LeadiNNg to Scale Up season two kicks off with 12 startups

Twelve fast-growing high-tech companies from various industries have been selected to participate in the second round of the LeadiNNg to Scale Up program. In response to the high demand, as of this year the program comprises startups not only from Vaud but also from Switzerland and beyond. 

LeadiNNg to Scale-Up  is a joint initiative of IMD and Innovaud, designed to propel tech companies from promising startups to fast-growing, international scale-ups. A scale-up is a rapidly developing company that achieves 20% annual growth in headcount or revenue for at least three years in a row. There are currently 43 companies that meet this criterion in the canton of Vaud.

As of 2023, the program opened its doors not only to Vaud-based ventures, but also to Swiss and international projects. Selected startups will receive targeted support and courses by IMD professors and serial entrepreneurs. They will also gain access to a network of successful scale-ups and entrepreneurs, become part of a community of ambitious founders facing similar challenges, and receive a certificate of completion recognized by IMD and Innovaud.

The following companies will participate in the second edition 

Almatech SA (Vaud) - Delivers critical flight hardware for space missions as well as accessible engineering services for naval and ground applications.

Bionomous (Fribourg) - Develops and commercializes AI-powered laboratory equipment for the life science research and other industries to automate the screening, sorting, and pipetting of miniature entities.

b-sharpe SA (Geneva)- Offers transparent, reliable, and straightforward currency exchange services at a fair price for businesses and private individuals.

Coactum (Vaud) - Aims to revolutionize cargo transportation in space, allowing fast access to orbits which are otherwise expensive and slow to reach by providing simple, secure, and fast in-space transportation services. The company was originally created in Luxembourg, the company set up in Vaud in 2021 with the support of Innovaud.

Daphne Technology (Vaud) - Measures and reduces GHG emissions from industrial sources by developing and scaling up innovative technology.

Eeproperty SA (Vaud) - Leader of services for shared spaces in residential buildings (laundries, electric car charging, energy, and access) provides services on owners' behalf and contributes to energy saving.

Freesuns SA (Vaud) - Designs, manufactures and installs stunning solar roof tiles for high-end residential, commercial, and heritage properties.

Legacy Healthcare (Vaud) - Biotech with a late-stage drug candidate for the treatment of a pediatric autoimmune condition (Alopecia Areata).

Polariton Technologies AG (Zurich) - Revolutionizes the future of telecommunications by accelerating information transport and reducing its power consumption thanks to the fastest and smallest electro-optic modulators.

Scientific Visual SA (Vaud) - Automated inspection tools for industrial crystals. 

SmartHelio (Vaud) - Proprietary IoT sensor and intelligent software to keep solar plants healthy and generate cleaner energy.

wise.swiss (Neuchatel) - Software solutions for b2b business focusing on three areas: marketing, real estate and public organizations.

IMD and Innovaud have been supporting startups for many years through initiatives such as the IMD Startup Competition and Scale Up Vaud programs. In 2022, the longtime partner institutions decided to launch the LeadiNNg to Scale Up program to fill a gap in Switzerland’s innovation support ecosystem. “After getting their business off the ground and completing their all-important first funding round, tech startup founders need targeted support to kick-start the scale-up process, recruit talent, and get their company ready to grow fast,” explained Patrick Barbey, Director of Innovaud.

By founders, for founders

Founding and scaling a startup can be a lonely process, and it can be helpful for founders to know that their peers are facing the same challenges. This is why one of the most important aspects of the LeadiNNg to Scale-Up program is building trust among participants.

“We did a lot of research to try to understand what these scaleups needed,” explained Pulcrano. “We looked at the data we had from more than two decades of running the IMD Startup Competition and interviewed founders who were already successfully scaling. But most important was interviewing each of the LeadiNNg to Scale candidates to understand where they were, and what they felt they needed to break through from incremental growth to scale.” The 2023 program thus covers three key topics – leadership, organizational design, and strategic scaling. Ten sessions spread over six months combine practical case studies with in-person experience-sharing from other entrepreneurs.

For startups, the benefits are numerous: they learn about how to scale from leading entrepreneurship professors at IMD, gain access to a network of successful scale-ups and entrepreneurs, become part of a community of ambitious founders facing similar challenges, and receive a certificate of completion recognized by IMD and Innovaud.

(Press release/RAN)