Ten Swiss start-ups to explore the South African Market


For the first time a Venture Leaders trip will head to South Africa. Venturelab has now selected ten start-ups for the 5-day business development trip to Johannesburg. The winners are active in three main industries: Material Sciences / Cleantech, ICT and Biotech / Agritech.


Today's South Africa is one of the most sophisticated, diverse and promising emerging markets globally characterized by a unique combination of well-developed first-world financial markets, and a rapidly emerging market economy. Goals of South Africa set out in the National Development Plan include strengthening links to faster-growing economies or moving to more efficient and climate-friendly production systems. Ten Swiss start-ups have now the opportunity to explore this market by themselves. The winners of the first Venture Leaders South Africa will travel to the country next week.

The winners include:

Olga Dubey, AgroSustain, UNIL, Agritech/Biotech
AgroSustain aims to develop and bring to market efficient organic treatments against broad ranges of plant fungal pathogens that have a strong negative impact on food production worldwide.

Daniel Chiuma, Chiweto, ETHZ, ICT
Chiweto is a mobile application being developed to allow livestock farmers and respective organisations working with them make delivery of personalised extension services, access to information and trading faster, dependable and available in real-time.

Etienne Jeoffroy, FenX, ETHZ, Material
FenX turns waste and natural materials into highly porous foams for building Insulation.
Séverine Chardonnnens, IDUN Technologies, ETHZ, Biotech
IDUN Technologies develops and produces soft and dry conductive electrodes for heart-, brain- and muscle biopotential monitoring. With a unique and patented surface structure, these electrodes provide high quality signals with skin-friendly materials without electrolyte gel or glue.
Aldo Podesta, L2F, EPFL, Big Data/AI
L2F is a company active in the conception, development and maintenance of complex predictive models.
Amin Kasimov, Oqtor, Unil, AI/ICT
Oqtor is an online design tool that uses artificial intelligence to instantly generate beautiful designs tailored to a company's identity.
Stefano Grassi, Gilytics, ETHZ, Cleantech
Gilytics improves public participation and social acceptance in planning future sustainable large energy and transportation infrastructures using VR/AR

Dimitrios Terzis, MeduSoil, EPFL, Material
Medusoil offers soil stabilisation solutions in the construction industry. It ensures long-term stability of structures against earthquakes, landslides, soil erosion and rising sea levels. 

Gnanli Landrou, Oxara, ETHZ, Material
Oxara develops an innovative cement-free concrete technology that helps construction & recycling companies to produce and build affordable housing at low cost.
Bruno Azevedo, Thinkmilk, EPFL, Agritech
Thinkmilk develops low-cost, automated in-line sensors for dairy cattle breeders to improve the health of the herd (cows, buffaloes, goats, etc.) in emerging countries, getting information on milk substances rate, traces of antibiotics, and animal diseases, and assuring milk quality compatible to international standards.

The program is part of the Swiss South African joint research project, directed by the Leading House for South Africa, the University of Basel, in collaboration with the South African Technology and Innovation Agency (TIA), organised by Venturelab.

The team will fly to Cape Town from June 4th to 8th for a one-week market discovery program comprising workshops with local business experts, company visits, and sessions with South African startup to support each other on defining local market entry in their respective markets.  The Swiss and South African startup will be competing at the pitch battle  in Cape town on Thursday June 7th.