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Special edition 2013

Top 100

Startups The best Swiss startups


The high-flyers of the startup scene


How startups get the big money

130’000 for your startup 10’000 for a great business idea 20’000 for a solid business case 100’000 for a successful startup A philanthropic initiative of a private consortium:

Beat schillig Editorial

Race to the top


n the past five years, more than 100,000 new companies were founded in Switzerland. Just one among the thousands made it onto the list of the top 100 startups. It is no surprise that these startups together represent a potent range of achievements. Despite their tender ages, they have brought in a combined total of more than CHF 300 million from investors, created around 2,000 jobs and attracted customers from around the globe. These kinds of startups are what Switzerland needs in order to ­assert itself amidst intensifying international competition. The competition has tightened among the top Swiss startups. More and more young companies with excellent prospects are vying for a limited amount of funding available from investors. Dedicated private investors – or so-called «business angels» – are becoming increasingly important. Fortunately, growth has been seen in this area, not least from the ranks of highly successful entrepreneurs who reinvest their capital in the next generation of startups. These ­entrepreneurs invest in the potential high-flyers – Switzerland’s «youngster corporations», which are founded mostly by young people emerging from the high-tech laboratories at universities. These startups are among the world’s best when it comes to research and patenting. For investors, however, it is also worth keeping an eye on those who have not yet made it into the spotlight of the top 100 startups in 2013. Portraits of hundreds of next-generation startups pushing their way into the market with their innovative solutions can be found at Startups are vitally important to Switzerland. Studies conducted by the Institute for Young Entrepreneurs (IFJ) have shown that newly established companies create about 50,000 new, lasting jobs each year – lasting because the growth generated by the half that

Beat Schillig Founder of the Institute for Young Entrepreneurs (IFJ)

do actually survive the first five years are more than able to offset the losses of the other half. The economic importance of startups has now been recognized by politicians around the globe. Silicon Valley is no longer the only place you will find startups. Last year, for example, several business delegations from countries including Taiwan, Singapore and South Africa visited Switzerland to discover the secrets of its startup boom and our global standing as the leaders in innovation. Private as well as government funding programs are springing up like wildflowers all over the world. Recently, the concept of the «venture leaders», Switzerland’s national startup team, has even been copied by the French and South Africans. It is therefore not surprising that the rate of innovation, particularly in Asia, is ramping up at a perilous pace. If Switzerland wants to stay on top, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Instead, we must continue to intelligently reinforce the overall conditions necessary for startups to succeed. 2013 handelszeitung 3

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Contents The 100 best startups in Switzerland Taking off The high-flyers of the startup scene7 Business angels Experience and pioneering spirit unite8 The top 100 Gold HouseTrip – Swiss quality conquers the world market10 Silver BioVersys – fighting infections13 Bronze Abionic – precision allergy testing15 Ranks 4 to 100 The winners in eight different industries16

fotos: martin heimann (2), Ben cawthra (1), bruno arnold (2)

Imprint Startups magazine is an insert in the ­business publication Handelszeitung Top 100 startups Concept and realization: IFJ Institute for Young Entrepreneurs, St.Gallen; Journalistenbüro Niedermann GmbH, Lucerne. Editors: Jost Dubacher, Stefan Kyora, Claus Niedermann Handelszeitung Editorial Team Förrlibuckstrasse 70, 8021 Zurich, Switzerland. Phone +41 (0) 43 444 59 00, Fax +41 (0) 43 444 59 30, E-mail:, Publisher Förrlibuckstrasse 70, 8021 ­Zurich, Switzerland. Phone +41 (0) 43 444 59 00, Fax +41 (0) 43 444 59 32, E-mail: Publishing house Axel Springer Switzerland. Disclosure of major shareholdings within the meaning of Article 322 Criminal Code: Amiado Group AG Editor in Chief Stefan Barmettler Deputy Editor in Chief Pascal Ihle (responsible for this special edition) Special edition editorial staff Stefan Mair, Laurina Waltersperger, Mark Köchli, Pirmin Schilliger Special edition production Roger Cavalli (Art Director), Charlotte Pauk (Text). ­Photographers: Martin Heimann, Bruno Arnold. Proofreading: Urs Bochsler, Renate Brunner, Beat Koch, Florian Vogler Publishers Thomas Garms (Director), ­Maike Juchler (Assistant Director) Advertising Renato Oliva (Director), Adi Frei, Verena Tschopp, Karin Urech, Eveline Fenner (Art), Phone +41 (0) 43 444 58 44, E-mail: Print and advertising management, Western Switzerland Servais Y.F. Micolot, Brigitte Lopez-y-Martin (Sales), E-mail:, Phone +41 (0) 21 943 76 20 Marketing Patrizia Serra (Director), Laura Hayek (Product Manager), Sabine Carrieu (Assistant PM) Retail price CHF 8 ISBN no. 978-3-9523947-7-9 Print Swissprinters AG, Zofingen

The jury 100 experts of the startup scene29

Best newcomer ­Thibaut Weise from faceshift records human facial movements.22

Quick starter Nadja Mrosek, founder of Glycemicon, has high hopes for «medical food». 23

Moving on up Chad ­Brokopp von Mabimmune ist auf ­personalisierte Medizin spezialisiert.25

Startup.CH 2013 handelszeitung 5

swissnex: Helping Swiss Entrepreneurs Breakthrough building a knowledge network

there, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to leverage

With the creation of swissnex, a

the different startup ecosystems and progress in their

new era of science diplomacy took

quest to gain traction in some of the world’s most recep-

root. Launched in 2000 as a pioneering

tive markets. These USA startup programs have proven

initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education,

to be extremely successful for Swiss startups and con-

Research and Innovation (SERI), the swissnex net-

tinue to be an inspiration to other regions of the world.

work aims to promote Swiss research, technology and innovation, all while spreading a culture of knowledge exchange. Existing through public-private partnerships, the swissnex model is a dynamic platform for Swiss institutions, business leaders, entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Hundreds of high tech companies have benefited from the network in various ways — ultimately strengthening Switzerland as a global innovation leader. First in Boston and later in San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore and Bangalore, swissnex has grown into a network of five science and technology outposts in the world’s most innovative hubs. In 2013, swissnex Boston opened an outpost in New York City (NYC) and in 2014 the network welcomes its newest hub, swissnex Brazil.

new startup initiatives in the network In 2013, two major initiatives upped the benefits for swissnex affiliated startups working: First, the CTI US Market Entry Camp now includes the CTI Market Validation Camp, offering fact-finding missions (up to one month) for early stage startups within the CTI coaching process. Second, in August 2013, swissnex Boston opened the New York Outpost, expanding swissnex’s services including the CTI Camp - to New York’s Silicon Alley. With the New York outpost, swissnex Boston bridges two complementary innovation ecosystems. While Boston’s academic excellence provides a positive environment for the validation of a technology, New York

swissnex and startup success in the usa

offers unlimited marketing opportunities, feedback from

The USA has been fertile grounds for Swiss startups

a diverse sample of consumers and preferred access to

and institutions focused on innovation. Over the years,


swissnex has launched programs to streamline startup activities in Boston and San Francisco and assist Swiss entrepreneurs in the local markets.

Recognizing the importance for global innovation and entrepreneurship, CTI is also tapping into the Asian markets. This year, in collaboration with swissnex China and

Since 2001, the venture leaders program has introduced

swissnex India, CTI opened fact-finding, market valida-

over 260 Swiss startups to the US startup ecosystem.

tion and market entry programs. Looking to build on

Co-organized by venturelab and swissnex Boston, the

existing networks, these new initiatives compliment the

intensive ten-day development course brings 20 prom-

current entrepreneurial efforts by the Asian swissnex

ising entrepreneurs to the Boston area to improve their

offices. With the help of swissnex India, Swiss start-

executive skills in strategically crafted workshops and

ups can leverage the prominent Indian IT community

events. Kicked off in 2010 through a partnership between

and find service providers for offshore developments.

CTI (Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation),

Additionally, swissnex Singapore provides a smooth

Gebert Rüf Stiftung, swissnex San Francisco and swiss-

transition and expertise for startups focusing their

nex Boston, the CTI Market Entry Camp USA is geared

efforts on the local innovation friendly ecosystem and

towards advanced Swiss startups enrolled in the CTI

its specialty in intellectual property protection.

coaching process and looking to enter the US market. Providing Campers with office space, coaching, mentorship, workshops and a stipend, the US swissnex outposts assist these startups in setting up a customized business development curriculum. Campers can

join the swissnex network Every day, our community is growing. Whether you’re looking to launch your startup in the US or expand your market to Asia, we want to hear from you!

apply for space in San Francisco, Boston, New York or

Discover all the opportunities for Swiss institutions,

a combination of all locations for up to 3 months. Once

entrepreneurs and more today:

Background Top 100

The high-flyers of the startup scene Cream of the crop 35 companies made the top 100

­startup ranking, which was held this year for the third time. Claus Niedermann


he top 100 Swiss startups of 2013 have been announced. 35 new startups managed to make the list straight away and most of these new companies were founded just last year. The Zurich-based company Glycemicon, which specializes in medical food, was only founded in January. Some were unable hold on to their position in the top 100 list, whereas plenty of others managed to improve their ranking. Other companies maintained their listing but lost considerable ground. When the Top 100 list was launched, its creators (see box to the right) announced that it would provide a sort of snapshot – which is precisely what these results reflect. The companies included in the ranking are those the experts consider to be the highflyers of the future. As well as those which are currently seen as hip. In other words, the top 100 up-and-coming companies are the hippest, hottest and coolest startups in 2013. The criteria: The startups must be independent startups, i.e. actual newly founded companies. Spin-offs from existing compa-

nies were excluded from the selection, as were companies founded prior to 2008. If a company had changed its legal form since its inception, for example, from an LLC (GmbH) to a joint stock company (Aktien­ gesellschaft), it was also excluded from the top 100 vote. Those companies that reported recent successes are frequently well-positioned to rank at the top. Several new companies are in the process of completing funding rounds or negotiating major contracts with distributors or customers. Considering the rapid pace at which founders of these top startups tend to move, the ranking would already look different in six months, which is why it is worth tracking the top 100 startups on an ongoing basis. Some of them will soon be making headlines. The website not only keeps a business directory of all the top 100 startups; it also provides portraits of more than 700 other promising young companies. Visitors to the site will find a company profile for each startup, including an overview of the company›s latest news and a list of the milestones it has achieved so far.


