Uepaa (!!) and ActLight win CHF 130'000
Zurich's Uepaa(!!) and Lausanne's ActLight are the newest winner of the startup-initiative venture kick. They were both able to convince the committee of experts and investors in third and last round of the competition. Uepaa(!!) is developing a rescue-app for alpinists, ActLight is working on a new generation of solar-modules.
Mathias Haussmann, Founder and CEO Uepaa(!!) with Co-Founder Dr. Franck Legendre
Serguei Okhonin, Founder and CEO ActLight with Co-Founder Fredrik Uddegard
Which one of the competing innovative startup-projects is the most likely to breakthrough on the market? That was the question to which four promising companies, still in the early-phase of their venture, wanted to answer in Lausanne. ActLight and Uepaa(!!) ended up making the final cut, winning an additional 130.000 Swiss francs in seed-capital as a well deserved prize.
A «guardian-angel» for all alpinists
About 25 million people go climbing in the Alps every year and the majority of them, don't take all the necessary precautions, in case of something going wrong. In those situations, every second counts. Mathias Haussmann, founder and CEO of Uepaa(!!) - Swiss Alpine Technology, together with his co-founder Dr. Franck Legendre, is developing an application for smartphones which in future, will be able to track down people in distress – even then, when the victims don't have any coverage or are buried under snow. A new network technology developed at the ETH Zurich, can make several smartphones connect with one another within a certain perimeter, even in the absence of any mobile-network coverage, enabling a distress call to get out and to alert the appropriate rescue-service. The team has been able to convince the juries of several business-plan competitions and attract several partners and investors such as Rega. Just a few days ago, Haussmann will be announcing the conclusion of a successful funding round, bringing in millions to the project.
ActLight: the future of solar-technology
Conventional solar-cells, still to this day remain very bulky and perform poorly when used for small electronics solutions is deployed in suboptimal lighting conditions. The startup of co-founder and CEO Serguei Okhonin, has developed minuscule solar-modules, which thanks to its integration on semiconductor chips, are able to address these problems by enhancing their respective performances by a factor of one-thousand. Potential applications for this product are numerous, e.g. in the context of monitoring the environment, mesure energy consumption or follow personal health status with help of wireless sensors. ActLight was able to gain favor with several investors in the past month and several major industry players have expressed their interest in the potential of the new technology. Founded in October last year, the company was shortly afterwards already able to make the finals of the Swiss Technology Awards. The task at hand now, is to further develop the prototype and to secure additional financing, so as to achieve the planned product-launch in 2014.