Dreamers, schemers or believers

Waiting at the starting gate for Season Three challenge race are eleven new contestants. Call them dreamers, schemers or believers. Or call them courageous. Each of these eleven individuals believe innovation is key to Switzerland’s future and are betting their idea can move the needle towards making Switzerland a global hub for digitalization.

Most will not succeed. Forbes reports 90% of startups fail. Previous challenge participants, with support of the digitalswitzerland network and blessings of their respective companies, have fared much better. Yet every challenge race is as different as the bets entered and past results are no predictor.

Top-down vs. bottom up

Season One 2017 bets were top-down initiatives. Season Two 2018 wagers more bottom-up innovation ideas and Season Three entries are totally bottom up – originating from the Open Challenge crowd-sourcing platform. What they’ve all shared is a desire to create digital solutions to solve societal problems here in Switzerland and if/when scaled, humanity’s global challenges.

Below in alphabetical order, are the eleven intrepid individuals and their ideas betting for our future prosperity. Probability of success factor is my own – purely subjective based on perspectives from past two challenge seasons investigating and writing bet stories for digitalswitzerland.

Season Three challengers

Daniel  Gwerder: Big Data Initiative Switzerland,
bets that by April 2022, has implemented a Big Data platform that enables benchmarking for use by SME’s (small-medium enterprises) in Switzerland.
Probability of success GOOD (given 3-year timeframe and low barrier to adoption)

Bastiaan Don: Consumer Blockchain Solutions
bets by April 2020 25% of Swiss population will have used/interacted with a DApp (blockchain decentralised application) either consciously or unconsciously.
Probability of success HIGH (this guy is on fire to build blockchain apps as consumer products and expert tokenizing real estate)

Sébastien Floure: Democracy Booster
bets by April 2019 to have 20K Swiss citizens registered on inilab.ch, his laboratory platform for citizen participation, have 10 cities as active partners and cover voting at federal and cantonal levels.
Probability of success FAIR (dependant on politicians/gov’t officials who may be slow to buy-in)

Chantal Stäuble: Digital Fitness Check
bets that by 2022 at least 60% of Swiss companies have done her “digital fitness check”’ and started to implement concrete actions/recommendations following their check-up.
Probability of success GOOD (focus on ‘getting shit done’ – already signed daura Ltd’s CEO)

Daniel  Huber: Digital Landsgemeinde
bet that by April 2019 we win 3 Municipalities to participate in our prototype, “Digital Landsgemeinde” and strengthen direct democracy.
Probability of success POOR (unclear alternative is needed for a system that’s working well)

FlorianRevaz: Green IT/Sustainable IT
bets that until April 2020, companies/people become aware of linking digital transition with ecological transition – working together & with his association, “Pour Un Numérique Responsable”
Probability of success POOR (noble but unclear goals – xref Green Label  for Data Centers bet )

David Hengartner: Let’s Build a Thriving Open Innovation Ecosystem
Swisscom kickbox bets that until end of 2020, it will bring 2 major Swiss startup institutions onto getkickbox.com, fostering collaboration between corporates, universities and startups.
Probability of success HIGH (kickbox a proven model for open innovation. Would be surprise if David & Kickbox Team unable to scale it further)

Pierre Moret: Let’s solve childcare
bets to link all Swiss childcare centers to a central platform with 5-10 pilot daycare centers and software-makers participating by mid-2020; with full coverage starting in 2021.
Probability of success GOOD (Pierre’s kitaclub.chplatform claims 26% of 3100 possible Swiss daycares have already created profiles)

Magaly Mathys: Powerhouses – Empowering Digital Talents
bets that by April 2020, we have established a “Powerhouse” both in Lausanne and Zurich as community hubs for teaching digital skills to people of diverse backgrounds, including refugees, children, parents, etc. By 2021 the Powerhouses will become sustainable training new professionals.
Probability of success POOR (challenge 2017 bet ICT Workshops bet was a longshot for a reason. Also trainings dependant on physical locations don’t easily scale)

Remo   Heinrich: Swiss Case Management App
Bets they can save CHF 1 billion in health care costs by 2021 with a case management app.
Probability of success FAIR (unclear goal metric. CHF 1m. ask? Xref lessons Riva Needs Reaction)

Joel Blom

Author Joel Blom

Joel Blom joined digitalswitzerland in October 2017 as its newest storyteller. His mandate is to report the stories unfolding within and outside challenge round tables and their “crazy ideas.” As an independent Story Advisor, he consults enterprises large and small how to find, craft and tell purpose-driven stories that move people into action.

More posts by Joel Blom
X