Former startups stay on course Each year, top companies like and the scheduling platform Doodle disappear from the Top 100 list because they are more than five years old. Ten companies were ­excluded from this year›s ranking for this same reason, such as Poken (2012: rank 17), which was recently granted a patent in the U.S. for its NFC technology for sending brochures, videos and business cards. The Lausanne-based medtech startup Biocartis (2012: rank 28) that completed a financing round for CHF 42 million in late 2012 has also dropped out of contention. About a

year before, the company had generated capital inflow of CHF 100 million. Another medtech company is VirtaMed (2012: rank 36), which took home the 2013 Swiss Economic Award in the high-tech category. VirtaMed develops, produces and sells VR simulators for surgeons. Also excluded from the ranking: Secu4 (2012: rank 70), route­ RANK (2012: rank 75), Telormedix (2012: rank 83), Augurix Diagnostics (2012: rank 89), RedElec Technologie (2012: rank 92), Covagen (2012: rank 99) and NeMoDevices (2012: rank 100).

Top 100 startups of 2013

The concept

100 experts have had their say. They possess in-depth knowledge of the startup scene, are business angels, venture capital investors or otherwise deal with startups on a daily basis. Each expert proposed ten startups with the greatest business potential, giving ten points to their top selection and one point to the tenth best. The companies with the most points made it into the Top 100 ranking of Swiss startups in 2013. Beat Schillig and Jordi Montserrat (pictured above) from the Institute for Young Entrepreneurs (IFJ) ini­tiated the ranking in 2011. They also created the venturelab training program and transferred Gebert Rüf Stiftung’s NETS program into the U.S. venture leaders program with Switzerland’s national startup team. Since 2007, they have been in charge of the venture kick initiative, which provides startup capital from private foundations for spin-offs from Swiss universities. Journalistenbüro Nie­der­ mann also helped to set up the ranking. The project is funded by the G ­ ebert Rüf Stiftung, the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA) and Switzerland Global Enterprise. Handelszeitung and PME Magazin are the media partners.

Cooperation partners The platform works together with the news portal to report on the achievements of the top 100 startups and all other new highgrowth companies in Switzerland. is the central online hub for information relevant to the startup and innovation scene in Switzerland. The multilingual portal (German, English and French) provides information about events and training in addition to daily news and a Friday newsletter with all the week›s highlights. 2013 handelszeitung 7

Experience and pioneering spirit unite Business angels Wealthy and enterprising: Around 10,000 Swiss are involved

in funding new companies.

Jost Dubacher (text), Martin Heimann (photo)


ould you give a 22-yearold student a quarter of a million Swiss francs to fund his vision to develop a revolutionary heating system for luxury restaurants? Let’s be honest now. Most of us would turn him away. But not Rolf Weigele. The investor from Eastern Switzerland jumped on board, together with six partners from his own network. «Timo Hafner’s project is simply brilliant,» he says. Hafner came up with the basic idea while he was still at high school. He once burned his finger on a breakfast buffet and wondered whether food could be kept warm us-

8 handelszeitung 2013

ing induction instead of chafing fuel. So he built a prototype with students from the Konstanz University of Applied Sciences and was able to demonstrate the feasibility. The local chamber of commerce then put him in contact with Rolf Weigele. The two have been a team ever since. Although Gastros AG (rank 28) opened its office at Technopark Zurich in 2010, Weigele’s living room in Steckborn is the main meeting room of the startup. After all, Weigele invests not only money but also a great deal of time in Gastros. «I specialize in innovation management and industrialization,» says Weigele, who was formerly a production manager at Ber-

nina, a sewing machine manufacturer in Eastern Switzerland. He is recognized internationally as a factory automation expert. There is no index of men and women like Rolf Weigele, but there are some reasonably reliable estimates. For example, the study «Financing High-Growth Firms: The Role of Angel Investors» conducted by the OECD in 2011 estimated that around 5 percent of business angels belong to an investor’s club. If one assumes that the business angel clubs in Switzerland each have around 500 members, this equates to a total of around 10,000 individuals who have provided equity capital to a company founder at least once.


Rolf Weigele (above) invests his time and money in Timo Hafner’s induction heater concept for restaurants.


«Angels stabilize the business cycle, they also invest during tough times.» The individual investment is usually between CHF 50,000 and 1 million. As a result, it is estimated that over half a billion Swiss francs worth of «angel funding» has been invested in Swiss startups. Angel contributions are particularly crucial in the early stages, i.e. the first two years after a company is founded. A survey conducted by venture kick (see inset) has shown that for around 250 startups, funding from business angels was roughly equal to what the founders were able to raise from private sources, research funding, foundations and prize money combined. In other words, business angels have doubled the financial clout of these companies. Passing the torch. «From an economic perspective, this money is extremely valuable,» says Pascal Gantenbein, a professor of corporate finance at the University of Basel. All the more so, considering these angels also invest during hard economic times, in turn stabilizing the business cycle. They also provide founders with advice and assistance. Take Rolf Weigele, for example. Or Roland Zeller, who founded the online travel agency in 2000 and then sold it to Hotelplan in 2005. He is currently invested in ten Internet companies including GetYourGuide (rank 8). He acts as «lead angel» in four of these ten companies by looking after the interests of other private investors. He estimates that he devotes half to one full day each week to the four companies. «I’ve been through the process of starting a business,» says Zeller, «and often find solutions more quickly than someone who’s just starting out.» 44-year-old Zeller is an entrepreneur angel who cut his teeth founding companies about ten years ago. His experiences are still fresh in his mind, and he has a tight-knit network both in and outside the industry. Zeller has no trouble finding attractive companies: Those keen to start an Internet company in the Swiss tourism sector flock to Zeller in the hope of getting him on board as their angel. «Without a network, it’s impossible,» says Carole Ackermann. She is President of the Swiss Business Angels (BAS) investors club, which she sees as an ideal complement to the personal relationships cultivated by each of the club’s 60 members. Each year, the German Swiss chapter of BAS organizes ten «catwalk events» that give two to three preselected startup teams the opportunity to

impress potential investors with their innovations and business models. BAS initiated nine investments in 2012, not including second-round funding in which the angels increase their involvement after predefined milestones have been reached. «BAS simply provides the platform,» explains Carole Ackermann. If a company piques the interest of investors, there are then further bilateral negotiations. Generally, a few angels convene to select a lead angel, who then coordinates the group and also represents it on the club’s board. This system of lead and co-investors is the international standard. The division of labor reduces the average time spent on each investment and allows the individual angels to broaden their financial involvement, without compromising the mentoring and monitoring activities. This decreases the risk of default and improves the likelihood of achieving the long-term investment goal. There are no recent studies on business angels’ expected returns. The most recent study was conducted in 2006 by ETH Zurich. The Swiss angels who were surveyed said that they expected a minimum return of 25 percent. That sounds like a lot, but Pascal Gantenbein from the University of Basel puts the figure into perspective: «Pur-

venture kick

Network of angels Each year, the non-profit initiative venture kick awards over CHF 2 million in venture capital to innovative startups. A jury of business angels, representatives of business angel clubs, venture capitalists and innovation leaders from large companies judges four to eight startup presentations each week. The goal – in addition to awarding new businesses with up to CHF 130,000 in prize money – is to connect capital-seeking startups with the largest possible group of potential investors. Venture kick is an interesting platform especially for «beginner» angels because it provides an ongoing opportunity to see exciting projects and expand their networks.

chasing a Swiss blue chip stock returns an average of about 8 to 10 percent in the longterm.» Reportedly, in the case of an angel investment, an additional 10 to 15 percent is justified, on the one hand, due to the greater risk of the investment and, on the other, because of the long-term commitment. A long investment horizon. Normally, it actually takes seven to ten years before shares in a startup yield returns and can be sold – to a large company, for example. In other words, those who are focused on turning a quick profit would be ill-advised to become investment angels. Norwegian-born Magne Orgland is wellaware of this situation. He was one of the managing partners at Wegelin Bank, where he oversaw asset management for institutional investors. After the sale of the bank to the Raiffeisen Group, he served as CEO of 1741 Asset Management Ltd. before he decided to take a new direction in his career. Since then, he has been a professional private investor. At age 49 and possessing experience in large and medium-sized com­ panies (before Wegelin, he worked for Procter & Gamble and McKinsey), Orgland closely resembles the statistical archetype of a Swiss business angel. Like many of his colleagues, he gets excited about new beginnings: «To start again from scratch,» says Orgland, «with a team of highly motivated and competent young people.» So far, he has invested in two companies: the Zurich-based medtech company InSphero (rank 5) and the cleantech company RomoWind. Now he wants to gradually expand his portfolio. «In the long term,» says Orgland, «I hope to invest in 10 to 20 startups.» Rolf Weigele is at the end of his angel career. After 20 years, Gastros is the last big thing for him. «Financially,» he says, «I could sustain a total loss and be fine.» Of course, the 72-year-old still hopes the business will become a high-flyer of the startup scene. The initial outlook is promising. The induction-based heating systems are in demand, especially at luxury hotels in the Middle and Far East. High-volume production is slated to begin soon. «We have invested a lot of money,» says Rolf Weigele. «In 2014, we will see whether we›ve hit the target.» 2013 handelszeitung 9

Founder Arnaud Bertrand banks on reliability and integrity.

10 handelszeitung 2013

Rankings The best startups

1st place

Swiss quality conquers the world market HouseTrip The web portal is one of the fastest growing startups in Europe. HouseTrip is characterized by its 28-year-old founder Arnaud Bertrand.

Stefan Kyora (text), Ben Cawthra (photo)


or vacationers in Europe, 2013 delivered an unforgettable summer. Just as the school break started, the warm, sunny weather began and stuck around for weeks – not only to the delight of travelers, but also to hoteliers, renters and agencies like HouseTrip. The Internet platform founded four years ago by Arnaud Bertrand and his wife Junjun Chen in Lausanne took off in almost no time. The startup›s website, which the couple now operates from London, currently lists 250,000 vacation rental apartments and homes. Particularly in European cities like London, Paris, Stockholm and Rome, you are nearly certain to come across HouseTrip if you are looking for an easy and secure way to find a vacation rental. The startup has been used to book over four million overnight stays. Arnaud Bertrand explains the next step required to continue the company›s rapid growth: «Right now, we are specifically soliciting apartments in rural areas such as Provence and Spain’s Costa ­Brava.» International financing. The company›s growth is being funded by three venture capital firms in Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Together, they have invested a total of around CHF 60 million in HouseTrip. Yet despite the company›s rapid growth, not every renter is allowed to list his or her apartment or home on the platform. «We reject 30 percent of the renters due to poor quality,» explains Bertrand. If an apartment fails to meet the expectations of travelers, they have a safety net because they pay their rent to HouseTrip. The startup waits three days before it transfers the money (minus

the agency fee) to the renter. For Arnaud Bertrand, the quality of the property being offered is an important success factor: «Fifty percent of our customers are families who don›t want to deal with any surprises in relation to their accommodation during their vacation.» In terms of presentation, HouseTrip›s high-quality image also distinguishes it from competitors like Silicon Valley startup Airbnb, a platform teeming with spelling mistakes and blurry mobile phone photos – two things you will not find on HouseTrip.

