Start-up capital for female founders


Aike Festini and Olga Dubey (picture above) have one thing in common: their start-ups have each received start-up capital of CHF 130,000 from the Venture Kick national support programme.


Funded by businesses and individuals, the national start-up support programme Venture Kick links a start-up competition with tailor-made management support and financial support in an internationally unique manner. Now, for the first time, two start-ups, which have each received the maximum prize money of CHF 130,000, have female CEOs.

“Thanks to the prize money from Venture Kick, we can now really get started,” says Olga Dubey from the Lausanne start-up AgroSustain. The molecular biologist will be able to hire a second full time employee and finance the certification of her novel biocide.

Dubey runs her business with her two co-founders Jean-Pascal Aribot and Sylvain Dubey (Picture above). At the Winterthur logistics platform LuckaBox, two women are at the wheel: CEO Aike Festini and co-founder Maite Mihm. They got going in the middle of last year and in parallel used Venture Kick’s management support. “For me,” says Festini, “the support of Venture Kick’s experts was no less important than the prize money.”

LuckaBox, Winterthur: innovative logistics platform
The ‘platformisation’ of the economy is progressing and has now reached the delivery industry. The Winterthur start-up company LuckaBox has established a platform that brings together the express delivery capacity available in a city at any given time and makes it available to retailers in real time. The underlying algorithm assesses the reliability, pricing and performance of each courier and on request calculates the best combination for a job. LuckaBox’s market launch has been successful: among its first customers are well-known companies such as Jelmoli and IT distributor Steg. The start-ups has just closed a pre-seed round (see separate article

AgroSustain, Nyon: sustainable pathogen control
The UN estimates that globally food worth CHF 1,000 billion is thrown away each year, with pathogenic fungi causing damage of CHF 100 billion alone, mainly in fruit and vegetables. Nevertheless, no sustainable remedy exists on the market today. That could now change: start-up AgroSustain has developed a method to detect plant-based toxins against some of the most common agronomical fungi. The first product from the University of Lausanne spin-off is based on two natural plant extracts and extends the shelf life of vegetables, berries, fruit and cut flowers by at least a week.

(Press release)