Tech4Trust second season ends on a high note

After 6 months of intensive work in the context of a global pandemic, the 2nd edition of the Swiss start-ups acceleration program Tech4Trust by Trust Valley is a success. At the closing ceremony, the 3 most promising companies were voted by the advisory committee. Inpher takes 1st place, Strong Network 2nd and DuoKey 3rd. A special Rosenfield Foundation Prize goes to KimboCare for its social impact.

How to acquire your first clients and partners when you can no longer meet people and create a traditional bond of trust? 27 startups have followed an intense and unprecedented journey to boost their development during the winter, despite the remote working conditions. With the Canton of Vaud as the main sponsor and the support of the Canton of Geneva, the program initially planned for 15 startups took up the challenge of offering this opportunity to 27 young start-ups given the difficult winter ahead.  

10 startups in the final, 4 winners

Bug Bounty Switzerland, Cryptolex, Cysec, DuoKey, Inpher, Nym Technologies, Orbitalize, Origin Food, PXL Vision, Strong.Network were selected by the Tech4Trust advisory board (+30 members), according to precise criteria (team, products, market, innovation, partnerships, finances, sustainability) and their performance since the start of the Tech4Trust program. The 10 finalists pitched at the Closing Ceremony last Tuesday in front of a jury made up of about 20 members of the advisory board. The Jury was chaired by Jean-Philippe Lallement, Managing Director of the EPFL Innovation Park Foundation, and co-chaired by Yan Borboën Cybersecurity Leader, Western Switzerland at PwC and Patrice Perche, Senior Executive Vice-President Worldwide Sales & Support at Fortinet.

  • The 1st prize is awarded to Inpher by Raphaël Conz, Vaud economic promotion (SPEI) within the amount of CHF 70'000.- (CHF 10'000 cash, PwC 30'000 & Fortinet / SCRT 30'000 in services). Inpher is a global Secret Computing® company that powers privacy-preserving machine learning and analytics to unlock the value of sensitive, siloed data and enable secure collaboration across departments, jurisdictions and organizations. "As highlighted by the recent investment from the Amazon Alexa Fund, Inpher continues its industry expansion with customers in financial services, healthcare, IoT and consumer devices." Jordan Brandt, CEO Inpher.
  • The 2nd prize is awarded to Strong.Network by Yan Borboën, PwC within the amount of CHF 40'000.- (in PwC 20'000 and Fortinet / SCRT 20'000.- services). "Tech4Trust was a springboard to propel our product and our expertise. The program allowed us to finalize business with companies and strategic partners after only one quarter of development." Laurent Balmelli, co-founder, Strong Networks.
  • The 3rd prize is awarded to DuoKey by Patrice Perche, Fortinet within the amount of CHF 20'000. (in PwC 10'000 and Fortinet / SCRT 10'000.- services). “We are building DuoKey to help corporates store highly confidential documents, use and optimize services while protecting their data with confidentiality and trust." Nagib Aouini, founder, CEO Duokey.
  • A special prize of CHF 10'000 is awarded to KimboCare by Thomas Rosenfield of the “Herbert & Audrey Rosenfield” foundation for its social impact . “Trust is something that is built stone by stone. Tech4Trust has allowed us to seal and strengthen the security around patient data that is at the heart of the KimboCare initiative.” Franck Tiambo, co-founder, Kimbocare.

A growing Tech4Trust audience 

The Swiss "Tech4Trust" acceleration program aims to support the 27 startups selected from more than 50 applications with a personalized path, to refine their marketing strategy, to present them to investors and potential clients. The program includes coaching and mentoring sessions with 70 industry experts and 7 specific workshops (+400 people) focused on negotiation, sales, marketing, legal and technical aspects. In addition, startups are highlighted during a new kind of “tour of Switzerland” made up of roadshow stops in Lausanne, Zug with the Crypto Valley, Zurich, Geneva, Valais, Yverdon, Fribourg and the US (Silicon Valley). An audience of more than 1'750 people followed these events.

During a winter like no other, the initiative has proved essential not only for the economy but as a way to get out of the crisis as fast as possible. “With the pandemic, it is vital for companies to find places of trust to facilitate their development. The “Tech4Trust” program provides a concrete answer to this.” Lennig Pedron, Director of the Trust Valley. 

When Trust Valley meets Silicon Valley

Co-organized by Trust Valley, Swissnex San Francisco, the Swiss Consulate General in San Francisco and Switzerland Global Enterprise / Swiss Business Hub USA, the event took place online on March 24th. This was part of the “Tech4Trust by Trust Valley” program and brought together global experts from these two ecosystems and 10 specially selected startups. The goal was to explore the relationship between trust and digital transformation to address the challenges facing society today.

The event featured high-level speakers such as Mitchell Baker (Managing Director, President of the Mozilla Foundation), Yves Daccord (CEO of Edgeland Inst, former director of the ICRC), Heather Loomis ( Partner, Managing Director of Fund Strategy, Glynn Capital) and Brandie Nonnecke (Director of the CITRIS Policy Lab at UC Berkeley, Fellow of the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy), ranking among the 100 Brightest Women in Artificial Intelligence Ethics 2021.

(Press release - ES)

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