«I also deal with the details of our product.» To make values like quality and reliability tangible on the website, renters have access to special software and can request assistance by phone when creating content. Ads with superior presentation move up in the list of results or are given special badges of distinction. The emphasis on quality and integrity is a hallmark of the 28-year-old manager. Ar­ naud Bertrand is not a CEO who focuses primarily on strategic issues: «I deal with a lot of the details in relation to our website and our product,» he explains. And he’s open about the fact that this style of leadership has at times led to managerial conflicts. A second important aspect of his leadership is Bertrand›s insistence on faster imple-

mentation. The company has its own IT team, which developed an app that offers renters all the features they need in order to manage their ads. It›s particularly beneficial for owners of several houses or apartments who are frequently on the go. Taking on a pioneering role. Arnaud Bertrand has also come up with something for travelers. Last June, HouseTrip launched a loyalty program, which offers travelers who have booked ten nights on HouseTrip an eleventh night for free. This makes HouseTrip a pioneer among these types of booking platforms. Bertrand hopes this will attract more regular customers. The program has certainly been well-received by the ­users, who have already enjoyed 10,000 free nights. The Board of Directors supported the entrepreneur during the development of the loyalty program idea. The board includes representatives from the venture capital firms who have invested in HouseTrip and who have also funded companies like Facebook and Spotify in the past. The President of the Board is Michael van Swaaij, former CEO of Skype and European Director of eBay. «My board members know exactly what works and what doesn›t in the Internet business,» explains Bertrand. In addition, the board members have an excellent network at their disposal. HouseTrip makes good use of this network to fill posts, as the startup›s staff is also growing rapidly. In just the past twelve months, the number of employees increased from 130 to 200. Founded: 2009; employees: 200; 2013 handelszeitung 11

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2nd place

Fighting infections

BioVersys The antibiotic resistance of pathogens

is a ticking time bomb. Biochemists Marc Gitzinger and Marcel Tigges want to defuse it. Jost Dubacher (text), Martin Heimann (photo)

Marc Gitzinger and Marcel Tigges also work with aid ­organizations.


he human genome is a sort of library. In order to make accurate use of the information stored there, you have to read it. In the genome, information is read, or processed, by molecular switch. The ETH Department of Biosystems in Basel has been researching these switches for years. In 2008, two young postgraduate students named Marc Gitzinger and Marcel Tigges began speculating as to whether these kinds of transcription factors might also play a role in the resistance of pathogens to antibiotics. This marked the birth of «transcriptional repressor inhibiting compounds» (TRIC). A TRIC does not overcome the resistance, but rather disrupts its activation. This has two advantages. It both slows down the formation of new forms of resistance while also making it possible to restore the effectiveness of tried-and-tested antibiotics. The scientific hypothesis proved tenable and Gitzinger and Tigges sprang into action. They independently founded BioVersys, generated CHF 2.5 million in seed money and found a home for their lab at the Tech-

nologiepark Basel. «Right now,» explained CEO Gitzinger, «we have a two-pronged approach.» On the one hand, the focus is on the tuberculosis pathogen and, on the other, a group of six species of bacteria summarily referred to as hospital pathogens, including the dreaded E. coli and enterococci. Resistant pathogens are on the rise. Hospital infections are a medical time bomb. More and more strains that are resistant to every approved antibiotic are cropping up. In the USA, these «superbugs» are responsible for as many as 100,000 deaths each year. In Europe, the annual estimate is roughly three million hospital infections, which kill around 50,000 people. It’s an urgent matter which is reflected by BioVersys’ ambitious timetable. A candidate for the preclinical testing phase for one of the six hospital pathogens is expected to be identified by the end of 2014, thanks to BioVersys screening technology. This involves a dozen highly specific experimental set-ups and the testing of tens of thousands of molecules to determine their suitability and potential side effects.

If all goes as planned, the favored TRIC candidate will be tested on humans for the first time in 2016. In order to fund the continuing development, Gitzinger and Tigges completed a second investment round this summer, which brought in a high seven figure sum from business angels. The market for the «upgrading» of already approved antibiotics is enormous. Doctors prescribe antibiotic drugs valued at CHF 50 billion each year, not least because of polyresistance, the majority of which is in Western industrialized countries. In the Third World, however, treatments costing several hundred francs per day are cost-prohibitive. Tuberculosis alone kills more than one million people each year. BioVersys is therefore also going to great lengths to discover a TRIC that can fight Mycobacterium tuberculosis. CEO Gitzinger describes it as a «moral obligation.» The development is being funded by nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations. Founded: 2008; employees: 8; 2013 handelszeitung 13

Rankings The best startups

3rd place

Accurate allergy testing Abionic The young medical device company has developed a unique system for allergy

testing – a billion dollar market. The system is set to be launched in 2014. Stefan Kyora (text), Martin Heimann (photo)

Well prepared for the market launch: Iwan Märki and Nicolas Durand (from left).


ouring the offices of startups is typically not very revealing. However this is certainly not the case at Lausanne-based Abionic. Employees at the company,s facilities assemble devices for hospitals in Switzerland and there,s even a semi-automated assembly line for the consumable materials. Abionic is in a crucial phase. After years of development, the tests undertaken in Swiss hospitals must provide statistical evidence confirming the precision of the devices, as well as information regarding minor flaws. After the necessary adjustments have been made, the startup hopes to launch their product in 2014. There,s a good chance of success. Abio­ nic has developed an allergy testing system that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Standing at the coffee machine, CEO Nicolas Durand explains what it does: «Our system makes allergy testing as simple as preparing a cup of Nespresso.» The startup,s system consists of a scanner and biosensors. Several of these biosensors are contained within a capsule, and several capsules are mounted on a carrier known as

an abioDISC. A drop of the patient,s blood serum is mixed with a special chemical and applied to the capsules, which are then inserted into a scanner. Each sensor consists of tiny, biochemically active chambers and tubules where a reaction takes place. The scanner then detects biomarkers that identify specific allergies. Small but mighty. The device is similar to large lab devices, except that it is much smaller and less expensive. It is therefore suitable for doctors, offices, offering them a new method for performing blood tests. Patients will benefit from this kind of point-ofcare diagnostics as well. «In the past, they had to wait two weeks for their results. Our system delivers a personal allergy profile in 20 minutes,» says Durand. Each year, billions are spent on allergy tests because allergies are such a widespread ailment. In industrialized countries, they affect one quarter to one third of the population. Many people get tested so they can find out what is causing their allergic reaction and take appropriate measures to counter it.

A unique device for a billion-dollar market – it should practically be able to sell itself. But Nicolas Durand is not leaving anything to chance and has conducted market surveys for several countries. «We are interested in finding out what kind of customers to target in different countries, where they work, how we can contact them and what obstacles exist,» he explains. The CEO knows that these studies alone are not enough: «What matters most is the implementation.» In the past, however, the team has shown that it can deliver results. For example, Abio­ nic was already granted the CE mark necessary for the launch months ago. The startup was also granted the necessary ISO certifications more than a year ago. Although Abionic has just eight em­ ployees and may need more, Nicolas Durand sees no reason to get ahead of himself. He only plans undertake the next round of funding once the first sales have gone through. Nevertheless, Durand has already begun making preparations. Founded: 2010; employees: 8; 2013 handelszeitung 15

The best startups Rankings

4th place

Fiber instead of LED L.E.S.S. Displays consume less power thanks to


ann Tissot, CEO of L.E.S.S., has already impressed several juries for entrepreneur prizes with his startup. L.E.S.S. has won funding from venture kick, Prix Vittoz and the W.A. de Vigier Foundation award – among others. This came as no surprise to the co-founder of this high-tech startup. L.E.S.S. has developed an extremely thin, nano-structured fiber that generates and disseminates light evenly across laptop and tablet PC screens, which use dozens of LEDs for backlighting. The system made in Lausanne uses 30 percent less energy, which extends the battery life accordingly. The fiber also makes it possible to construct extremely flat, frameless screens. This gives the manufacturers a way to set them-

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fibers made by this Lausanne-based startup.

Flatter screens thanks to Yann Tissot and ­ imon Rivier (from left). S

selves apart from the otherwise monotonous design of IT products in the highly competitive mass market. And unlike other competing technologies, L.E.S.S. can be integrated into conventional manufacturing processes, making it possible for display manufacturers to replace LEDs with more eco-friendly optical fibers – without requiring sizable investments. L.E.S.S. does, however, currently need investors. Although L.E.S.S. already has functional prototypes, in order to do business with the big display makers, they need to provide between 100 and 1,000 units for testing purposes in accordance with industry practices. The startup therefore needs a produc-

tion line costing several million Swiss francs to manufacture these units. «Our biggest challenge right now is getting funding for this first production line,» explains Yann Tissot. Finding investors has proven difficult because the L.E.S.S. team is looking for the most suitable venture capitalists from around the globe and has its eyes on substantial seven-figure sums. Until this massive round of financing is secured, the company is launching spin-off products in niche markets. Later this year, the startup hopes to launch their special inspection lamps.  Stefan Kyora  Founded: 2012; employees: 4;

5th place

Microtissue for the pharmaceutical industry


InSphero Simulating organs with three-

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dimensional tissue samples.

