What we still need to change (in Switzerland)

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Earlier this week, I talked with a journalist inviting me to a radio debate… unfortunately, this was finally postponed due to more important news. But he asked me what I think about the swiss startup ecosystem: Is it going in the right direction? Do I feel something happening? What do we still lack? I gave him some answers but I thought deeper about it afterwards. Yes, the scene is improving and yes, we now see more and more (but still too few) serial entrepreneurs, which give back to the ecosystem (that will be a topic for another post, stay tuned!). Yes, something is happening and since I am in the startup business (a bit more than 4 years), huge progress have been made here in Switzerland. But what the most important thing that is still missing to fill the gap …

Is Switzerland starting up? (long version)

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Here’s the long version of my guest post published on the NEXT Berlin official website last Friday. Switzerland is often ignored from famous tech blogs as TechCrunch or the likes. As a consequence, most people outside Switzerland just ignore what is going on here. Of course, it’s not – yet – like Silicon Valley or London… or Berlin. If I say “not yet”, it’s because  there’s still a lot to achieve to be at a competitive level, but I believe Switzerland in a whole (not just Zürich or Geneva) has the ingredients needed to be a key location on the web scene. First, let speak about technological innovation, which is mostly done in the 2 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich and EPF Lausanne), completed with 10 other universities spread across the country. 7 “Fachhochschulen” complete the educational landscape with …

Save the planet! Now you really can make an impact…

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Carbon offsetting has become mainstream during the last few years. Nobody can argue that human beeing has not made a negative impact on the climate, shown up by all changes and natural catastrophes happening on an almost daily basis. Citizen around the globe are joining force to fight this climate change, as politics mostly fail to find game-changing solutions. Every country argue (or argued, as it changes quickly?) that there are efforts to accomplish, but it would be better if that doesn’t impact our national economy with binding rules… What an hypocrisy! In the last decade, mostly non-profit organisation have brought up some solutions to educate citizens on our impact on climate, and help people act on a voluntary basis… and at the lowest level. Who hasn’t heard about MyClimate in Switzerland (I don’t know how broadly the organization is …

NEXT Berlin 2012: a great event for web startups

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On 8th and 9th of May, I’ll be attending for the first time the web conference NEXT BERLIN, taking place in a charming location: an old train station! I’m very excited to be invited as an official blogger and have a chance to be guided in the now famous Berlin startup scene (during this week, it will be the Berlin Web Week and I’ll also attend the BERLinsight on Monday evening). I’ve been in Berlin 2 years ago to act as a mentor at Seedcamp and I’m eager to see how fast things have been moving forward since then. But let’s come back to the conference: NEXT was started 6 years ago for the 10th anniversary of the company SinnerSchrader (a digital agency) and has been transformed in a regular event “by accident”: so many participants would have participated but …

New seed financing opportunity in Switzerland

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This Tuesday, I’ve attended for the first time the “Investor Lunch”, from CTI Invest, in Zürich. The event is restricted to CTI Invest members, which I have the chance to be through the company I’m working for (Creapole), and aims to gather the investors regularly in order to grow the community and enhance collaborations. A special guest was invited to talk about his Venture Capital fonds: Dr. Alexander v. Frankenberg, Managing Director of the german High-Tech Gründerfonds. Started in 2005, the fonds is an initiative from the German state to fill in the gap in seed financing observed from 2002. High-Tech Gründerfonds was allocated around EUR 250 mios, mainly from State but also from corporate partners, which is now over (they made 270 investments, with 45 failed projects and 19 successful exits (the other ones are still on track)). For …

Why you should register for The Founder Institute… NOW!

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 The Founder Institute Bootcamp took place last night in Bern, at Swisscom Innovation offices. Initial thought that Steffen Wagner and Jasper Bouwsma, initiators of FI in Switzerland, had some months ago was: “Switzerland does well… OK, but does it well enough?” Switzerland is on top for innovation and has a lot of support programs for wannabe entrepreneurs, but mainly for those who are university graduate or still students. But what’s about industrial professional desiring to start their business alongside their day-job? No real program was available until now and these 2 guys thought that “The Founder Institute” was the perfect answer for those wannabe founders, struggling to put legs to their projects and getting necessary support. The program is based on 15 sessions during 15 weeks, where you’ll get advices surrounding all topics you need to build up a company. The …

Startup Weekend Jura – amazing opportunity to work on (your) startup project!

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First Startup Weekend Jura will take place on 11th to 13th May in Saignelégier. This event will be the first of this kind to take place outside of a city, at least in Switzerland. The concept of the event is dead simple: from Friday to Sunday night you’ll have the opportunity to work on an innovative idea in small teams composed of other dynamic people. Experienced mentors will provide advices, feedback and constructive but sometimes hard feedback (everything an entrepreneur needs!). Startup Weekend always take place in a relax, creative and energizing atmosphere… But don’t expect to be totally relaxed: you’ll working hard, because you have a fixed deadline on Sunday evening when all teams pitch to a jury and to the public (open to anyone)! Event will take place in a brand new wellness center (Centre de Loisirs) and …

Unique (swiss) opportunity to pitch VC’s

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A wonderful opportunity for swiss tech startups will take place on Wednesday 23rd May 2012 in Lausanne: the Swiss Venture Forum (SVF) The event will allow the most promising Life Sciences, Clean Technology and Information Communication Technology entrepreneurs from Switzerland to meet and pitch active international investors and corporations. 30-40 early stage companies from Switzerland will be selected to present at the Forum to the panel of international experts/investors who will asses them on the basis of their business potential, technology merit, competitive position, investment interest and team experience. Furthermore, the best 10 companies of the SVF in Lausanne will be invited to attend the Annual European Finale in tech hotspot Berlin in December 2012 (150 investors + 150 companies, the largest VC event in Europe). Event will take place close to the EPFL’s Innovation Square, at Starling Hotel, and …