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Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2021

Boosting the future of cyber security

Next steps:

The 75+ applications received will be scrutinised by 40 judges from 5 July to 31 August. You will have the chance to vote for your favourite between 1 and 16 September 2021.

Cyber security, one of the most important issues in our decentralised digital world, is the focus for the Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2021. Over the last few weeks, start-ups and research teams from the field of cyber security have been submitting their applications to us.

They are aiming to win an exploration programme with Swisscom’s cyber security community by impressing judges and voters with their products, prototypes and solutions. The ten companies to make it through to the finals will be announced on 1 September 2021.


What's in store for winners during the exploration programme?

Access to security infrastructure

Access to security applications and existing Swisscom Services as well as the infrastructure used in the customer environment.


Building a network of potential customers and business partners. Consideration given to an investment from Swisscom Ventures.

Access to security Community

Support and mentoring from Swisscom cyber security experts and partners.

New cooperation opportunities

Exploration programme and invitation to our Swisscom Outpost in Silicon Valley (US) for a selected start-up.

Applicant requirements

  • A cyber security prototype, product or solution
  • The team must be able to present a fully functioning prototype or product during the exploration programme (in the Swisscom environment if appropriate).
  • The application must be usable in Switzerland
  • An ambitious and visionary research or start-up team

What’s in store for the 5 winners?

  • A one-week exploration programme with Swisscom’s Cyber Security Community and access to Swisscom’s infrastructure (remote option)
  • Mentoring from Swisscom cyber security experts and partners
  • Development of marketing and sales skills
  • Individual pitch training and coaching from our partner Venturelab
  • Discussion of cyber security experiences with leading entrepreneurs and venture capitalists
  • Building a network of potential customers and business partners
  • Consideration given to a business partnership with Swisscom and investment from Swisscom Ventures
  • Invitation and network building for a selected start-up at our Swisscom Outpost in Silicon Valley (US) The programme will be tailored to the individual needs of the start-up.
  • «I never imagined that the Swisscom StartUp Challenge would provide myself and qiio with such an abundance of insights.»  

    Felix Adamcyk, CEO qiio
    StartUp Challenge Winner 2020

  • «We received valuable feedback on our future developments and increased our network to possible partners and customers.»

    Dominic Jud, ETH Robotic Systems Lab
    StartUp Challenge Winner 2020

  • «Our collaboration with Swisscom is always very supportive and is based on trust and respect. »

    Stefan Merz, CEO of Swisscom Venture
    SEC Consult (Schweiz) AG


17 May bis 4 July 2021


Submit your application with your security case from the field of cyber security at

5 July to 31 August 2021


Swisscom selects the 10 most interesting cases from all applications

1 September 2021

The 10 finalists are announced


Preparation for the finals with Venturelab (remote option)

1 to 16 September 2021

Public voting

Members of the general public vote online for their favourite

16 September 2021


The 10 finalists present their pitch to the panel (remote option)

16 September 2021

The 5 winners are announced

21 September 2021

Exploration briefing on the exploration programme (remote)

4 October 2021

Individual briefing on the exploration programme (remote)

Preperation gets underway. The joint collaboration begins.

24 to 28 January 2022

Exploration programme with Swisscom's cyber security community experts (Remote Option)

There is a brief profile of the winners and finalists below. You can see previous finalists and winners in the Hall of Fame.


  • HEGIAS VR is world’s first browser-/cloud-based and automated solution for visualization and communication using virtual reality for the construction and real estate sector. It enables architects’ 3D plans to be viewed and altered in a virtual world by one or more people from any location at the touch of a button, at any stage of planning or construction.

    Fotokite provides Public Safety teams with live on-site and remotely streamed situational awareness solutions to help them stay safe, save lives, and preserve property. Fotokite systems are mounted on top of Public Safety vehicles and operate with the single push of a button, streaming aerial thermal and RGB video to help them size-up emergency response scenes. Fotokite is a 50-person ETH-Zurich spin-off with offices in Zurich, Syracuse, and Boulder.

  • qiio provides plug and play, edge-to-cloud secure cellular IoT solutions optimized for bidirectional connectivity through the cloud. We provide customers with everything theyneed to securely connect, monitor, and control their industrial assets. qiio’s technology is ideal for high-security IoT applications requiring remote management, monitoring and predictive maintenance in hard-to-reach places.