On track for expansion: Jens Kelm, Jan Lichtenberg, Wolfgang Moritz (from left). 16 handelszeitung 2013

esting drugs on tissue samples presently yields little useful information, since samples consist of just one layer of cells and only vaguely resemble human organs. InSphero has developed a technology for the automated production of three-dimensional cancer tumors, microlivers or other micro-organs that behave similarly to mature organs. The startup entered the market the hard way. «We wanted to win over the big pharmaceutical companies first, since they are potentially our largest customers,» explains InSphero CEO Jan Lichtenberg. Decisionmaking processes in large organizations are complex and

drawn-out, so this phase took somewhat longer. But now it has paid off, says Lichtenberg: «The pharmaceutical companies have realized the benefits of our microtissue.» In recent months, InSphero really stepped on the gas. The largely automated production operations were ramped up, the product portfolio was expanded to include other types of microtissues, new employees were hired and a new office was opened in the USA. Despite this rapid pace of growth, the startup hopes to be in the black sometime next year.  Stefan Kyora  Founded: 2010; employees: 28;

Rankings The best startups

6th place

Natural growth

Bcomp The startup’s lightweight flax materials have already gained a

foothold in the sports industry. New markets are now to follow.


enewable resources for aerospace? Thanks to Bcomp, this might soon be a reality. In early August, the Fribourgbased startup won a tender involving the development of new lightweight materials for the aerospace industry. Bcomp manufactures high-tech, flaxbased materials. The flax is spun, woven and coated with a resin. The results are astoun­

ding: «Our material is as light as carbon but has better damping characteristics and is also essentially made from renewable resources,» explains Bcomp co-CEO Cyrille Boinay. After the company was founded in 2011, the team tackled the sports industry. Before Bcomp, Cyrille Boinay and a business partner ran a ski company together

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Bcomp masterminds Christian Fischer and Cyrille Boinay (from left).

and gained experience and contacts in the industry. Bcomp quickly convinced small, innovative ski and snowboard brands to use cores made of Bcomp materials. They are lighter than conventional wooden cores and dampen vibrations better than the cores found in other high-tech skis. Today, Stöckli and another larger ski manufacturer make pro­ ducts with cores sourced from Fribourg. American brands are to follow next year. The number of applications is also increasing as a result of projects calling for custom solutions developed by Bcomp. For example, Bcomp is now working on a pro­ duct for the luxury goods sector. The positive development is also reflected in the ­figures. «Last year we doubled our sales,» Boinay reports delightedly. Stefan Kyora Founded: 2011; employees: 7;

7th place

Your mobile phone as a scanner Dacuda The scanning technology from Zurich has bright

prospects in the smartphone industry.

software platform for banks and developed an app that can be used to scan deposit slips with smartphones. The Baselbieter and St. Galler Kantonalbank already use the tool. But Dacuda’s founders are aiming higher still: SLAM scanning technology will not only be used for the app development, but will also become an integral component in mobile phone architecture. Negotiations with representatives from the smartphone industry are in full swing, says CFO and cofounder Michael Born. «We hope to conclude our first agreements before the end of Jost Dubacher the year.»  Founded: 2009; employees: 23;

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LAM Scan is the name of the underlying technology developed by Dacuda. SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. The internationally patented innovation offers mobile, realtime scanning, editing and archiving of text documents and images. The ETH spin-off has already taken hold in the computer mouse market. Several international brands, including phone titan LG, have product ranges that include mice equipped with Dacuda scanning technology. The next step was to adapt SLAM scanning technology for smartphones. In an initial project, Zurich-based Crealogix integra­ ted the SLAM scanning technology into its

Alexander Ilic and Michael Born (from left) are causing a stir in the smartphone industry. 2013 handelszeitung 17

The best startups Rankings

8th place

Acquisitions worldwide

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GetYourGuide The booking platform for tourist activities

is focused on rapid growth.


etYourGuide has been online since 2009. In almost no time, the online booking portal has blossomed to become the global market leader. The site currently lists around 22,000 offers for over 2,100 destinations. These include tours, outings and sightseeing. The Zurich-based startup offers travelers a way to plan their excursions from home and even book tickets­ for certain attractions, so they can avoid standing in lines and make sure they don't miss out. From the very beginning, GetYourGuide has focused on rapid growth. Starting out as a student project in a venturelab course at

ETH, the spin-off now has development teams as well as sales and marketing staff in Zurich, Berlin and Las Vegas. In early 2013, investors poured USD 14 million of venture capital into the young company. «This round of financing represents one of the largest investments a European startup has ever received from U.S. venture capital groups,» says Pascal Mathis, who runs the company together with CEO Johannes Reck. The new funds are being invested carefully in further growth and expansion into new markets. The young entrepreneurs are not just focusing on organic growth but

GetYourGuide: Pascal Mathis wants to e­xpand.

rather­expanding through acquisitions. Last April, GetYourGuide bought the Berlinbased peer-to-peer platform Gidsy. Just recently, the Swiss startup also acquired the platform IGottaGuide, which lists offers mainly for New York City, one of Get­ YourGuide's key sales destinations. Claus Niedermann  Founded: 2008; employees: 110;


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Rankings The best startups

9th place

Faster data

Kandou A new signal transmission method significantly ­reduces power consumption in all devices.


intelligently, we can greatly increase efficiency.» At present, all that matters for the signal transmission is whether or not current is flowing through a wire connection. The Kandou method uses additional parameters to transmit data, allowing more data to be

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he speed of digital signal transmission has increased in recent years. This has also been accompanied by an increase in the energy consumption needed for data transmission. Amin Shokrollahi, founder and CEO of Kandou, explains the startup’s technology: «By transmitting signals more

Founder Amin Shokrollahi is also an energy saver.

transmitted without additional wires or energy. «Our technology makes it possible to transfer data twice as fast and with a quarter of the energy previously required,» explains Shokrollahi. The technology pays off not only in mobile devices because it extends battery life, but also wherever bottlenecks in data transmission occur, for example, in the case of memory chips. But this technology has so much more potential, and Shokrollahi has what it takes to make the most of it. He has already set up and sold a company in the USA. He knows the industry and has high-caliber contacts. And he’s certainly not lacking in entrepreneurial ambition. Shokrollahi says: «My goal is for our signal transmission techno­ logy to be used in every electronic device.» Stefan Kyora  Founded: 2011; employees: 30;

10th place

Cinderella the robot

QualySense Inspection robots sort grains and beans,


n the past, QualySense suffered from a truly first-world problem: «We had to deal with too many leads,» CEO Francesco Dell’Endice recalls. That’s why the startup decided to focus on large companies – to great effect. Today, international corporations are testing the inspection robots made by the Zurich startup. For quite some time, QualySense has been working with Geneva-based SGS, the largest inspection company in the world. «The announcement of the partnership a year and a half ago has brought us a great deal of credibility,» recalls Dell’Endice. Winning the trust of SGS was important because QualySense is taking an entirely new

approach to the quality control of seeds, beans and grains. The company’s inspection robots sort each individual grain or bean according to several criteria. Not only do they sort according to visible features; they can also determine protein content, for example – and they’re fast. The company’s first device, the QSorter Explorer, is capable of inspecting no less than 50 individual grains per second. Now QualySense is gearing up to go commercial. Two representatives for Germany and Russia are working for the startup in highly appealing markets. Stefan Kyora Founded: 2010; employees: 10;

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piece by piece – at a spectacular speed.

Partnership with SGS: Francesco Dell’Endice, CEO (center), with co-founders Olga Mykhailova and Paolo D’Alcini. 2013 handelszeitung 19

Ranks 11 to 20 Rankings

11.  Biognosys, Schlieren The technology developed by Biognosys allows hundreds of proteins to be identified simultaneously. The tests can be carried out independently with the company’s reagents and software or through the testing service offered by Biognosys. The company doubled its sales in 2012 and is well on its way to operating in the black.

12.  Lemoptix, Lausanne The micro projectors developed by Lemoptix are not only compact and inexpensive to produce – they also require very little power. The head-up displays for cars that project information onto the windscreen hold a great deal of potential.

13.  ProteoMediX, Schlieren Today’s prostate cancer tests frequently trigger false alarms resulting in costly biopsies. The new test from ProteoMediX changes all this. The technology from the ETH spin-off is also suitable for developing additional cancer tests and for selecting treatments tailored individually to the patient.

14.  Malcisbo, Zurich Malcisbo, a startup specializing in vaccines for animals, has announced a mile-

stone. At the end of this year, the spin-off from the ETH Institute of Microbiology is planning to start a three-month trial vaccine against the red twisted stomach worm, which mainly affects sheep.

15.  SWISSto12, Lausanne SWISSto12 specializes in components used in the transmission of rarely used terahertz signals and reported good news this year. It won the De Vigier Prize, was awarded a contract for a CTI project and found a significant investor.

Microtechnology, testing and measurement, equipment design Medical devices Internet Cleantech


16.  Aleva Neurotherapeutics, Lausanne The microelectrodes made by Aleva stimulate parts of the brain in patients with neurological diseases. The electrodes are manufactured using a technique taken from the semiconductor industry.


17.  Staff Finder, Zurich Staff Finder provides employers with temporary staff who are available on short notice. In addition to the search process, the online system handles the contract and HR administration tasks to maximize efficiency. Staff Finder currently places thousands of jobs each month.

Products and services for consumers Mobile: software and services for mobile devices 18.  joiz, Zurich joiz social TV began broadcasting TV programs in Germany from its Berlin location in August. As it has already done in Switzerland, joiz involves a fusion of web, mobile communications, social media and TV. It appeals predominantly to the 15 to 34 audience, which is a particularly attractive target group for advertisers.

Medical devices

New companies in the fast lane

19.  Aïmago, Lausanne The system developed by Aïmago helps with the reliable early detection of tissue with poor circulation. Last year, the ETH Lausanne spin-off was approved by the FDA in the U.S. and received U.S. patent protection. The clinical benefit of system has also been documented.

Aleva: CTO André Mercanzini takes it.

The top five medtech startups 1. Abionic (rank 3) 2. Aleva Neurotherapeutics (rank 16) 3. Aïmago (rank 19) 4. Compliant Concept (rank 34) 5. Credentis (rank 35)

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The top five medtech startups have made significant progress in recent months. Aleva Neurotherapeutics (rank 16), for example, develops innovative microelectrodes that apply weak electrical shocks for deep brain stimulation, whereby areas of the brain can be stimulated or deactivated. The method is used for Parkinson›s and other neurological diseases. The Aleva electrodes emit shocks in a very targeted manner, thus minimizing side effects. At Bern University Hospital, the electrodes have proven successful in an initial clinical trial, which yielded results that were better than expected.

The eight industries in the rankings

20.  faceshift, Zürich faceshift CEO Thibaut Weise demonstrates his software without saying a single word. He installs a commercially available camera equipped with a motion and depth sensor to record the movements of his face. The faceshift software translates Weise’s facial movements to the avatar’s movements on the screen in real-time.

20 handelszeitung 2013

Rankings Ranks 21 to 30

21.  park it, Zurich The park-it app makes it possible to both rent and rent out parking spaces. Launched in January, the company has expanded to several Swiss cities, gained partners such as the SBB and Migros subsidiary m-way. Alongside the iPhone version, the company now offers an Android version as well.

22.  Glycemicon, Zurich Diabetes causes fat cells to stop responding to the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. The active ingredient in Glycemicon restores the responsiveness of fat cells and the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. The active ingredient is to be sold as a «medical food» available on prescription.

23.  Adello, Zurich Adello focuses on mobile advertising and launched operations in Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary and the UK in recent months. In March, the company also launched ADCTRL, a technology that provides real-time analytics for mobile advertising.

