Let’s talk about strengths

The Swiss start-up scene has developed rapidly over the last 10 years and today has several specific strengths. With all the potential that the ecosystem has, this should not be forgotten.

Dear reader

This week I was at an event organised by the investors’ association SECA. The mood among the VCs was quite good, but one of the few irritations that came up in discussions was that the ecosystem is often presented in a bad light by start-up scene protagonists. Switzerland as a start-up location is better than it is often described. One reason may be that the strengths, which include stability, are unspectacular – in good times there is less exaggeration, in bad times there is less reversal. This week we reported on more than 10 financing rounds. LatticeFlow secured the largest investment of almost CHF 12 million: the ETH Zurich spin-off’s platform can automatically find and fix AI data and model errors. Challenger bank neon has already raised more than CHF 10 million through a mix of crowd investing and traditional financing rounds.

Another major strength is internationality: almost no other country has so many globally oriented start-up awards and programmes. Yesterday, MassChallenge Switzerland awarded the prizes for this year’s edition, with four winners from Switzerland and eight from abroad. Lausanne-based cleantech company Composite Recycling secured the largest sum of CHF 100,000. In the case of the Food-Tech Award, even the co-organisers, Barilla and Lavazza, are foreign brands. Zurich-based marketing analytics company Nexoya was one of the winners. And Swiss start-ups also won several prizes abroad.

F10 runs its incubation programmes for fintech, insurtech and regtech start-ups in Zurich and Singapore. From the next edition, it will invest CHF 50,000 in each selected company. The offer comes after the launch of the new F10 Incubation Fund, which aims to raise CHF 100 million by the end of next year.

Swiss start-up dua was launched by founders with an Albanian background and now it has taken over a German platform. The goal is to reconnect migrant communities worldwide.

The third major strength, and related to stability, is breadth in verticals. The latest Venture Kick winners serve as current evidence: Simon & Josef’s app makes cleaning and housekeeping in hotels more efficient and environmentally friendly, and more pleasant for guests. WattAnyWhere develops fuel cell charging stations for electric vehicles, and Ocumeda is building a cloud-based AI platform and network of partners to provide telemedicine for eyecare.

Next week you can meet my colleague Ritah Nyakato and I at Startup Nights in Winterthur. I would also like to mention Swiss Robotics Day next Friday, and don’t miss the deadline for the IMD Startup Competition on 7 November.

Have a good weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch