A revolution in the gastro- and raw-material industry
Gastros from the Technopark Zürich and Bcomp from Fribourg are the venture kick winners which were able to convince the jury early this November. Timo Häfner, the founder of Gastros, has developed a new induction-system which could very well transform the way we keep dishes warm. Bcomp develops high-tech materials based on natural-fiber out of which one can build vastly improved skis or bikes.
venture kick winner Timo Hafner (Gastros AG)
The management team of Bcomp: Julien Rion, Christian Fischer, Andreas Brülhart
All four venture kick finalists gave their best while stating their case before the jury members comprised of 17 highly regarded experts. At the end however, it was the two start-ups which are aspiring to revolutionize their respective fields who made the final cut.
The new generation of heat-retention systems
Timo Hafner wants to revolutionize the way dishes are kept warm in high-class hotel gastronomy. His InductWarm®-system consists of porcelain dishes with a ferromagnetic coating which enables the inductive effect, and a table containing the necessary inductive elements covered by protective glass. Each heating element can be controlled separately by remote control, rendering the system as a whole very flexible in its use. Furthermore, the aesthetic exterior of the system is complemented by a clever design as it is highly energy-efficient. Hafner tested the prototypes over a long period of time in partnership with the Hilton Hotels – third party reactions have been overwhelmingly positive as several other hotels have signaled interest for system. After an extensive developing period, the high demand for the InductWarm®-system can at last be satisfied as it is available for purchase now. In this sense, Hafner intends to invest the majority of the prize-money into customer acquisition so as to convince the rest of the hotel-industry of the merits of his product.
High-tech materials made out of sustainable resources
Bcomp develops ultra light but solid materials made of vegetable fibers. The technology is particularly well suited for being used in the outdoor-sector, e.g. for constructing skis, hiking sticks or even tents. Skis built with this new material are 30% lighter than conventional ones while at the same time exhibiting better performances. Several prototypes have already been developed for various famous sporting brands. The four founders from Aargau, Bern, Jura Mountains and Fribourg are now in contact with several investors in order to take the next step, as the technology promises to have appliances in other sectors such as the energy-industry or in railway and transport-systems. Bcomp made the finals of the Winterthur Heuberger Jungunternehmerpreis and got ranked 67th in the TOP 100.
Taking full advantage of the time in venture kick
The opportunity for Timo Hafner to present his idea to the highly renown venture kick jury has been one of the high-lights of this year. Prior to that, he had particularly benefited from the Power-Workshops offered by venturelab and the intensive kickers camps, which where instrumental in bringing his project forward: «Going through the whole process was definitely crucial for developing Gastros. This way we could always get feedback on what we had to change in our business-model.» Andreas Brülhart, CFO, and Christian Fischer, Co-CEO of Bcomp where both also convinced of the 9 month venture kick program: «Having to regularly update the jury on the state of our project, having to deal with critical questions and being able to share with other like-minded people – in addition to the financial support and increased publicity, where some of the main benefits we got out of the venture kick program.»