24.  BugBuster, Lausanne BugBuster, an EPFL spin-off, developed a tool that automatically tests web applications for websites and smartphones in order to reduce the effort required for testing by as much as 90 percent. This also improves the quality of the apps. The tool is currently in beta and available in a free, Software as a Service (SaaS) version in the cloud.

25.  TrekkSoft, Interlaken TrekkSoft offers providers of tours and activities a booking and payment solution that can be integrated into their websites. The Bern-based company recently caught people’s attention after completing a financing round. Alongside institutional investors, TrekkSoft was able to get high-profile private investors on board, including the former CEOs of Kuoni and Hotelplan.

26.  Climeworks, Zurich CO₂ also has its upsides. The gas is used as a protective atmosphere in the packaging of

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Staff Finder: Founder Viktor Calabrò.


Innovation with a capital I The Internet is full of me-too products. But you would have to look hard to find any of these among the Swiss Top 100. The Swiss spirit of innovation and high quality standards is manifested here as well. Take for example Viktor Calabrò›s startup Staff Finder, a platform for placing temporary employees (rank 17). Thanks to a specially developed piece of software and specializations of internal employees, Staff Finder is more efficient and much faster than ­other agencies. What also makes it unique is that the desired number of temps are

foods, for example, or to accelerate the growth of plants. Using waste heat, Climeworks’ technology can produce the gas in a practically CO₂-neutral manner, since the systems extract it from the ambient air.

27.  Jilion, Lausanne Jilion describes Horizon, the product it launched in late 2012, as a «video application framework». Customers can use it to develop customized video players that work in any browser and on any device, making it possible to build video players that perfectly match a company’s corporate identity.

28.  Gastros, Zurich The Inductwarm system from Gastros is an innovative warming solution for upscale restaurants. The system uses inductive heating elements and porcelain vessels with a special coating. Inductwarm gently heats the food and is energy-efficient the. Series

ready within hours. Reviews for both employers and employees ensure that the quality of the referrals is even better.

The five best Internet startups 1. HouseTrip (rank 1) 2. GetYourGuide (rank 8) 3. Staff Finder (rank 17) 4. joiz (rank 18) 5. Politnetz (rank 44)

production is in the works and scheduled to begin in 2014.

29.  Agilentia, Zurich Statutory provisions generate a paper storm when it comes to organizing general assemblies. A team of lawyers and software engineers has developed a software platform called Sherpany that simplifies the sharing of information between companies, boards of directors and their shareholders.

30.  THE ROKKER COMPANY, Widnau The St. Gallen-based startup founded by Kai Glatt and Michael Kuratli has been combining the utilitarian with the fashionable i­ n motorcycle outerwear since 2008. The company’s specialty is a pair of jeans with a special interior fabric that protects motorcyc­ lists in accidents and shields against wind and rain. 2013 handelszeitung 21

Ranks 31 to 40 Rankings

31.  Limmex, Zurich The patented emergency watch from Limmex can call for help at the push of a button. Last year, the startup was already awarded its first million-dollar contract in France. The market launch in Germany was also a success. To handle the company’s continuing expansion, Andy Rihs’ investors brought in an experienced CEO named Martin Reber.

32.  CombaGroup, Molondin Environmentally friendly lettuce cultivation thanks to a high-tech solution: A specially developed robot generates a kind of foam in which the seedlings are planted. This growing method increases efficiency fivefold and significantly reduces environmental impact. A pilot system is planned for the fall.

33.  Mabimmune Diagnostics, Schlieren Mabimmune is developing a test and a drug to prevent heart attacks. In the past twelve months, founder Chad Brokopp was the proud recipient of two awards. Venture kick supported the startup with an investment of CHF 130,000 and the company received an interest-free loan from the Volks­ wirtschaftsstiftung.

36.  Typesafe, Lausanne Scala is a programming language designed for the development of the most cutting-edge software, including cloud ­ computing applications. The language was d ­ eveloped by EPFL professor Martin Odersky, who is also a co-founder of Typesafe. The startup provides support, tools, training and consulting for the programming language. Customers include LinkedIn and Twitter.

Best newcomers

Obvious customer benefits A new product might be elegant or stunning, but ultimately what counts is how it benefits the customer. The newcomers who made it onto the top 100 ranking for the first time understood this. The best example is faceshift (rank 20). The software made by the spin-off from ETH Lausanne detects human facial movements and translates them in real-time into an avatar›s facial expression. The process is much simpler than past «motion capture» solutions because the pre-processing phase is considerably shorter, for example.This saves the customer time and money. In November, the standard software version was launched and it is already being used by major studios for the production of films, games and visual effects.

37.  YouRehab, Zurich Combining a computer game with the ­rehabilitation of patients with movement disorders sounds daring. Yet by concentrating on the game, patients exercise more ­intensely. The products from YouRehab are used in many hospitals to treat patients who have suffered strokes, spinal cord injuries or have Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders.

38.  Newscron, Lugano The app from Newscron gives nearly ­everyone access to the latest newspapers right from their smartphones. More than 11,000 articles from over 250 news sources in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Spain, England and Ireland are formatted each day, and more than two million articles are read each month. The Ticinobased company generates revenues through advertising.

The five best newcomers 1. faceshift (rank 20) 2. park it (rank 21) 3. Glycemicon (rank 22) 4. BugBuster (rank 24) 5. CombaGroup (rank 32)

34.  Compliant Concept, Dübendorf The Mobility Monitor developed by the EMPA spin-off is an electronic assistant for nursing staff at hospitals and nursing homes. The measuring instrument does not require body contact and identifies whether patients are moving adequately in order to prevent bedsores. Alongside the market launch at the beginning of this year, the company announced that it had successfully completed a financing round.

39.  ActLight, Lausanne Equipping small electronic devices with solar panels makes little sense. Normal solar cells are not particularly effective when they are small and used indoors. ActLight wants to solve this problem with solar cells that are several times more efficient under these conditions than the existing technologies.

35.  Credentis, Windisch Dentists no longer need to drill earlystage dental cavities. Credentis has developed a substance that helps damaged teeth remineralize themselves. A second product line covers the preventative market. In the spring of 2013, the company, which is based at Technopark Aargau, completed a round of financing and is now expanding its market presence in Europe and the USA.

40.  Sensima Technology, Gland Sensima offers completely new types of magnetic sensors. Last year, the company achieved several important milestones: Products underwent further development, the first major orders came in, and the company recently completed a second round of financing. Sensima will use the money to expand production facilities to generate further growth.

22 handelszeitung 2013

faceshift: CEO Thibaut Weise.

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rankings Ranks 41 to 50

41.  Sophia Genetics, Lausanne Data from patients’ genome sequences is used to estimate the risk of disease, or to make choices about treatment options. The bioinformatics startup Sophia Genetics ­assists doctors, hospitals and the pharma­ ceutical industry with the analysis, visuali­ zation, storage and quality assurance of these kinds of data.

42.  Ampard, Zurich Wind and solar energy production is on the rise. Decentralized electricity storage is the key to providing power to the right place at right time. Ampard works on these kinds of solutions and has developed control soft­ ware that optimizes the capacity of such power plants.

43.  Smixin, Biel Smixin is a cleantech company in the ­literal sense: The startup has developed a technology for environmentally-friendly

hand washing. The system creates the ideal mix of soap and water, lowering water ­consumption by as much as 90 percent. A French company is already marketing the technology to professional kitchens.

44.  Politnetz, Zurich In March, the Swiss Council of States (Ständerat) decided to use electronic voting in the future. Politnetz provided the impetus behind this decision after the political plat­ form discovered an incorrectly counted vote conducted by a show of hands. The ensuing debate generated a lot of positive publicity for Politnetz.

45.  MindMaze, Ecublens The motor activity rehabilitation after an accident or stroke is tedious and expensive. The neuro-technological platform made by the EPFL spin-off MindMaze – a combina­ tion of imaging techniques, 3D technology and virtual reality – speeds up the process because patients train themselves to a cer­

tain extent. The product was launched in August 2013.

46.  Stemergie, Geneva To battle brain tumors, Stemergie offers a technology platform for developing drugs that target cells that trigger the growth of carcinomas. As this applies to other diseases as well, plans are also underway to expand to other areas.

47.  Swisstom, Landquart The technology from Swisstom makes it possible to peer into the hearts and lungs of living patients and monitor them in real time. After the company demon­ strated the feasibility of its prototypes, it completed a second round of funding in January. The market launch is planned for October.

48.  Zurich Instruments, Zurich The Lock-in Amplifier from Zurich In­ struments tracks and filters out weak signals from the micro- and nano-world. Custom­ ers include high-tech laboratories and in­ dustrial R&D centers. In March, the young company – a spin-off from the ETH Depart­ ment of Biosystems – opened an office in France.

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Glycemicon: Founder Nadja Mrosek.

Quick off the mark

A fast pace in all sectors The newest company in the Top 100 list is a biotechnology startup that is developing a product for diabetes. At first glance, it is ­astounding because biotech companies ­require a long time to bring a product to market. Yet Glycemicon (rank 22) is not working on a drug, but instead what is known as a «medical food.» It has also been extensively tested for safety and effectiveness, but there are fewer hurdles to overcome since the medical food is based on a substance that occurs naturally in the human body and in food. Glycemicon founder

Nadja Mrosek expects that development will take four to five years – about half the time necessary for a new drug.

The five newest companies 1. Glycemicon (rank 22) 2. Newscron (rank 38) 3. Amphasys (rank 98) 4. Koring (rank 54) 5. ParkU (rank 59)

49.  HYT, Biel In 2012, the startup launched a new product that stunned the watch world. The H1 mechanical wristwatch uses a colored liquid to show the hours. Two tiny pumps make this possible. In 2013, a second m ­ odel using the same technology followed. HYT plans to manufacture 250 of the luxury watches this year and 500 in 2014.

50.  SwissLitho, Zurich The NanoFrazor developed by SwissLitho makes it possible to create three-dimen­ sional nanostructures. This makes work ­easier, faster and less expensive for research institutes and companies in the electronics, medicine, life sciences and optics indus­ tries. The startup has been awarded several prizes. 2013 handelszeitung 23

Ranks 51 to 60 Rankings

51.  SwissLeg, Lugano Economic and social goals are not mutually exclusive. The innovative and affordable prosthetic legs made by SwissLeg provide patients in the developing world the care they need. The company was backed with CHF 130,000 from the venture kick initiative and is the winner of the Swiss Social Entrepreneurship Award.

52.  SAV-IOL, Hauterive The insertion of lens implants for people with cataracts is a common surgical procedure. The Neuchâtel-based startup SAV-IOL has developed a polyfocal lens that remarkably enhances patients’ vision. The product is approved in Switzerland and the EU and will soon be launched in the USA.

