Luxury Venture Group and Synergy Asset Management, a Geneva-based multi-family office that manages more than CHF 2 billion for institutional and private clients.

The fact that there are suitable partners for such collaborations should not come as a surprise: the Global Innovation Index has just confirmed that Switzerland is the most innovative country worldwide. This week’s news shows that the potential of such partnerships is increasingly being exploited, thus improving the likelihood of the country remaining innovation world champion over the long term.

You can discover the innovative strength of Swiss start-ups at the Startup Champions Event at ETH Zurich on 5 October. Venturelab will present the Venture Leaders Technology team and the Venture Leaders Deeptech team chosen this week. The latest winner at venture kick also comes from the deeptech field: Exomotion, an EPFL spin-off that has now secured CHF 150,000, is developing a new type of wheelchair.

Startup Night will take place next Friday in Winterthur, with the Entrepreneur Club Winterthur expecting about 1,000 visitors. The #wetechtogether conference, which brings together female tech communities, will take place in Zurich on Friday and Saturday.

Finally, I would like to point out the upcoming deadline – Monday – for the ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark.

Have a good autumn weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,