    We bring cutting-edge technology in teleoperation and automation for heavy machinery to a product level - and provide a solution to work in places which are too dangerous or too remote for humans to operate. Our unmanned solution enables safe clean-up of the ammunition, tree harvesting in remote forests, removal of rockfalls and mudslides on roads and allows continued work during Pandemies.

  • ZaiNar provides real time location for any 5G device to within a meter in 3D. ZaiNar location is powered by patented advancements in signal processing for tracking phones, cars, drones and IoT without hardware changes and without additional battery drain. ZaiNar uses an order or magnitude less spectrum than other positioning techniques and is flexible across frequencies and protocols.


  • SOMNIACS is committed to becoming the leading provider of immersive extended reality (XR) solutions that bring users to worlds they cannot otherwise explore. Whether the limitations are physical, financial, or environmental, our technology – both hardware and software – democratizes exploration opportunities and allows users to travel easily through space and time.

    The only provider capable of transmitting live video end-to-end, many-to-many and in real time.
    With our core technology EVO (Edge Video Orchestrator), we enable secure, dynamic and high-quality distribution of video, audio and data streams over the mobile network – with an hyper-low latency of 1 millisecond. Our aim with this unique technology is to create unprecedented solutions for sports & event venues, public safety, and connected cars.

  • Morphean is a Swiss company present in 12 countries. The secure Morphean cloud platform informs decision making and drives efficiencies for all organisations by generating unique and actionable insights from a multitude of data sources and sensors (i.e video cameras and 3D sensors). With expertise across security, retail, smart cities, among others, the company is recognised as a leader in secure service platform delivery through the use of cloud and AI technologies. Morphean helps firms prepare for the future by keeping their Eyes Wide Open to the intelligence gathered from a variety of network connected devices.

    Rigitech is creating the future of last-mile logistics through electric-powered drone delivery networks powered by cloud-based centralised operation. Our autonomous drone networks transfer lab tests or life-saving medicines between clinics and laboratories without the need for on-the-ground operators.


  • Problem:emerging need of replacement solution to the actual aerial spraying sectoron added-value crop segments. Solution:Aero41 proposes a specific UAV system designed to carry and «surgically» deliver crop protection means while respecting the highest environmental standards. AI and data gathering capabilities are planned to be added to the system to achieve predictive and intelligent crop protection capabilities. Aero41 already developed its own flight control system.

The Swisscom StartUp Challenge’s jury and mentors

The jury includes members of the Swisscom Group Executive Board and Swisscom Security Group and representatives from Swisscom Ventures and our programme partner Venturelab. During the Exploration Week, cyber security experts from Swisscom and our programme partner will provide support and guidance to the winners.

  • roger-wüthrich-hasenböhler-portrait

    Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler

    Chief Digital Officer, Swisscom

    jurybild philippe vuilleumier


    Head of Group Security, Swisscom



    Head of Exploration, Swisscom ​


    jurybild cyrill peter


    Head of Cyber Security Services, Field CTO, Swisscom


    jurybild dusan vuksanovic


    Security Director and Advisor, Swisscom


  • egon-steinkasserer-portrait


    Chief Technology Officer B2B, Swisscom


    Dominique Mégret

    Head of Swisscom Ventures, Swisscom


    jurybild marcus dahlen


    VP Cyber Security & CISO at Swisscom Outpost


    Friederike Hoffmann

    Head of Connected Business Solutions, Swisscom



    Co-Managing Director, Venturelab

Program partner

Media partner

Outreach partner

More insights


The winners of the StartUp Challenge 2020

In 2020, the Swisscom StartUp Challenge was open to start-ups from around the world for the first time. The competition called for 5G applications and prototypes. On 17 December, the ten best start-ups from among more than 125 applicants from 30 different countries pitched their ideas to the jury. Learn more about the five winners.


Swisscom StartUp Challenge: Fotokite provides more insights for rescue workers

For Fotokite, winning the Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2020 came at the right time. The three-month exploration phase allows the start-up to explore the possibilities offered by 5G for its tethered drones for rescue workers. In addition, new perspectives open up on the business side.