53.  Qvanteq, Zurich Constricted blood vessels are routinely expanded using what are known as stents. Qvanteq’s surface technology prevents the stent from integrating into the tissue, which would once again cause narrowing. In February 2013, the ETH spin-off received CHF 4 million for clinical trials and EU approval.

54.  Koring, Basel Each year, 300,000 ostomies are implanted worldwide. After the surgery, abdominal hernias often form. Koring, an innovation developed by the Basel-based surgeon Philipp Kirchhoff, stabilizes the ostomy and prevents follow-up operations. In November 2012, Kirchhoff won the Swiss Techno­ logy Award in the «Inventors» category.

55.  greenTEG, Zurich greenTEG launched a highly precise and fast heat flux sensor for measuring heat loss in buildings. greenTEG’s vision is to produce high-tech films based on the sensor’s underlying technology. These films are designed to convert temperature differences into electricity.

56.  CAScination, Bern Only one in five scattered liver tumors can be operated on using conventional methods. A navigation system for the control and destruction of liver metastases pro24 handelszeitung 2013

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Climeworks: Co-founders Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher (from left).


Never out of breath The systems made by Climeworks (rank 26) extract CO2 from ambient air – with a low process heat of 80-100 degrees Celsius. The extracted gas is then used to produce synthetic fuels, for example. If green energy is used for the production, the fuels are carbon neutral. The eight-member Climeworks team is making progress, step by step, on this challenging journey. A prototype has been in operation at the company›s facilities at the Technopark in Zurich since December 2012. «The data is slightly better than expected,» revealed co-

vides much needed assistance. The system was developed by CAScination, a spin-off of the ARTORG Center for Biomedical En­ gineering at the University of Bern. The ­market launch is complete and the market volume is estimated at 600 units.

57.  DomoSafety, Lausanne The EPFL spin-off developed a residential monitoring system for persons dependent on nursing care that uses wireless sensor technology. The system is already in use in the canton of Vaud. In July, DomoSafety completed a financing round for nearly CHF 1 million.

58.  Koubachi, Zurich The ETH Zurich spin-off sells a sensor that notifies smartphone users when a plant needs water or shade. Two models are available for indoor and outdoor use. The sensor, which has won a design award, is in high-demand and one of the most

founder and co-CEO Jan Wurzbacher. Now the ETH spin-off is making plans for the first industrial systems with pilot customers. These projects for industrial clients have already generated the first revenues.

The best cleantech startups 1. L.E.S.S. (rank 4) 2. Bcomp (rank 6) 3. Kandou (rank 9) 4. Climeworks (rank 26) 5. ActLight (rank 39)

popular Apple product accessories in the United States.

59.  ParkU, Zurich One earns money with their unused parking spaces; the other finds a parking space. After a successful launch in Germanspeaking Switzerland, ParkU has expanded its agency system to the Romandy region. The startup has been given a real boost, thanks to a partnership with mobile phone giant Samsung, which pre-installs the ParkU app on its new devices.

60.  LogoGrab, Lugano The LogoGrab app provides consumers with additional information about certain products. The app turns logos into links: users can photograph logos with their ­ smartphones to access information, special offers or competitions.

rankings Ranks 61 to 70

Moving on up

Startups in the spotlight Many people talk about personalized medicine. Mabimmune (rank 33) has ­already made this a reality. The startup is developing a blood test as well as a drug for preventing heart attacks. The test makes it possible to identify people with a high risk of suffering a heart attack. The drug significantly reduces the risk of thrombosis in the identified risk group. The combination of testing and therapy promises not only to be especially effective; it is also expected to have fewer side effects. After winning several awards from organizations such as venture kick and venture leaders, Mabimmune is now well and truly in the spotlight. It is therefore no surprise that the company was able to climb 65 places in the rankings compared to last year.

61.  Recommerce, Baar buys mobile phones, tablet PCs and iPods, refurbishes them and then resells them. The platform allows sellers to determine the value of their devices, ship them in for free and get paid. Internet insiders like Exsilia-founder Rouven Küng and former CEO of Peter Oertlin are involved in Recommerce, the company ­behind

66.  Optotune, Dietikon Optotune took first place in the Top 100 list in 2011 and sixth place last year. Now the company is only an «also-ran» because, in the view of many experts, the Zurich-based company has long since grown out of its startup phase. The electrically moldable lenses made by the ETH spin-off are seen as the next big thing in the world of industrial optics.

62.  Designergy, Lugano Transforming a roof from a cost into a source of income – that is the vision of the Ticino-based startup Designergy. The goal is to create a device with integrated thermal insulation and photovoltaics. If everything goes as planned, the first commercial pro­ jects should be completed in 2014.

67.  Iprova, Lausanne Iprova is all about computer-aided innovations. The company has developed a software program that searches the Internet for information on emerging technologies. Based on the results, customers are able to generate patents much more quickly. Iprova’s product has impressed several large companies.

63.  Searchbox, Lausanne Searchbox provides search engines with a semantic search capability, including a cloud-based solution. The search engines make it possible to find, sort and filter all relevant information. The products obviously impressed Lausanne-based Debiopharm, which participated in a financing round in the fall of 2012.

The companies that improved most in the rankings 1. TrekkSoft (rank 25) 2. Mabimmune Diagnostics (rank 33) 3. Adello Group (rank 23) 4. Gastros (rank 28) 5. Agilentia (rank 29)

64.  Winterthur Instruments, Winterthur The devices made by the multiple awardwinning startup use a non-contact method involving light pulses to measure the thickness and quality of surface coatings. The technology can be used, for example, to ­inspect paint layers directly after they are applied. Waiting until the paint is dry is ­unnecessary. Winterthur Instruments is a spin-off from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).

Mabimmune: Founder Chad Brokopp.

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68.  Attolight, Lausanne The device developed by Attolight combines an ultra-fast laser with a scanning electron microscope. This makes it pos­ sible, for example, to film moving electrons. Applications include the quality control of computer chips and solar cells, which is a major area of interest for Asian com­ panies and research institutions. Attolight therefore delivered the first device to Asia.

69.  NBE Therapeutics, Basel The drugs developed by NBE combine antibodies with toxic substances that attack cancer cells, for example. The startup, which is based at Technologiepark Basel can look back on a positive first year. It completed a round of seed funding, registered two ­patents, built the necessary laboratory infrastructure – all while starting two funded ­research projects.

65.  Lotaris, Yverdon-les-Bains Today, consumers can purchase upgrades from within apps. Buying virtual goods while playing smartphone games has benefits. Lotaris makes these kinds of transactions possible. The in-appCommerce platform is also available to independent developers, making Lotaris attractive to the big players in the industry as well. In August, Lotaris entered into a partnership with PayPal.

70.  Pharmalp, Conthey Probiotics are bacteria related to the ­microorganisms in the human intestinal ­flora. Based in the canton of Valais, Pharmalp ­develops probiotic supplements with scientifically and clinically proven efficacy for the digestive tract. Three products are registered with the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). 2013 handelszeitung 25

Ranks 71 to 80 Rankings

71.  SuitArt, Zurich SuitArt creates made-to-measure clothing. Last September, the startup caused a sensation when former Vögele CEO André Maeder invested in the company. The money allowed SuitArt to expand inter­ nationally. Strong growth is expected again this year after sales increased by 50 percent in 2012.

72.  Elmove, Zurich Zurich-based Elmove develops and sells electric drive units for two- and threewheeled vehicles. The company collaborates with one Italian and one German ­vehicle manufacturer. The sales and service network is currently in development. Investors also include SVC Ltd. for Risk Capital for SMEs, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse.

73.  Thelkin, Winterthur Replacing an implant is costly. The market for tests is growing. Thelkin’s testing instruments are completely electronic, ­ making them much more efficient than competing hydraulic or pneumatic products. They are sold in Europe and overseas.

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SwissLeg: CEO Roberto Agosta and COO Paulo Gonçalves (from left).

Top cantons

More than just Zurich and Vaud Fourteen cantons are represented in the rankings. Four promising companies in­ cluding SwissLeg (rank 51) are from Ticino. The company produces innovative, afford­ able prosthetic legs. And there is huge ­demand: Millions of amputees, particularly in regions of conflict, do not have prosthe­ tic legs. Funded by an intergovernmental organization, SwissLeg has established its first orthopedic center in Jordan. The start­ up has plans for twelve orthopedic centers in total.

The seven cantons with the most top startups

Neuchâtel 3

Zurich 45

Geneva 3 Ticino 4 Bern 4 Basel-Stadt 4

Vaud 27

74.  Flatev, Zurich Like Nespresso capsules – except the capsules contain dough, and the appliance is a tortilla machine. Ready-made tortillas are made at the push of a button. The main target market is North America. The startup completed a financing round in August 2013.

75.  DistalMotion, Lausanne Minimally-invasive surgical techniques speed up patients’ recovery and therefore are less expensive than conventional methods. However there is room for improvement with regard to the translation of the surgeon›s movements outside the body into the maneuvers inside the body. The EPFL spin-off has built a revolutionary transmission device that promises to deliver the utmost precision.

76.  Andrew Alliance, Geneva The pipetting robot made by Andrew ­Alliance fits on any lab bench, offers great 26 handelszeitung 2013

flexibility and is much cheaper than larger systems. The Geneva startup was awarded the CTI Startup Label in June this year.

times since the company was launched three years ago.

77.  Koemei, Martigny At the heart of Koemei’s business is a software program that automatically transcribes videos. Based in the canton of ­Valais, the startup developed an all-inone service that offers an online platform and a video player allowing users to share, edit, search and store videos. The service is used by clients such as the University of Geneva and the City University of New York.

78.  EverdreamSoft, Geneva EverdreamSoft developed a trading card game called Moonga for smartphones. There are currently 500 different cards that can be collected and traded and also used for playing against other opponents. Moonga has been downloaded 250,000

79.  Celeroton, Zurich Founded five years ago, the ETH spin-off develops and markets electronic drive systems with speeds ranging from 200,000 up to the world record of 1 million rpms. The miniature turbo compressors are lightweight and compact. They are used in home appliances, high-tech machinery, heat pumps, ventilation systems and are sold worldwide.

80.  glass2energy, Yverdon-les-Bains Solar cells made by glass2energy consist of glass, are transparent and are therefore easily integrated into buildings. The first panels were installed in the main building of the Geneva airport in April. After completing a round of financing, the company looks set to expand.

Rankings Ranks 81 to 90

81.  Geosatis, Le Noirmont Time in prison is expensive and complicates the offender’s reintegration into society. The electronic monitoring system from the Jura-based startup Geosatis offers a solution. A software program with an alarm function combines a locatable ankle cuff, a base station and a device that keeps the criminals away from potential victims.

