Content - Switzerland chooses 100 most promising startups

  • October 09, 2018

Switzerland chooses 100 most promising startups

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – A fertility bracelet for women, a software for autonomous driving and a new way of tumor diagnostics – the startups behind these technological innovations have been chosen as the Top 3 best young companies in Switzerland of this year at the annual “Top 100 Swiss Startup Award”. Their activities are particularly important for Switzerland which has been the leader of the annual Global Innovation Index for the last eight years. The Top 100 list generates also a good opportunity to recognize technological trends and developments in Switzerland and worldwide. One interesting fact is that almost half of the Top 100 2018 startup companies are located in the canton of Zurich and about a quarter in the canton of Vaud.

Swiss Top 100 startups award event

“Femtech” keeps the lead

The #1 for the second year running, “femtech” Ava Women, has raised a total $42.3 million of financing, hired 70 employees, opened an office in San Francisco, and put co-founder Lea von Bidder on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Ava’s streamlined sensor bracelet looks simple, but it is super smart: the data it harvests while women sleep is converted into highly precise information about their fertility cycles and health. CEO and co-founder Pascal Koenig said: “Winning the TOP 100 award in 2017 gave us the extra boost that contributed to our fantastic growth over the past 12 months.” 

Runner-up Bestmile (last year: #7) offers a platform to integrate fleets of both autonomous and conventional vehicles that has been embraced by transport providers from Switzerland’s own PostBus and Swiss railways SBB to Californian Robotaxis – while earning the company a spot on the World Economic Forum’s list of Technology Pioneers.  

And third-placed Lunaphore (up from #9), a tumor analysis platform, has signed collaborations with global corporation PerkinsElmer and biomedical research firm Vitro, both of which recognize the potential of the startup’s technology to revolutionize tissue diagnostics. Lunaphore’s automated tissue-staining solution uses microfluidics to vastly increase the speed, and reliability, of lab processes. 

The Top 10 also includes: #4 Flyability (Drones), #5 Cutiss (Biotech), #6 Piavita (Medtech), #7 Wingtra (Drones), #8 Gamaya (Engineering), #9 Advanon (Fintech), #10 Versantis (Biotech). The full list with detailed information can be viewed here. The public also has the opportunity to vote for their favorite startup. This year the winner of this public award is Smallpdf, a startup offering cloud services for PDF-files. The services are already used by 15 million users (SCCIJ reported earlier). 

Swiss startups scaling new heights

In its eight years, the "Top 100 Swiss Startup Award" has in total recognized 371 startups. Taken together, those startups have created 5,197 jobs and raised more than CHF 2.6 billion of investment. So far, we have seen 38 exits (such as Faceshift’s sale to Apple, Lemoptix to Intel, and Dacuda to Magic Leap), and with Biocartis and Crispr, two IPOs. 

“The Swiss startup ecosystem is in excellent health,” said Stefan Steiner, co-managing director of the Top 100 Awards organizer, Venturelab. “These entrepreneurs have more than just good ideas – they have excellent business sense and are taking the investment world by storm.” 

Jordi Montserrat, co-founder and managing partner of Venturelab, confirmed: “Growth capital is exploding in Switzerland. 2018 will be a record year for investment, with CHF 270 million raised by just eight top startups in recent months. The arrival of capital on this scale makes it possible for these young firms to compete globally and drive the future of Swiss industry.” 

Anyone taking a closer look might notice one striking detail – all Top 3 startups have a woman on the founding team and two of the Top 10 companies have female CEOs. 28 of the full 100 startups have women in management. With the shortage of women in tech still a hot topic, it’s clear that more and more women start companies – and are successful. 

About the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Awards

Each year since 2011, Venturelab has organized the Top 100 Swiss Startup Award. The 100 most innovative and promising Swiss startups are picked by a panel of 100 leading investors and startup experts. Each one nominates 10 favorite Swiss startups, less than five years old, with the greatest commercial potential. The first-placed company on any list gets 10 points, the second 9 and so on. All these individual rankings are compiled to generate the final Top 100 Swiss Startup Award ranking, which therefore recognizes the startups that have most impressed all 100 jury members.  


Text: SCCIJ with material of; Photo:

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