The Swiss National Startup Team ready to conquer the USA

The winners of the venture leaders USA 2015 prize have been chosen after a highly competitive selection process, among Switzerland’s most promising startups. More than a 100 of them applied. The 20 high-tech startups forming the “Swiss National Startup team” will travel to Boston and New York in June for an intense 10 days entrepreneurial business development trip, organized in partnership with swissnex Boston. With the 15th edition of the program, Swiss innovation continues to demonstrate its potential for global expansion thanks to high-tech products such as a revolutionary device for surgical knee ligament reconstruction, a smart digital insurance manager or a wearable biometrics solution based on vein recognition.

20 new entrepreneurs and startups forming the 2015 venture leaders USA team are on their way to global expansion

20 Swiss startups ready to take over the US market
“I am really happy to be part of the adventure”, says Deepak Tewari, CEO of Privately, one of the 20 winners of the program. He will be able to bring his “right-to-be-forgotten” privacy solutions, allowing private data protection on social networks, on the other side of the Atlantic. The trip includes presentations to investors and industry experts. The 19 other startups launching a large array of high-tech products and services in many domains (i.e. Biotech, Internet, Software, Micro- and Nano- Tech, Electronics, Robotics, Engineering, Fintech) will also represent Swiss made innovation in the US.

Don’t miss the venture leaders 2015 pitch at the Startup Champions event of April 22nd at EPFL Rolex Center from 2PM to 5PM: Subscribe now! Keynotes: Jurgi Camblong, Sophia GeneticsCEO, and Nicolas Abelé, Lemoptix CTO (recently acquired by Intel).

Identify and promote Switzerland’s most promising startups
“Venture leaders identifies and promotes some of the most promising Swiss startups at an international level, one of the key missions of venturelab. This year’s team of talented individual entrepreneurs is a unique display and promotion for the numerous high potential startups created every year in Switzerland. I am very much looking forward to bringing the 15th edition of this incredible program to Boston and New York”, says Jordi Montserrat, Managing Director of venturelab in western Switzerland. Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex Boston, adds: “Boston counts one of the highest concentration of brainpower in the world. And New York’s high-tech scene has grown exponentially over the past years, counting a very large network of venture capitalists. Both ecosystems will strongly contribute to the global expansion of this year’s venture leaders“.

Impact on a global scale
The venture leaders program is a cornerstone behind the success of numerous Swiss startups over the past 15 years. Many alumni raised several hundred million Swiss francs from investors and created thousands of new jobs. 72 of them are listed among Switzerland’s 2014 TOP 100 Startup Ranking. Above all, they are truly building world-class startups such as Abionic, BioVersys, Covagen, Climeworks, Doodle, GetYourGuide, HouseTrip, L.E.S.S., QualySense, Poken or InSphero.

Venture leaders USA partners
This year’s trip and business development program, worth the equivalent of CHF 10’000 per participant, is made possible thanks to the support of our partners EPFL Innovation Park, EPF Lausanne, Canton de Vaud, ETH Zurich and CTI. IMMOMIG, a member of the Swiss National Startup Team in 2007, is also supporting the initiative, setting a valued precedent of former alumni giving back to the Swiss startup community. The long-time partners swissnex Boston and the “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” program have also renewed their support. The program is also supported by Hansjörg Wyss and the Wyss Charitable Endowment.

The venture leaders USA 2015 at a glance

Betim Shkodra, homePad Solutions SA – Internet (, Fribourg
homePad develops the first simple and intuitive paperless solution for real estate managers. The digital application allows generating different type of secured reports (i.e. property inspection, house or building reports).

Chris Millan, CellSpring – Biotech (, Zurich
CellSpring brings fundamental improvements to cell-based in vitro studies. Its core technology, the “3D Bloom platform”, enables the creation of biomimetic micro tissues in a matter of minutes.

Christian Brändli, Insightness GmbH – Electronics/Software (, Zurich
Insightness develops high-speed and low-power vision systems for mobile robotics and smart glasses. Their camera chips and software are suited for motion measurements, as well as mapping and obstacle avoidance.

Deepak Tewari, Privately Sàrl – Software (, Lausanne
Privately’s “right-to-be-forgotten” solutions keep user’s content private, secure and removable on social networks. Combining end-user encryption applications (B2C), API and a service-provider platform (B2B), Privately provides an end-to-end solution for protecting users’ private content shared digitally.

Dennis Just, Knip AG – Fintech (, Zurich
Knip is the digital insurance navigator that simplifies its users’ life. They can see all their insurance policies at a glance. The application eliminates the insurance hassle for individuals, i.e. by handling all insurances in one application or by providing a detailed description of insurance policies, one-by-one.

Flurin Müller, BuddyBroker AG (Eqipia) – Internet (, Zurich
BuddyBroker crafts innovative and intuitive online recruiting products such as Eqipia, an automated and intelligent employee referral tool. The solution allows companies to leverage their employees’ networks in order to find and approach potential applicants.

Hans-Anton Keserue, rqmicro LLC – Biotech (, Zurich
rqmicro develops a novel system for the rapid detection of water and food pathogens, consisting of analytical instrumentation and consumable kits that enable the quantification of dangerous microorganisms in less than an hour.

Lucian Cucu, Rovenso – Robotics (, Lausanne
Rovenso develops agile, robotized vehicles for nuclear decommissioning and emergency situations.

Matthias Vanoni, BIOWATCH – Electronics (, Martigny
BIOWATCH develops a wearable biometric technology as an alternative solution to current authentication methods (PIN, passwords, cards, keys, fingerprint, face), based on vein recognition.

Miguel Barreto-Sanz, SimplicityBio – Biotech & Bioinformatics (, Monthey
SimplicityBio helps diagnostic companies minimize risks in the development of diagnostic tests. It also helps pharmaceutical companies design clinical trials by improving patient stratification, enabling discovery of the best responder population.

Miroslav Caban, Spinal Dynamics – Medtech (, Lausanne
A medical software providing diagnostic and surgical guidance for patient-specific spinal cord stimulation therapies.

Pascal Koenig, Ava AG – Medtech (, Zurich
Ava develops a wearable medical device based on a patented multi-sensor technology, which monitors the menstrual cycle of women in order to precisely indicate fertile days and facilitate family planning. Compared with other methods and tools in the market, Ava’s solution is more convenient and precise.

Patrick Galliker, Scrona AG – Engineering (, Zurich Scrona develops print heads based on its proprietary “NanoDrip” printing, a groundbreaking ink-jet technology that achieves a printing resolution up to 1000fold finer than the width of a human hair. In combination with commercially available nano printing inks, the system enables complex products, such as displays and touchscreens, to be simply printed in a cost-efficient and flexible manner.

Pius Kobler, milKit Sport Components AG - Engineering (, Zurich
milKit is a novel system that allows to measure and refill sealant in tubeless bicycle tires without having to release the air pressure. milKit Sport Components AG provides an easy solution for a flat-free ride.
Raphaël Gindrat, BestMile Sàrl – Software (, Lausanne
BestMile develops a cloud based intelligence for driverless vehicles. This fleet management software brings coherence to autonomous vehicle fleets by allowing them to be operated together as a public transport system. BestMile’s platform allows to plan, monitor and control autonomous vehicles remotely and in real time everywhere around the world. These autonomous transports systems aim to solve the last mile problematic, for instance on campuses, airports, big industries or resorts.

Ruben Herrendorff, Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG – Biotech (, Basel
Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals develops a promising class of drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases affecting the nervous system. Their Antibody-Catch® platform and their first drug candidate pave the way for a new treatment paradigm for antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases.

Sandro Kunz, Pingen GmbH – Internet (, Zurich
Pingen is a solution to transform an electronic document into a physical letter and have it delivered via the Post automatically and in the most efficient way.

Simone Bottan, Hylomorph AG – Medtech (, Zurich
Hylomorph has developed cellulose layers that allow surgeons to minimize foreign body reaction and fibrosis upon operation, thus reducing patient’s pain and revision surgery rates.

Veronica Savu, Morphotonix Sàrl – Micro-Nano (, Lausanne
Morphotonix protects brands against counterfeits via integrating additive-free security elements directly in molded products.

Xiang Li, ZuriMED Technologies – Medtech (, Zurich
ZuriMED commercializes a revolutionary device for surgical knee ligament reconstruction, the “Bone-Tendon-Bone (BTB) Conversion-Kit™”. The solution effectively converts a less painful hamstring autograft (a patient’s own tissue), or any other flexible graft material, into a higher performance BTB-like graft.

Additional Links

annual report 2015

More than CHF 16m invested, over 400 startup projects financed, more than 896m in financing volume and 3.434 jobs created - this is Venture Kick's track record since the private initiative was launched in the fall of 2007 by a private consortium.

annual report 2015


Turning scientific innovation into entrepreneurial activity and job creation is the basis of societal and economical prosperity. In the very early stages, startups bear very high risks that are neither carried by public money nor by private investors. Supporting seed stage startups fills a crucial gap and is therefore purely philanthropic.