Money, cutting-edge research and experience

Top research has been going on in Switzerland for a long time. But in order to build successful start-ups from this, people with experience and financial resources are required. These are combining increasingly often in Switzerland.

Dear reader

Bright Peak Therapeutics has closed a financing round of about CHF 100 million. The biotech company is a spin-off from ETH Zurich and was launched with the help of Ridgeline, a Discovery Engine run by US investor Versant Ventures in Basel for several years. Versant also acted as the founding investor of Bright Peak.

Another biotech company closed the second big round of financing of the week, with Alentis raising CHF 60 million. The scientific foundation in this case originates from the University of Strasbourg. Alentis CEO Roberto Ioacone is a doctor and during his career has worked for Roche and Versant in Basel.

The ingredients for a successful start-up can be seen in these examples: cutting-edge research, the necessary financial resources and experienced staff who can implement the projects.

In Switzerland, these components are combining more and more frequently. At the Swiss Diabetes Venture Fund (SDVF) launched this week, the Diabetes Center Berne (DCB) joined forces with Ypsomed CEO Simon Michel and the Swiss Startup Group; Inselspital Bern is also part of the network. The fund intends to invest up to CHF 50 million.

The founders of cybersecurity start-up Threatray also combine a great deal of practical experience with a scientific background. Their SaaS product entered the market in late 2020 and has enjoyed quick adoption by major customers. Now the founders have been able to secure CHF 2.3 million for further growth.

And at the WA de Vigier Foundation’s awards ceremony, it was noticeable how many people with many years of experience were on stage to present the six winning projects, along with the six other nominated start-ups. Incidentally, the same applies to the founders of Enerdrape: the cleantech start-up has now received CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick.

People with broad experience cannot not always be found in Switzerland or EU countries. However, obtaining a work permit for talent from a third country is a challenge for start-ups. Our article explains how SECO wants to change this, the role EasyGov should play and the current state of affairs.

Startup Days will take place in Bern next week – tickets are still available with also the option to participate online. We will be there on 23 June and look forward to meeting you.

I would also like to point out the deadline for the Swisscom Startup Challenge on 4 July – this time the focus is on cyber security. The call for tenders for the second edition of the Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact initiative is also running. Our article describes how NaturLoop has benefited from the programme.

Have a sunny weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,