The atmosphere at La Werkstadt in Biel was amazing. 10 super motivated and great startups made their pitches in front of a top-class jury. Swisscom and venturelab revealed which five startups made it through. They now have the chance to attend a week-long Business Acceleration Program in Silicon Valley at the end of September.
201 startups applied for this years‘ Swisscom StartUp Challenge. Five of them made it to the platform. La Werkstadt was filled with excitement and extreme concentration. No wonder as all ten finalists were anxious about getting chosen as one of the lucky bulk.
The expert jury with Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler (Chief Digital Officer Swisscom), Brigitte Baumann (CEO Go Beyond), Stefan Heitmann (CEO MoneyPark) and Beat Schillig (CEO of the program partner venturelab) among them did not only want to see smart ideas and a convincing business model. Team spirit and determination were of same interest for the final decision.
Each startup had a dozen of minutes to sell their pitch to the judging panel. No time for explanatory details – they literally had to put the idea in a nutshell. And all of them did a great job – hats off! But that was not it. After the pitch the starters had to face up to 10mins full of tough and breakneck questions by the selection committee.
Despite all the nerves and tension, the level of professionalism on display was very impressive! The jury was particularly enthusiastic about Advertima, AlgoTrader, ecoRobotix, 1Drop Diagnostics and OneSky.
Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler: “What a generation! We were bowled over by their ideas and personalities. Now it’s up to us to help them do great things in the tough environment of the real world.”
The five winners ensured a place for themselves on a business acceleration program in Silicon Valley. This tailored mentoring program enables startups to have their entire business model thoroughly checked and establish valuable contacts with international partners and mentors. The startups will head off on their journey on 24 September 2017.
And the five startups who will be flying to Silicon Valley are:
Advertima creates artificial intelligence that analyzes the people around it. It recognizes features like age, gender and emotions, and reacts by creating personalized and positive experiences. This brings proactive customer interaction from the virtual into the real world. Using its understanding of humans, Advertima AG is on track to become better than any human at making others happy.
AlgoTrader, a venture leader 2017, is the first fully integrated algorithmic trading software solution for hedge funds and trading companies. It allows automation of complex, quantitative trading strategies in forex, stocks, derivatives and cryptocurrencies – everything a typical hedge fund needs for its daily operations. The software is available both in the cloud and on premise.
ecoRobotix, a TOP 100 startup, develops autonomous weeding robots to strongly reduce herbicides in several row crops, resulting in lower weeding costs and benefits for human health and the environment. Weeds are identified with artificial vision and sprayed with a fast robotic arm. The machine is fully solar-powered and controlled with a smartphone.
1Drop Diagnostics, a TOP 100 startup and venture leader alumnus, saves lives through better and faster portable medical diagnostics. It enables personalized healthcare through actionable health information that is accessible to anyone at any time. The device detects multiple biomarkers from a single drop of blood immediately in front of the patient. It thereby facilitates the early detection, prevention and management of disease.
OneSky, a Venture Kick alumnus, builds infrastructure in preparation for tomorrow’s drone revolution, ensuring drones’ safe integration into today’s aviation world. It offers an online platform which gathers data from a network of scaled-down control towers, enabling virtually anybody to see surrounding air traffic and to hold intelligent tools for low-risk flight plans, automatic avoidance strategies and privacy control.
Check out more pictures from the event:
Pictures: Riechsteiner Fotografie/Swisscom