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Grow fast, stay modest

07/09/2018

Swiss start-ups create jobs – this was reflected impressively in the Top 100 Swiss Startup Awards. The job creators’ recipe for success: international focus, humility and customer orientation.

Dear reader

This week, the Top 100 Startup Awards were celebrated in Zurich, and for the eighth time 100 experts named their favourite start-ups. A comparison with the first Top 100 winners shows the impressive progress the Swiss start-up scene has made since then. The top three start-ups of 2011 – Optotune, Dacuda and Doodle, certainly a good choice – employed a total of 52 people. The top three of 2018 – Ava, BestMile and Lunaphore – together have more than triple, with 165 employees.

At the award night, Ava CEO Pascal König was asked for tips for founders. He gave two pieces of advice: first, Swiss start-ups should have an international presence right from the start, and second, along with the success, modesty is essential. These two tips outline a specifically Swiss way for start-ups that is now increasingly successful. A third element could be rapid collaboration with well-known customers. This week we reported on Signifikant Solutions; in the pilot phase, the adtech start-up worked with Migros, Swisscom, Storck Switzerland and Hug. And fintech start-up Enterprise Bot is already working for clients such as SIX Group, Generali Switzerland, SWICA, a major Scottish bank and PwC Switzerland.

Well-known customers also feature with embotech and Advanced Sport Instruments, and more are likely soon: embotech has now received a European Technology Innovation Award from market research firm Frost & Sullivan for its software, which is used in autonomous vehicles. And the product from Advanced Sport Instruments is the first wearable tracking device to be officially approved by FIFA.

Such successes also show that the diverse Swiss start-up scene supports start-up companies effectively. So it is good news that we were able to report this week on further new support measures. InnoBooster, a new programme from the Gebert Rüf Foundation, aims to accelerate the market entry of deep-tech spin-offs that are already in the Venture Kick process – CHF 2.5 million per year will be available. And CERN has for the first time carried out an entrepreneurship programme; we were there on Demo Day and report on the training and results in our article.

The event season has definitely started. Next week, you can meet us at Startuptag Zentralschweiz and the Digital Festival. And of course we will be in attendance at Startup DAYs in Bern on 25 and 26 September.

Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch