Vision fulfilled step by step

Space and medtech start-ups show how visionary technology can be transformed into practical, useable products.

Dear reader

More than 100 million pieces of space junk are in orbit around the earth. This debris poses a major threat to active satellites. Clearspace is tackling this problem by developing technology that removes junk from space, and the first mission to remove two pieces of debris is planned for 2026. The EPFL spin-off has now completed a round of financing worth a good CHF 26 million.

Another space start-up also reported good news: ESA member states are supporting the roll-out phase of Swissto12’s innovative satellite with about CHF 30 million. It is quite possible that similar projects will be added in the future, since the pipeline of space-related start-ups is well filled – as the latest cohort of ESA BIC’s incubation programme shows. Six companies will be supported over the next two years with up to EUR 200,000, access to the network and coaching. By the way, the deadline for applications for the next ESA BIC cohort is approaching. Interested space-related start-ups should lose no more time.

What is fascinating about space start-ups is their ability to fulfil a far-reaching vision step by step while keeping up a fast pace. This combination is also crucial to the success of many medtech companies, such as Neurosoft. The start-up develops soft implantable electrodes to record from or electrically stimulate the surface of the brain. After setting up a medical grade production line and gaining ISO certification, the first clinical studies are due to start in the next few months.

Switzerland is also well positioned when it comes to medtech start-ups. As part of our series on companies that were awarded the Innosuisse certificate in 2022, we present five promising start-ups.

Speaking of Innosuisse, as of this year, the Swiss Innovation Agency will directly support science-based innovation projects before market entry. The application tool for submission of applications will be open from 22 February. Interested start-ups can learn more in an Innosuisse webinar on 23 February.

In addition to deeptech start-ups, fintech companies in particular caught my eye this week, with the closure of four investment rounds that included two very young companies, Yeekatee and Chercia.

Next week will see the publication of Swiss Venture Capital Report 2023. Places are still available at the launch event in Zurich and registration is open until Wednesday noon.

I would also like to draw your attention to the deadlines for the Swiss Economic Award on 27 January and for the Tech4Eva FemTech Accelerator on 1 February. In addition, applications are now open for MassChallenge Switzerland and the Startup Pitching Battle at Startup Days in May.

Have a good weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,