On 4 November 2016 the co-working space of EPFL Innovation park, called La Forge, opened up for a brighter audience during a Demo Day (#DemoDay) event. Demo Days take place twice a year to show the great resident startups, about 40 throughout the year. The objective for them is to present themselves and show the visitors (among which are investors) in what stage they are and what they are looking for. A well-crowded event organized by venturelab for the EPFL Innovation Park, the owner of La Forge.
Located at the EPFL Innovation Park, La Forge is a co-working space offering an environment for starting entrepreneurs to shape their ideas into companies. “We believe there is no shortage of good ideas and promising technologies to solve the issues of our time”, says the homepage of La Forge. The challenge is to turn them into real innovations reaching their customers. La Forge exists to offer starting entrepreneurs and actors of the startup ecosystem a flexible and open place to work and meet. It offers the tools and trimmings needed to launch innovative ventures, this for free, and for maximum a year.
The following startups took part and presented themselves at the Demo Day’s pitching sessions:
|Alogo Analysis||Cellphmed||Daphne Technology||DispenCell||Gookers|
About 80 people visited the event. They walked around, talked with some of the entrepreneurs about their ideas and exchanged business cards. The entrepreneurs had each prepared a booth where they could show their technology, discuss with visitors and offer giveaways for some.
James Murray, founder of Headswap, was very excited about the event: “The Demo Day, La Forge and the EPFL Innovation Park help us to present ourselves in front of a large audience and to increase our network, which is always good.” Murray founded his company via IFJ (Institut für Jungunternehmen) and visited a lot of helpful acceleration programs like the Startup Essential at EPFL. “During those workshops I learned to pitch properly, which helps me a lot now. I’d recommend it to all who want to turn their ideas into a successful business.”
David Deillon, founder of Alogo Analysis, is also pleased with the event. A few hours before the Demo Day Deillon was on a radio show. “I never thought I would talk about my startup on a radio show because our idea is a niche in the startup world.” But it was good enough for some experts. Recently the startup won Stage one of Venture Kick which helps Swiss spin-offs become successful ventures as well as up to CHF 130’000 in pre-seed capital. The startups didn’t only wait behind their booths. They also pitched their ideas in a jam-packed conference room in 15 minutes and answered some tough questions.
After three hours the networking-apéro started. The visitors and entrepreneurs drank a glass of wine together and intensified some discussions. Caroline Graf, venturelab Manager Suisse romande, who organized the event as a mandate from EPFL Innovation Park, was very pleased with the event: “I really enjoyed the event, it was a great opportunity for the startups at La Forge to connect with interesting partners and pitch their ideas.”
The Demo Day showed that the EPFL Innovation Park, venturelab and all the other partners help the startups to grow in a great environment and to be successful. Check out some impressions of the event: