Tokyo (SCCIJ) – The 11th edition of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has celebrated Switzerland’s best startups: The expert jury picked Planted Foods (1st), Cutiss (2nd), and 9T Labs (3rd) as their top choices. Venturelab organized the award show, facilitated by its presenting partners Credit Suisse and Swiss Venture Club.
No. 1: Planted Foods
Switzerland’s best startup in 2021 creates tasty meat directly from plants – and skips the animal. Its “meat” is sustainable, healthy, and cruelty-free. The technology of Planted Foods mimics the fiber lengths of various meat types, to flexibly choose the protein source and to add the juiciness consumers miss with conventional meat analogs.
For example, “Planted Chicken”: It is made with only four ingredients, and it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, and is much more ecological than its animal counterpart—with 50% less land and water consumption and two-thirds fewer CO2 emissions. As the next product, “Planted Pork” has been added.
The startup’s vegan meat alternatives do not include additives, chemicals, GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones. Planted was founded in 2019 by Christoph Jenny, Eric Stirnemann, Lukas Böni, and Pascal Bieri, and it ranked 37th in 2020. In its Series A financing round in spring 2021, the startup raised a total of CHF 17 million and is, thus, well-financed for the next growth steps.
No. 2: Cutiss
Last year’s winner is this year’s runner-up: The Zurich-based biotech startup Cutiss grows human skin in the lab for patients that suffer from large-scale burns or scalds. The bio-engineers individually customized human skin starting from a small piece of patient skin which grows up to 100 square centimeters within a month. Because the result closely resembles human skin, minimal scarring occurs after surgery.
Daniela Marino (CEO) and Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch (CCO) founded the spin-off of the University of Zurich in 2016. The company has won one award after another and raised CHF 48 million from investors and subsidies. The Series B round in 2020 was oversubscribed. Currently, clinical studies in phase II are running in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Italy. The final market approval may happen in 2022.
No. 3: 9T Labs
The 2021 Swiss startup bronze medal goes to 9T Labs for its new way of manufacturing carbon composites. Now companies can design and produce previously impossible products that are stronger and lighter than metals. Founded in 2018, 9T Labs enables the series production of high-strength and light-weight composite parts through its proprietary “Additive Fusion” technology, custom-made 3D printers, and downstream molding machines. To unlock the potential for customers, 9T Labs offers an all-in-one solution ready to be integrated with the production line of innovative companies in areas such as the medical industry, aerospace, and automotive markets.
The engineering startup was founded in 2018 by Martin Eichenhofer, Chester Houwink, and Giovanni Cavolina, three students at the Laboratory of Composite Materials and Adaptive Structures at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. After traveling with the Swiss National Startup Team to Silicon Valley in 2019, 9T Labs raised USD 4.3 million in venture capital in early 2020. This year, the Zurich-based company has performed more than 100 preliminary studies. Pilot phases are running with seven companies.
Swiss Startup Award
After one decade, the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has become a benchmark in the startup ecosystem of Switzerland. The award show connects the most promising Swiss startup CEOs with Swiss and international investors, executives, and journalists. The TOP 100 Swiss Startups magazine covers all events and news around Swiss startups with editorial content in German, French, English, Chinese, and in 2021 for the first time in Japanese.
Text: SCCIJ partly based on articles of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Magazine 2021