Berne, 17 August 2017
This year 201 start-ups applied for the Challenge. The applicants come from the fields of applications, FinTech, social networks, machine learning, healthcare, e-commerce, energy and ad tech. The top ten pitched today before an expert jury, including Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler (Chief Digital Officer Swisscom), Brigitte Baumann (CEO Go Beyond), Stefan Heitmann (CEO MoneyPark) and Beat Schillig (CEO of the programme partner venturelab). The pitch took place in La Werkstadt – Swisscom’s think tank in Biel.
The start-ups not only needed smart ideas and a convincing business model to score with the jury, but also had to show team spirit and determination. The jury was particularly impressed by the following start-ups: Advertima, AlgoTrader, ecoRobotix, 1Drop, 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 have namely won a place on the Business Acceleration Programme in Silicon Valley. This tailored mentoring programme is designed to let start-ups put their business model through its paces and make valuable contacts with international partners and mentors. The start-ups will set out on their journey on 24 September 2017.
Advertima creates artificial intelligence that analyses 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 AI is on track to become better than any human at making others happy.
AlgoTrader 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 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 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 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.