For Swiss startups, China is a key market to explore. With the necessity to increase the visibility of Swiss high-tech innovation in China, venturelab launched the first edition of venture leaders China in 2014 on the model of the venture leaders programs in New York and Boston. This year’s finalists will pitch their novel technologies to local investors, experts and entrepreneurs in four fast paced innovation hubs: Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and for the first time this year, Hong Kong. The trip is coorganized with swissnex China.
The ten venture leaders - who will also pitch at the venture leaders Kick-off event in Schlieren on 8 September - are:
Duncan Sutherland, TwentyGreen – Biotech, Lucerne and Lausanne (EPFL) Today’s animal farming practices are unsustainable, and meeting the growing world demand for protein is a major challenge in our society. TwentyGreen produces a new probiotic feed supplement for sustainable animal farming, which exerts several beneficial effects simultaneously.
Felix Adamczyk, Smart Home Technology – Hardware, software, Zurich (ETH) Smart Home Technology, an ETH Spin-off, creates smart and energy efficient appliances for homes and industries. They provide ultra-low power and secure solutions for connected devices with Zero Standby Power and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). With their business solution Smart@Home they offer sensor-based and real-time data collection.
Luc Gervais, 1Drop Diagnostics – Medtech, Neuchâtel (EPFL) 1Drop Diagnostics is saving lives through better and faster portable medical diagnostics. The startup has developed a device that detects cardiovascular disease from a single drop of blood immediately in front of the patient.
Marc Gitzinger, BioVersys – Biotech, Basel (ETH) BioVersys focuses on research and development of small molecules, which switch off drug resistance against existing antibiotics. The Swiss biopharmaceutical company addresses the high unmet medical need for new treatments of life-threatening bacterial infections that emerged in recent years due to antibiotic resistance, such as tuberculosis and hospital acquired infections.
Olga Peters, QualySense – Electronics, mechanics, robotics, Glattbrugg. Qualysense is a worldwide industry pioneer focusing on delivering innovative high-end sorting solutions to achieve optimal processing, quality and safety of agricultural products, according to biochemical and morphological traits. QualySense developed the QSorter robot which is capable of sorting grains, seeds and beans at breathtaking speed.
Pascal Koenig, Ava – Medtech, Zurich Ava develops a wearable medical device based on a patented multi-sensor technology, which monitors the menstrual cycle of women in order to precisely indicate fertile days and facilitate family planning. Compared with other methods and tools in the market, Ava’s solution is more convenient and precise.
Sandra Neumann, Ph.D. – Peripal – Medtech, Zurich Peripal focuses on patient aids for home care patients in the field of dialysis. Their mission is to develop and market patient aids that enable more patients worldwide to be treated safely in their homes, and thus lower healthcare costs.
Serguei Okhonin, ActLight – Cleantech, Energy, Lausanne (EPFL) ActLight’s developed the most powerful solution for low power, high sensitivity and on-chip integration for new light sensing applications. Applications range from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart watches to wearable Medtech devices.
Staffan Ahlgren, Tyre Recycling Solutions SA (TRS) – Cleantech, Gland (EPFL) Tyre Recycling Solutions SA (“TRS”) has developed three technologies which, when combined, turn tyre recycling from a negative and fragmented value chain into a valuable business opportunity. The TRS technologies cover unique added value steps of tyre recovery and recycling to produce a unique raw material: micronized devulcanized rubber powder with unique surface properties (TyreXol) to allow it to be reintroduced into high quality products.
Veronica Savu, Morphotonix – Micro-nano, Lausanne (EPFL)Morphotonix boosts brands' revenue by preventing counterfeits or copies, with instant authentication of the original products by consumers and supply chain. The security elements are integrated directly into molded products, with zero-added manufacturing cost. Their uncopiable features are embedded in products during the standard manufacturing step, with no inks/labels/additives. From electronics to food & beverage primary packaging, the cutting-edge precision and innovative aesthetics of the Morphotonix solution emphasizes the product quality and engages the consumer.
Increase the visibility of Swiss high-tech startups “The objective of venture leaders is to showcase the diversity and the quality of Swiss high-tech innovation at an international level. The program also shows the interest of these startups for global markets such as China”, explains Jordi Montserrat, Managing Director of venturelab. Thanks to diplomatic events such as the visit of President Schneider-Ammann in China in April 2016, more and more members of the Chinese innovation ecosystem are getting interested in the Swiss-tech scene. This is great news for our finalists this year, whose products and services range from a wearable medical device to facilitate family planning, additive-free security elements that protect brands against counterfeiting, novel feed supplements for sustainable animal farming or cutting edge medical diagnostics devices.
“A market for every startup in China” Further to the rising interest for Swiss innovation in China, the market opportunities abound: “China is a place that is growing fast and moving into an innovation-oriented economy”, explains Pascal Marmier, CEO of venturelab’s partner swissnex China. “However, this market is a very competitive one, and the rules of the game might look different than the home market. This is why Swiss entrepreneurs need to come and experience the way of doing business in China, meet local experts, entrepreneurs and investors and build strong relationships. Every startup has by definition a market in China, the key is on how to exploit it”. And the business development trip to China has proven successful for many entrepreneurs in the past years, such as Thomas Fessard, the CEO of SpiroChem. He was able to establish contacts with several potential partners and clients during the trip in 2015. Most importantly, the venture leaders China program enabled him to see “the potential and not only the threats of doing business in China.”
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