Women-led businesses are making headlines

Women are still clearly in the minority in the Swiss start-up scene. However, this week we reported on several success stories from female-run companies, including one of the largest financing rounds of the year.

Dear reader

Basel-based Nouscom develops universal and personalised cancer vaccines. Three clinical trials are currently underway, including therapies for colon and skin cancer. The company has now secured CHF 65 million in an oversubscribed financing round.

Several clinical trials are also underway for Pregnolia’s diagnostic system, which doctors can use to assess the risk of premature birth. The Zurich start-up has now completed another financing round of CHF 2.2 million. Ymmunobio – which develops antibody-based cancer drugs – also generated USD 1.4 million in a seed round.

Nouscom and Pregnolia are led by female CEOs and Ymmunobio was established by a female founder with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to these life sciences start-ups, other women-led companies made headlines this week. Sallea is continuing to develop cultivated animal protein products and has now convinced the Venture Kick jury, raising CHF 150,000, and ServiceHunter, known for ‘quitt’, a digital solution for hiring and billing domestic help, is strengthening its foothold in French-speaking Switzerland with an acquisition.

As encouraging as the number of women-led start-ups reaching key milestones is, it’s clear that last week was an exception. It is also astonishing that the team photos of deeptech start-ups sent to us to illustrate the articles usually show only one female employee and sometimes none at all. Of course there are counter-examples: Avea’s founding and operational teams are a diverse mix and this week we reported on the start-up’s success in China.

A woman also answered our questions on the subject of quantum computing. Chiara Decaroli, former Quantum Innovation Lead at the UK National Quantum Computing Centre and currently investment manager at Redstone, explains in our interview where quantum computing stands today and which fields of application are particularly promising.

Next week, the Investor Summit takes place in Liechtenstein on Tuesday and on Thursday five life science start-ups will present themselves at the MEDKAP Investors’ Pitch Event at Google. My colleague Ritah Nyakato will be present at the Tenity Incubation Demo Day; by the way, registration for the next edition of Tenity’s Pre-Seed Incubator is open until 24 November.

Last but not least, our LinkedIn post reveals how Technis founder Wiktor Bourrée experienced his meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron and which other start-up founders were present.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch