W. A. de Vigier awards five start-ups

Today at the W.A de Vigier  award ceremony, five Swiss start-ups have been each endowed with CHF 100,000 for winning the 2017 W.A. de Vigier Award. Among them are some which are specializing in wind energy collection, providing assistance to birthing women and speeding up skin growth in the lab.

Approximately 160 Swiss start-ups submitted their projects for the W.A de Vigier award out of which the foundation’s board picked their Top 16, which were narrowed down to ten. Five most outstanding startups out of the ten were identified as the winners of the 2017 award.

Today at the 28th W.A. de Vigier Award ceremony in Solothurn, the five winners have been awarded each with a cash prize of CHF 100’000. More than 200 guests from the fields of economy, politics and science gathered to celebrate the five winners.

The five winners are:

Certus molecular diagnostics AG (biotech), Bern – The startup developed isoAMP, a highly reliable method for the on-site detection of pathogens such as herpes or influenza viruses within only 30 minutes. This enables an immediate, pathogen-specific and adequate therapy.

Cutiss (biotech), Zurich – Thanks to their innovative technology, CUTISS can bioengineer large quantities of personalized skin, beginning from a small biopsy taken from a discreet location. Scarring after transplantation is minimal, which significantly increases the patient’s quality of life.

Optimo Medical AG (medtech), Bern – In effort to enhance results in eye surgery, the startup developed OptimeyesTM, a technology makes surgical procedures on the human cornea safer and more precise. This technology enables opticians to know exactly where to place the incisions and can ascertain that the patient’s eyesight will be restored.

Skypull, cleantech (TI) – Due to logistic constraints, only a negligible part of altitude wind energy can be exploited by turbines. Skypull developed a lightweight and compact wind-based electricity generation system that can be deployed on a much wider range of locations to generate more renewable power that is twice as efficient as conventional wind turbines.

Vibwife GmbH (Medtech), Bern – designed a mattress-system that actively mobilizes and supports women during natural birth. During their training, midwives learn important mobilizing techniques to support birth progression. However, due to time constraints and physical limitations, those techniques are rarely used. Vibwife emulates those techniques and represents the first worldwide active mobilizing system for the birthing woman.

Implmenting an depth assessment process
For the first time, the jury of the Vigier Award implemented an  in-depth assessment of the selected Top 16 startups. This took into account aspects like leadership, pesnality and entrepreneurship in order to create added value for the start-ups.

„I’ve never gotten feedback about my leadership style before and I’m very grateful for the concrete tips for improvement“, says one of the nominees. According to Regula Buob, CEO of the W.A. de Vigier Foundation, “the additional workload was worth it for the Foundation because we wanted to not only support young entrepreneurs financially but also with more continuous advice and assistance.”

(Press release/ran)