Survival Mode Podcast

Imagine you woke up one morning only to find the entire economic landscape has changed. Welcome to survival mode, a podcast that explores how entrepreneurs navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

I am Matthias Zwingli and together with digitalswitzerland, we explore how Swiss startups find new revenue streams, enter unexpected markets and sometimes reinvent their business model entirely.

Episode 1: We are in this together | with Taha Bawa, CEO & Co-founder of Goodwall

How to communicate effectively with your team in an constantly changing environment that has never been seen before.

In this episode of Survival Mode Taha Bawa, CEO & Co-founder of Goodwall the career development platform that prepares over 1.5 million young professionals to enter the working world, illustrates how he set up his startup in a fully remote way, the importance of taking decisions even if you do not have all the answers and why transparency is key in times of crisis.

«We have to be as transparent as possible! If I told you everything is fine, I would surely be lying.»

Episode 2: Build and scale | with Arthur Germain, CEO & Co-founder of OneDoc

What would you do if all of a sudden people are too afraid to use your product?

In this episode of Survival Mode Arthur Germain, CEO and Co-founder of OneDoc the biggest online booking platform for doctors in Switzerland elaborates how he built and scaled a completely new service to help their struggling customers in times of Corona.

Episode 3: Riding a rollercoaster | Nioclas Durand, CEO & Founder of Abionic

How do you keep your startup running when your surrounding is going into hibernation mode?
In this episode of Survival Mode Nicolas Durand CEO and founder of Abionic, the most rapid diagnostic platform to detect sepsis explains how he fights to keep his startup funded during a crisis and tackle sepsis, one of the leading causes of death in the world.

«Running a startup is like a rollercoaster, you have good news and bad news almost every day.»

Episode 4: Back to Day One | Viktor Calabro, CEO & Founder of Coople

What would you do if 70% percent of your revenue streams disappeared overnight? In this episode of Survival Mode Viktor Calabro, founder of Europe’s largest on-demand staffing platform Coople, explains how he tackles this challenge and finds profit in previously undervalued revenue streams.

«It reminds me of the start, where every single day was a fight for survival»

Episode 5: A crisis is like a filter | Pascal Mathis, Partner at Wingman Ventures

Would you invest in a startup without seeing its founders in person?
In this episode of Survival Mode Pascal Mathis, founding partner at Wingman Ventures, talks about how the crisis affects investors, what the ups and downs of doing business from home are, and how he assists startups going through turbulent times. Wingman is a 60 million Venture Fund for early-stage investments in Switzerland.

«A crisis is like a filter»

Episode 6: Go fully digital | Jan Rihak & Jonas Leu from Classtime

What do you do when your customer base increased by a factor of 10 over the weekend?

In this episode of Survival Mode Jan Rihak & Jonas Leu, Co-Founder and Biz Dev Manager from Classtime, take us on their journey on how they handle rapid growth, work with customers with limited online experience, and what the impact on education could be beyond corona. Classtime is a digital platform that makes learning more fun and inclusive for everyone. In short, it enables the same learning experience for all students in and beyond the classroom.

«Schools closed on Friday and on Monday they needed a solution! So we had to work super fast»

Episode 7: A crisis holds opportunity | Aike Festini Co-Founder & CEO of Luckabox

How do you spot opportunities in times of crisis?

In this episode of Survival Mode Aike Festini, CEO & Co-founder of Luckabox, discusses what happens when online-delivery is all the sudden the only channel available, what are the effects of COVID19 to last-mile delivery, and how could the future of retail look like. Luckabox is a premium platform for last-mile deliveries.

«91% of retail is still brick and mortar. There is a huge shift and the crisis is just accelerating this trend»

Episode 8: Focus and move forward | Naomi MacKenzie Co-Founder KITRO

What do you do when 95% of your customers stop operating?


In this episode of Survival Mode Naomi MacKenzie, Co-Founder of KITRO, explains how COVID-19 impacted the hospitality sector, financing rounds and speaks about the importance of resource efficiency and sustainability on the way forward. KITRO is a Swiss startup that simplifies food waste management. 

«People needed to see that taking things a bit slower can have a huge impact on the environment»

Episode 9: From I love you to I hate you | Cyrus Fazel CEO & Founder SwissBorg

What do you do if you move from one crisis to another?

In this episode of Survival Mode Cyrus Fazel, CEO & Founder of SwissBorg, elaborates how the ICO and corona crisis affected the crypto & blockchain sector, how the different markets reacted to COVID-19, and what we should take out from this crisis as humanity. SwissBorg is a Swiss blockchain platform that lets you trade and manage your favorite cryptos by connecting multiple exchanges in one platform.

«The sentiments regarding smart contracts went from I love you to I hate you in a couple of months»

Episode 10: Leadership in times of crisis  | Tobias Häckermann CEO & Co-Founder Sherpany

How do you lead a team working from home?


In this episode of Survival Mode Tobias Häckermann, CEO & Co-Founder of Sherpany, explains how going remote increased their companies transparency, how the new normal in online and offline work could look like and what accelerating effects covid19 had on leadership styles and megatrends.
Sherpany is a Swiss startup that helps your company to get the most out of meetings.

«If your employees are not active in a meeting think about the why. If it is creating value, engagement and motivation will come naturally.»

Episode 11: Sales in a remote world | Manuel Hartmann Founder Sales Playbook

How do you sell if you cannot see your customer?

In this episode of Survival Mode Manuel Hartmann, Founder of Sales Playbook, elaborates how the crisis is affecting sales cycles, how remote sales works – even in Switzerland, and what is yet to come beyond COVID-19. Sales Playbook helps Swiss B2B startups to scale and hit their Product-Market-Fit faster.

«People think harder if they need to take a meeting in person or if there is a leaner and more efficient way»

Episode 12: Never waste a good crisis | Silvan Krähenbühl, Host of Swisspreneur and entrepreneur

What do you do if you just started your business right before the crisis?

In this episode of Survival Mode Silvan Krähenbühl, Host of Swisspreneur and a serial entrepreneur himself, explains how COVID-19 affected the travel and gym industry, why podcasts are a serious medium to watch and how this crisis can be a great opportunity to start something new. Swisspreneur is a leading podcast platform for Swiss entrepreneurs, from Swiss entrepreneurs.

«A crisis can be a great opportunity to start something new or bootstrap your business.»