Swisspod and XRnanotech contest for the Swiss Bic of CERN prize


The selection committee of the Swiss BIC of CERN has nominated two startups and one SME to further contest in the final round of the competition. The winner will receive a one-time cash grant of CHF 50,000 and access to CERN’S expertise and infrastructure. 



Over the past three months, four Swiss startups had the opportunity to participate in Phase 2 program of the Swiss Business Incubation Centre (BIC) of CERN Technologies. The startups had the chance to further enhance their business plans through business development and technology coaching from experts from CERN, Park Innovaare and Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz. The selection committee had nominated three contestants to pitch to win the competition prize. The winner will gain access to CERN’s unique technologies, know-how and IP, as well as a tailor-made business and management coaching, including seed money of CHF 50,000.

Swisspod – the EPFL spinoff founded in 2019 aims to change the way people travel by connecting every major city using carbon-neutral Hyperloop solutions, thus ensuring that long-distance transportation is sustainable and efficient. The company’s team of multidisciplinary experts are currently building the most affordable and energy-efficient Hyperloop Pods that will be able to connect Geneva to Zurich in 17 minutes, for instance.

XRnanotech – founded as a spin-off from Paul Scherrer Institute is developing solutions for X-ray optics applications aiming for the highest quality in resolution, efficiency, stability and design. The startup’s optics allow focusing on higher-energy beams onto the smallest possible samples. This is crucial for drug discovery, medical imaging, microchip inspection or investigation of advanced materials.  Within its field, the startup provides unique solutions for several hundred large-scale R&D beamlines and high-tech companies around the world.

Alongside the two startups, the BIC of CERN team also nominated the SME SE2S GmbH for the competition finale. SE2S GmbH, founded in 2020 and based in Boppelsen (ZH), is a tech-SME with over 30 years of experience in radiation qualification, particle detection and data analysis. Its founders gathered profound expertise in radiation qualification and testing, electronics design, hardware and software development, and data evaluation for applications in aerospace. 

Invitation Only Demo Day
On Wednesday, 21 October 2020 from 13h to 17h, the candidates will pitch their business idea in front of the selection committee and selected guests, and then defend it in a closed-door Q&A session for a deeper dive into the project. The committee will subsequently announce the winner. This year, the pitch event will take place online, by invitation only.

Photo: Swisspod Facebook