82.  UrbanFarmers, Zurich The spin-off from the University of Applied Sciences Wädenswil has developed a greenhouse for the city. The world’s first aquaponic farm has been built at the locomotive storage facility in Basel. Vegetables and fish are produced here and then sold at the nearby Migros supermarket. The goal is to sell entire production systems that can be monitored using an app.

83.  Numab, Wädenswil Numab develops antibody-based drugs. The startup announced a milestone pay-

ment of over CHF 3 million from a collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Sucampo. In addition, the company is involved in a project that the CTI has funded with CHF 900,000.

84.  Pix4D, Lausanne Aerial photos can be taken easily and inexpensively with drones and unmanned helicopters. Pix4D, a spin-off from the Computer Vision Lab at EPFL, has developed a software program that assembles thousands of these images to create 2D maps and 3D models. Potential customers include mining companies, environmental agencies and disaster relief organizations.

85.  SUSI Partners, Zurich In collaboration with a Luxembourgbased investment fund manager, the investment firm SUSI Partners is giving in­ vestors the opportunity to invest in sus­ tainable energy infrastructures. The funds managed by SUSI are invested directly in energy systems, energy storage and en-

ergy efficiency improvements to existing plants.

86.  ILAND green technologies, Neuchâtel The thin film technology developed by the Neuchâtel-based startup makes it possible to produce collapsible, lightweight solar panels. Building upon this, ILAND green technologies has developed a range of portable power generators that can be used outdoors and in emerging countries with insufficient electricity infrastructure.

87.  upicto, Zurich The spin-off from the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich has developed an algorithm that analyzes the content of videos, selects relevant segments and then presents them. The software is self-learning and intended for video surveillance firms.

88.  DAHU Sports Company, Fribourg The idea is as simple as it is ingenious: a ski boot with a removable outer shell. When skiing, the boot is safely secured within the shell. To walk, simply remove the shell. In July, the startup completed a financing round for more than CHF 1 million. Production is now being ramped up and the ski boots are expected to be on retailers’ shelves before the end of this winter.

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Imina Technologies: CEO Benoît Dagon and Guillaume Boetsch (from left).


Swissness helps promote exports «We are now reaping the fruits of our labor,» says Benoît Dagon, CEO of the nanotechnology startup Imina Technologies (rank 94). The company has launched the world’s smallest nano-manipulator, which allows very small objects to be moved easily and with precision. In the past twelve months, the company has established a worldwide distribution network and generated its first sales outside Europe. Now the startup is operating in the black, focusing on organic growth and expanding its team while at the same time doing something positive for

Switzerland’s image. «We like to point out that our suppliers come from the watch industry,» said Dagon.

The top five micro/ nanotechnology startups 1. QualySense (rank 10) 2. Lemoptix (rank 12) 3. SWISSto12 (rank 15) 4. Sensima Technology (rank 40) 5. Zurich Instruments (rank 48)

89.  42matters, Zurich The ETH spin-off is a pioneer for finding apps. It has launched two products: App­ Aware, which uses app recommendations from a community, and Playboard, which lets users create and share topic-specific app lists for the purpose of recommending apps to others.

90.  Advanced Osteotomy Tools (AOT), Basel The medical technology startup AOT is developing a device that improves precision, safety and speed when cutting and removing bone. It consists of a robot with a laser cutter as well as a planning and navigation system. The company is basing its innovation on research conducted by the University Hospital Basel. 2013 handelszeitung 27

Ranks 91 to 100 Rankings

Top industries

91.  Aeon Scientific, Zurich A year after Aeon completed its first financing round, a second followed in June of 2013. Private investors and the Zürcher Kantonalbank invested CHF 4 million to complete the development of the first product. Aeon is developing a device that can be used to more precisely control catheters during surgeries. The first area of application will be heart operations.

96.  Uepaa!, Zurich Uepaa! makes it possible to place emergency calls even outside the mobile phone network. The app supports the alarm system at the Uepaa! Rescue Center, significantly increasing the safety of mountaineers in both winter and summer. In early July, the app became available for CHF 2 for Android and iPhone. Sales got off to a brilliant start.

92.  Slyde Watch, Luins Slyde wristwatches unite high-tech innovation with the fine art of Swiss watchmaking. The watches feature a high-end touchscreen that displays highly complex virtual clock mechanisms. The startup and its experienced team are on course for global expansion. In July, a flagship store opened in Beijing.

97.  Ethical Skincare Company, Neuchâtel The cosmetics company combines luxury with eco-friendliness to keep pace with the growing trend towards natural cosmetics. The products bearing the Zilooa brand name do not contain any of the water-polluting substances found in commonly available creams. The startup currently makes a sunscreen and moisturizers for women and for men.

When it comes to me­ dical devices, startups make good use of Swiss strengths and vir­ tues. But other sectors, too, benefit from Swiss traditions. Take Uepaa! Uepaa!: CEO Ma(rank 96), for example. thias Haussmann. The startup›s app transforms the smart­ phones of millions of outdoor enthusiasts into alpine tracking, alarm and rescue de­ vices that work outside the mobile phone network. Here in Switzerland, Uepaa! combined forces with the likes of Rega, Mammut and Swisscom. Switzerland is also an ideal market for the product, which is why the Uepaa! app made its debut here last July. International expan­ sion will begin before the end of the year.

Startups by industry

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Swiss fortitude

94.  Imina Technologies, Lausanne The nanomanipulator from Imina is not much larger than a sugar cube, but do not be fooled: «mibot» is a high-performance instrument that allows nanometer-sized objects to be moved with extreme precision under a microscope. It can be quickly put into action and is highly versatile – mibot can also be used easily in vacuum chambers, for instance.

98.  Amphasys, Root The startup has developed a device that enables quick and easy analysis of plant, ani­mal and human cells. The device is portable, so analyses can also be performed outside the laboratory. For example, seed quality can be tested in the greenhouse, which was the motivation behind one Dutch seed company,s support for the startup›s product development activities.

99.  PumpTire, Zurich Well-inflated bicycle tires are more efficient, improve riding comfort and extend the life of the tires. Tires constantly lose air and have to be regularly pumped up – a tedious task for any cyclist. PumpTire has found the solution. The startup is developing a bicycle tube that self-inflates while riding.

95.  Preclin Biosystems, Lausanne The service provider Preclin Biosystems has positioned itself as a one-stop shop for preclinical testing for new drugs. It provides information to pharmaceutical companies that are developing new drugs regarding the effectiveness, side effects and target market of the drugs. The platform of the startup thus drastically speeds up the preclinical phase of drug development and saves money.

28 handelszeitung 2013

100.  Bluetector, Root Bluetector combines wastewater remo­ val with energy recovery in a system that fits inside a shipping container. Customers save up to 75 percent compared to what they paid in the past to dispose of highly contaminated water. A financing round in early summer gave the startup the funds it needed to deliver the first products to customers.

Medical devices Cleantech Software Micro/nanotechnology Consumer products Biotechnology Mobile Internet

18 15 15 13 13 11 9 6

Consumer products

Entrepreneurial spirit The Top 100 list in­ cludes more and more companies that devel­ op consumer products, such as PumpTire (rank 99). The startup is de­ veloping a bicycle tube PumpTire: CEO Benjamin that self-inflates while Krempel. riding. The market is enormous – the USA and EU alone con­ sume 130 million bicycle tubes each year. PumpTire is now working on the industri­ alization of production and is seeking ­investors.

The five best suppliers 1. Gastros (rank 28) 2. The Rokker Company (rank 30) 3. Limmex (rank 31) 4. CombaGroup (rank 32) 5. HYT (rank 49)

martin heimann

93.  AVK Systems, Lausanne The products made by AVK enable many different sporting events to be broadcast in HD audio over the Internet, on the radio or on TV. The 25-person company has also caused a stir internationally and was included in the Red Herring list of the 100 best ­European startups.

The experts

The experts on the scene

Jury 100 experts have selected the top 100 startups, with each expert choosing and ­rating their ten favorites. The rankings list is based on the total of these scores.

A Carole Ackermann Zurich. President of Business Angels Switzerland (BAS). CEO of Diamondscull, investment company in the medical and environmental fields. Flavio Agosti, St. Gallen. In charge of the venturelab program in German-speaking Switzerland as well as the Swiss South African venture leaders. Domenico Alexakis, Zurich. Director of the Swiss ­Biotech Association. Olivier Allaman, Fribourg. Director of Fribourg-based business incubator Fri Up. Claude Amiguet, Neuchâtel. Director of the Neode ­Science and Technology Park Neuchâtel. Lukas André, Zurich. Managing Partner at Affentranger Associates, a venture capital firm. Co-founder of various IT startups. B Thomas Bähler, Bern. Specialist at Kellerhals Attorneys at Law, including for private equity/venture capital firms. Co-founder of SEF. Jury member for the Swiss Economic Award. Peter Balsiger, Zurich. Partner at aventic partners, ­executive management at AM-Tec Kredit, Foundation for Promotion of SMEs. Luc-Olivier Bauer, Zurich. Member of the Investment Advisory Committee at the venture capital firm Nano­Dimension.

Pierre Bordry, Lausanne. Director of CapitalProximité, network initiatives for investors/startups in the cantons of the Romandie region. Diego A. Braguglia, Zug. General partner at VI Partners, venture capital firm. Focus: life sciences/ biotech. Peter E. Braun, St. Gallen. Active business angel. Founder/CEO of the Mountain Club investors network. David Brown, Lausanne. Active business angel. founder/co-founder of various startups including Board of Directors SalsaDev. Member of Go Beyond. Peter E. Burckhardt, Basel. CEO of EVA – the Basel life sciences startup agency. CEO Basel Inkubator. President BioBac.

Patrick Griss, Schlieren. Executive Partner at Zühlke Ventures. Focus: high-tech startups. Member of the ­Advisory Board of the Empa glaTec technology center.

Rudolf Gygax, Zurich. Venture Capitalist, Managing Partner at Nextech Invest. Focus: oncology.

Pierre Comte, Neuchâtel. Business Angel, focus: medtech. Founder/CEO of Sigma Professional. Lecturer at EPFL and IMD. CTI startup coach and venturelab trainer.

H Peter Harboe-Schmidt, Schwerzenbach. Co-founder of various pharmaceutical companies including SpiroChem and Xigen Pharma as well as the ETH spin-off Glycemicon, where he holds a seat on the Executive Board.

Alexandre Coquoz, Neuchâtel. Associate Director of ­Innobridge. CEO of Jade Invest.

Pascal Dutheil, Lausanne. Founder of Andromède ­Consulting. Focus: seed & early stage venture capital. CTI startup coach.

Christoph Birkholz, Zurich. Co-founder and Managing Director of the global community network Impact Hub.

