Ten finalists join Seif Awards competition

The ten finalists in the SEIF Awards for Social Entrepreneurship 2017 have been revealed. Among them are four Swiss startups. The finalists will pitch to the jury and the audience during the seif award ceremony on 2. October at Volkshaus Zurich. This year five winners from five categories will be chosen and each awarded CHF 10'000. An Audience award will also be awarded to the startup with the most votes.

The seif Awards for social entrepreneurship recognises entrepreneurs and their innovations designed world’s most pressing societal and environmental problems through innovative and entrepreneurial ideas. This year, five winners of each of the five categories – Suva award for integration and prevention, UBS award for social innovation, PWC award for future trends and the Seif award for social entrepreneurship and Johnson and Johnson award for digital healthcare – will be awarded.

In this year’s call for ideas, a number of projects ranging from smart energy, to ICT to healhcare and various interdisciplinary fields was submitted from startups originating from Europe including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Austria.

Seif finalists from Switzerland include

Skypull (Ticino)
Named after the startup, Skypull is an Altitude Wind Energy (AWE) system made of an autonomous drone connected by a tether to a ground power generator. Wind is the cheapest renewable alternative in the world, yet most of the wind energy is not available on the ground. Skypull climbs to and captures the energy from the strong and abundant altitude winds between 200 and 600 meters above ground and produces low cost electricity. The wind energy is converted into electricity through a ground generator that exploits the lift of Skypull.

Swiss Blue Energy (Aargau)
An early-stage technology startup that develops the Thermo-Magnetic Motor (TMM), which is an alternative to energy storage infrastructure. The TMM applies the well-known Curie effect and therefore creates electricity from any low-temperature heat source, for example warm water from industry or oil refineries. The TMM provides a baseload of constant, emission-free electricity that complements and helps regulate the production from other sources (solar, wind and geothermal).

Smart Home Technologies (Zurich) 
Established as an spinoff of ETH, SHT developed their core product the IoT Concentrator, a full industrial IoT (Internet of Things) solution that supports mid-sized companies to bring offline products to an online world. The product was developed in partnership with big corporates including Swisscom and Microsoft.

Kiwix (Lausanne)
Kiwix brings internet content to people without internet access. Kiwix is an offline reader that that turns websites into portable zip files, which are stored locally on the user’s device. The files can later be read by the Kiwix software and be accessed at any time, without the need for an internet connection. Kiwix works on mobile phones, tablets and computers. In 2016 Kiwix registered 1m downloads, 80% of them being in the developing world.

The other six startups in the competition include: RSO Shift (Germany), myAbility (Austria), BLITAB (Austria), Coolar (Germany), Mirrorable (Italy) and NEO Green Energy.

Seif Award ceremony
The ten finalists will each pitch to the audience on 2 October at Volkshaus Zurich during the Seif Award ceremony. 5 winners will be revealed and awarded. The audience is also invited to vote for their favourite startup. The startup with the most votes will receive the Audience Award.