Venture Kick awards CHF 450’000 to cleantech and edtech startups


While Bloom Biorenewables and INERGIO are developing petroleum alternatives and efficient energy units, the edtech startup SYLVA offers an integrated learning and assessment platform for educators. The three startups have each received CHF 150’000 from Venture Kick.



Founded as a spinoff from the EPFL, Bloom Biorenewables turns plants into renewable materials and energy to substitute detrimental petroleum-derived products. The Freiburg based startup achieves this by isolating and selectively breaking down lignin, an abundant and largely an unexploited constituent of plants, which resembles petroleum in many ways. Through the valorization of lignin, Bloom can harvest plant material, such as wood or agricultural waste, more efficiently and manufacture renewable materials.

In its first phase, the startup focuses on high-value market segments, where bio-based replacement of fossil-derived products are needed, such as fragrance and flavour, plastics, cosmetics, textiles. Co-founders Remy Buser, Florent Héroguel, and Jeremy Luterbacher and the Bloom team are currently raising a seed round to further scale up the process to validate both the technology and the market at an industry-relevant scale.

Efficient energy systems
INERGIO, an EPFL and HEIG-VD spin-off founded by Mahmoud Hadad and the team, Cecilia Giovinazzo and Luc Conti is developing an innovative modular, lightweight, and efficient power system that delivers clean electricity wherever it is needed. The Lausanne based startup took a unique and patented approach to miniaturize one of the most efficient fuel cell technologies, solid oxide fuel cells, in a reliable and cost-effective way. The result is a miniaturized power plant that can extend autonomy by a factor of 10 or reduce the footprint by 90% compared to conventional power supplies.

Inergio’s fuel cell modular power system allows unlimited scaling, making the technology suitable for applications ranging from IoT devices and consumer electronics to autonomous robotic systems and automobiles for range extenders. With a working prototype at hand, the company aims to commercialize its product in a €6.5 billion off-grid market and the multi-billion market of autonomous robotic systems. INERGIO will use the CHF 150,000 Venture Kick support to advance business development, expand the team, and accelerate customer acquisition and sales.

Edtech startup offers an interactive learning platform
SYLVA is an integrated learning and assessment platform established by the Zurich-based startup SYLVA. The platform reinforces learning concepts by providing create interactive course materials, individualized exams and an automated grading system. The solutions can save educators up to 570 hours a year and increases their time spent on teaching. After piloting and testing the platform across 20+ courses with more than 2,000 students at universities and business schools in Europe and the United States, SYLVA is ready for the market launch.

The founders Jessica Sudo, Maik Meusel, and Karl Schmedders also entered a partnership with Wolfram Research – a US-based software company that powers the computational engine behind Siri and Alexa – to enhance their product. The startup will use the Venture Kick investment to further develop integration with other commonly used learning platforms, increase their digital marketing, and scale the IT infrastructure of the software.

(Press release/RAN)
Photo L-R: Team Bloom Biorenewables, team Inergio and Team Sylva