As cross-cultural and international as we Swiss are, I do catch myself sometimes competing with a world of 8 million people. However, from time to time, I have to remind myself that the world does not end on the other side of the Rhine, there are another 7’640 million people we share this planet with.

When it comes to startups, scaling and going international in terms of customers and investors can be crucial. Especially big investment rounds can be hard to raise solely in Switzerland – for now.

This is why digitalswitzerland partnered up with Venturelab and the ETH Zurich to bring international venture capitalists and investors to Switzerland to connect them with the Swiss startup ecosystem and its educational hubs, investor-network and of course its exceptional startups. In two days they experienced it all.

Deep Tech Investor Dinner @ the ETH Zurich

For the Deep Tech Investor Dinner we invited 75 international and Swiss investors to the ETH. Together we enjoyed an insightful tour through the Arch_Tech_Lab where innovation in architecture, material engineering and construction melt together and create the future of how we shape and build our living spaces. The following rotating dinner then amplified the connections between the international and Swiss investors. After every course, the seat change brought five fresh faces to the table. Furthermore, Detlef Günther explained the leading educational hubs who not just shape a unique force of talent but generate a lot of startups. In 2017 alone there were 25 spin-offs coming from the ETH.

Investor Summit

Before the actual dinner, we connected the investors with each other to foster future dealflows and to create a seamless process to raise capital. Now it was time to connect the investors with the Swiss startups. During the pitches and one-on-one sessions investors got in touch with the startups. And for those who that was not enough, during the TOP 100 Startup Award, it was another chance to get to know the best startups in the country.

TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award

From drones that find your “Einfränkler” on multiple footballfields to revulotianary medtech startups, Switzerlands thriving innovation scene has a lot to offer. Over 700 guests followed the event, which was organized by Venturelab with our support as one of the main partners. It was a great opportunity to get in touch with the inspiring entrepreneurs. Such as ava, who showed us how important it is to go global early on and never forget our humble Swiss roots and bexio who proved the case that a clear focus on the Swiss market can lead to a successful exit.

Whatever way you choose, the Startup DAYs are right around the corner. So for whoever did not sign up yet, better hurry! Tickets are available here.

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Author Matthias Zwingli, digitalswitzerland

Matthias Zwingli is in charge of the Startup Enablement pillar at digitalswitzerland. He works as an ecosystem enabler and connects startups, corporates, hubs and investors. As an innovation and entrepreneurship enthusiast, he loves to work in a fast paced environment and question the status quo.

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