This week, the first event of the initiative DigitalZurich2025 took place. Seven start-ups presented themselves at the Investor Summit: Abionic, Archilogic, Climeworks, Dacuda, On, QualySense and Teralytics. In the audience: renowned national and international investors including Index Ventures, Samsung Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
The idea behind the Summit is simple but powerful: 100 selected national and international investors, CEOs of multinationals and members of the press are invited for a half-day event at Zurich airport before they continue their journey to Davos, en route to the World Economic Forum. The initial idea for the Summit came from Patrick Warnking, Country Director Google Switzerland and Steering Committee Member of DigitalZurich2025:
“Switzerland has ranked first in the Global Innovation Index for five consecutive years. Swiss start-ups are developing very successfully. The local start-up ecosystem, however, can very much benefit from international investors, business angels and networks, which tend to provide bigger investments. This in turn enables Swiss founders to scale faster and more boldly. For this reason, we – DigitalZurich2025 together with ETH, UBS,NZZ, Swiss Economic Forum and Zurich Airport – initiated the Investor Summit.”
The plan worked: in the audience sat representatives of active and well-known VCs. This applied first of all to Swiss investment companies, represented by Index Ventures, Partech Ventures, Emerald Technology, Redalpine, VI Partners and investiere. And Swiss companies were also in attendance: Swiss Post CEO Susanne Ruoff had a front row view of the start-up pitches. Foreign investors also sent representatives; for example, Inventure Partners and Earth Capital Partners from London, and even well-known corporate venturing investors, including Samsung Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
The selected start-ups were a bit more mature and able to impress investors with worldwide sales of their products. The pitches preceded an interview with Knip CEO Dennis Just. He demonstrated that the stereotype of the risk-averse Swiss founder is just a stereotype. Although Knip has embarked on a rapid growth path and has more than 100 employees, when asked what he would do differently next time, he said: “I would risk more, earlier.