F Claude Florin, Lausanne. Business angel. Founder/ president of the Association A3 Angels investor group, seed & early stage venture capital. Focus: medtech/ mobile telecom.

Jacques Bonvin, Geneva. Specialist at Tavernier Tschanz, business attorneys, for venture capital, private equity, M&A, new technologies.

Denis R. Grisel, Bern. Head of Economic Promotion Agency, Canton of Bern.

Gert Christen, Zurich. CEO of BlueLion, incubator for ICT and cleantech companies. CEO of Startzentrum Zürich.

Marc P. Bernegger, Zug. Founder of various companies including and Amiando. Angel investor. Partner at Next Generation Finance Invest.

Silvio Bonaccio, Zurich. Head of ETH transfer/ spin-offs, member of the steering committee of the Venture Business Plan Competition at ETH Zürich.

Gabriel Gomez, Lausanne. Co-founder/President of the private equity/venture capital association DEFI Gestion.

Daniel Gutenberg, Zug. Business Angel of the Year 2011. General Partner at VI Partners, venture capital group. Focus: IT.

D Alberto De Lorenzi, Bioggio. Business angel with focus on ICT startups, partner at De Lorenzi & Partners. CTI startup coach.

Jan Bomholt, St. Gallen. Co-founder of the b-to-v (BrainsToVentures) business angel network. Founder of the MeinEinkauf portal.

Eric Gisiger, Zurich. Founding member/chartered financial analyst (CFA) at SVC Ltd. for Risk Capital for SMEs.

C Heinrich Christen, Zurich. Partner at Ernst & Young. ­Focus: medtech. Partner in Charge of Entrepreneur Of The Year.

Nicolas Berg, Zurich. Founder of multiple companies and a business angel. Co-founder of Redalpine Venture Partners. Holds a seat on various panels for young ­entrepreneur prizes and trainer for venturelab courses.

Philip Bodmer, Dübendorf. Business angel. President of the Volkswirtschaft-Stiftung. Member of CTI Invest and StartAngels Network. Expert at the de Vigier Foundation.

G Frank Gerritzen, Lausanne. President of Business ­Angels Switzerland (BAS), Romandy. Board of Careerplus Group. Founder of the Swiss branch of the Wealth Peer Group.

Sébastien Flury, Delémont. Startup activist. Founder/ blogger of startupolic. Founder/manager at Geeks of the Arc. Alan Frei, Zurich. Entrepreneur, investor. Head of the startup platform Startup@UZH at the University of ­Zurich. Patrik Frei, Zurich. Founder/CEO of Venture Valuation, rating high-tech companies. Focus: life sciences, ICT, nanotech, renewable energy. Jan Fülscher, Männedorf. Managing Director of ­Business Angels Switzerland (BAS). Juror and coach for various startup competitions.

Reto Hartinger, Zurich. Serial entrepreneur and business angel (including, etc.). President of Erfa-Gruppe Internet Briefing. Philipp Hasler, Zurich. Business angel. Investment ­Director at Emerald Technology Ventures. Focus: ­cleantech. René Hausammann, Winterthur. Director of Technopark Winterthur and Transfer ZHW. Wolfgang Henggeler, Zurich. Director of Physical ­Sciences at Unitectra, technology transfer organization at the Universities of Zurich, Bern and Basel. Nicole Herzog, St. Gallen. Attorney at Law. President of the Board of the shareholders platform Sherpany-­ Agilentia, Co-founder/Member of the Board at ­Haufe-umantis, Talent Management. Matthias Hölling, Zurich. Technology Manager – Group Director of Spin-offs of ETH transfer. Markus Hosang, Basel. Venture Capitalist. General Partner at BioMedinvest. Focus: life sciences. Patrick Hug, Zurich. Deputy Head of Startup Finance at Zürcher Kantonalbank ZKB. 2013 handelszeitung 29

The experts

 J Michel Jaccard, Lausanne. Founder/Partner at the law firm id est avocats. Experts in corporate finance, new technologies and media. Mario Jenni, Schlieren. Co-founder/Director of BIOTechnopark Schlieren, life sciences center for the Zurich metro area. Co-founder of glaTec. K Kilian Kämpfen, Flamatt. Chief of Business Development at Ringier Digital, a leading Swiss competence center for online marketplaces and e-commerce. Fernand Kaufmann, Zurich. Business angel. Focus: cleantech. Advisor at Emerald Technology Ventures. Cédric Köhler, Zurich. Venture Capitalist. Partner at Creathor Venture. Focus: IT, telecom, media, new media.

Carolina Müller-Möhl, Zurich. Chairperson of the Müller-Möhl Group, investment management. President of the Swiss Economic Award.

Christian Schütz, St. Gallen. Partner of the b-to-v Partners business angels network. Jury member of venture leaders.

N Michael Näf, Zurich. Business angel. Founder/CEO of online scheduler

Florian Schweitzer, St. Gallen. co-founder/partner at the b-to-v Partners business angels network. Board member at SECA.

Alain Nicod, Zug. Business angel. Founder/Co-founder of various startups including Founder/Managing Partner at VI Partners venture capital firm. Focus: ICT/life sciences.

Peter Seitz, Zurich. Serial entrepreneur. Managing Director of the ETH Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (ieLab).

Peter Niederhauser, Zurich. Serial entrepreneur/business angel. General Partner at Redalpine Venture Partners venture capital firm. Lutz Nolte, Bern. Vice President of the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) and Funding President in the area of startups and entrepreneurship. Director of the Institute for Surgical Technology and Biomechanics at the University of Bern.

André Kühni, Aarau. Director of KMU Services/Start-up consulting at Aargauer Kantonalbank.

O Magne Y. Orgland, Teufen. Business angel. Managing Partner at Norga Capital. Board member of 1741 Asset Management.

Pius Küng, St. Gallen. Founder of the business and marketing consultancy Dr. Pius Küng & Partner and the Institute for Young Entrepreneurs. Trainer for venturelab.

Markus Oswald, Schwyz. Venture capitalist. CEO of the Foundation for Innovation of KB Schwyz. Coach for CTI Startup.

Stefan Kyora, Lucerne. Managing Editor of startupticker. ch. Co-owner of Journalistenbüro Niedermann. Business journalist. Focus: high-tech startups/corporate finance.

P Alexandre Peyraud, Lausanne. Venture capitalist. Focus: IT, cleantech. Private Equity Manager at Debiomanagement (Debiopharm Group).

L Jean-Philippe Lallement, Lausanne. General Manager of Science Park EPFL. President of Business angel.

Peter Pfister, Zurich. Active business angel since 2001. Involved in the StartAngels network.

Dr. Hervé Lebret, Lausanne. Manager of Innogrants EPFL. Former Principal at Index Ventures, venture capital firm.

Eric Plan, Sion. General Secretary of CleantechAlps, Cleantech Cluster western Switzerland.

Peter Letter, Baar. Business Angel. Co-founder/Principal at paprico, experts for private equity capital & companies.

Jim Pulcrano, Lausanne. Executive Director of IMD – ­International Institute for Management Development, oversees the IMD Startup Competition.

Hansruedi Lingg, Root-Längenbold. CEO of Technopark Lucerne.

Erika Puyal Heusser, Zurich. Manager of Startup ­Finance/Pioneers, Zürcher Kantonalbank. Board member of «Go! Ziel selbstständig». 

M Pascal Marmier, Shanghai. Executive Director/Vice Consul General at swissnex China. Co-organizer of venture leaders in Boston, USA. Davide Mauri, Lausanne. Vice President of Technologies Médicales – Eurofin Ventures/Polytech Ventures. Dominique Mégret, Bern. Manager at Swisscom Ventures. Co-founder of Kickstart Ventures. Simon Meier, Basel. Investment Director of Roche ­Venture Fund. Jury member for venture kick. Didier Mesnier, Geneva. Executive Officer of Alp ICT, high-tech cluster western Switzerland. Jordi Montserrat, Lausanne. Business officer XO3. Oversees management of venture kick and venturelab.

30 handelszeitung 2013

R Jost Renggli, Zurich. Co-founder/Partner at Venture Valuation, investment ratings agency for high-tech startups. Focus: life sciences. Balz Roth, Zurich. Business angel. Management team of Go Beyond, business angels network. Jan Rothenberger, Zurich. Former Head of, new community specialist at news magazine 20minuten. S Beat Schillig, St. Gallen. Founder and Managing Partner of the Institute for Young Entrepreneurs (IFJ), Business Angel of the Year 2012. Michael Schmitt, Zurich. Angel investor. Formerly employed by Google as a Lead Engineer, now at the early investor Go Beyond and a juror for venture kick.

Michael Sidler, Zurich. Business angel. General Partner at Redalpine Venture Partners. Partner at Intro International. François Stieger, Yverdon-les-Bains. Several-time angel investor. Co-founder of Eurofin Ventures. Board member at Lotaris. Pierre Strübin, Plan-les-Ouates. Technical Director at Fongit – Fondation Genevoise pour l’Innovation Technologique. Vice President of Fongit Seed Invest. T Jean-Philippe Tripet, Zurich. Co-founder of various biotech companies including Glycart and Cytos. Founder, Managing Partner and CFA of Aravis, venture capital firm. Focus: energy/life sciences. V Paul-André Vogel, Sion. Director of CimArk, startup support network. Coach for CTI Startup. Pascale Vonmont, Basel. Deputy Director of Gebert Rüf Stiftung. Delegate on the Strategic Council of venture kick. Jury member for venture leaders. Advisory Board of «sei», Swiss Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier, Solothurn. Managing Director of the W.A. de Vigier Foundation. Managing Director of CTI Invest. W Lucian Wagner, Zurich. General Partner at EuroUS Ventures, Investing for US Growth. Co-founder/President of Launch in US Alliance. Steffen Wagner, Zurich. Co-founder/Managing Partner of Investiere / Verve Capital Partners. Josef Walker, Chur. Head of Entrepreneurial Management at HTW Chur. Committee member at E-Tower. Technical Advisory Board for Entrepreneurs in Eastern Switzerland. Member of the Band of Angels. Christian Wenger, Zurich. Business angel. Partner at Wenger & Vieli, corporate and commercial law. Focus: private equity/venture capital/M&A. Board member at SECA. President of CTI Invest. Sandy Wetzel, Yverdon-les-Bains. General Manager at Y-Parc – Swiss Technopole. Z Roland Zeller, Binningen. Business angel. Co-founder/ longtime CEO of the online travel agency Board member at GetYourGuide. Shareholder at Crearis, operator of various online shops. Jürg Zürcher, Zurich. Partner/Biotechnology Leader for EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, Africa) at Ernst & Young.

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