After the kickoff beginning of this year, once again, the Swiss Startup Factory co-organized together with Credit Suisse`s Entrepreneurs & Executives (E&E) department, the Credit Suisse Private Investors Club. Whereas the first event took place at the Opernhaus in Zurich, the AURA, next to Paradeplatz was chosen this year, due to a much higher participation of over 250 guests. The aim of the Private Investors Club is to connect private investors, who are clients of Credit Suisse, with innovative Swiss companies.
We started with the difficult task of choosing only six Swiss startups, that were allowed on stage in front of this high-class audience. Many aspiring companies tried, but only a few made it to the big stage at AURA. The companies that were finally selected were Blinkers by Velohub, RISCH Shoes, Nectar, Myotest, Envoy and IDUN Healthtech. Some of them are firms that have been around for quite some time and already have a solid track record. Others are still in an earlier stage, just working on their prototype. We are especially proud, that two of our own startups, from the Swiss Startup Factory Accelerator program, made it onto the final stage.
Months before the evening, preparations were already running at full speed. As it was the second event of its kind, smaller adjustments were made, to iron out small bugs of last time. Compared to the Opernhaus, the atmosphere at AURA was a more like a nightclub with the famous side bars that surround the spacious room. Guests felt like in a 3D cinema, which was an outstanding setup for the presentations of the startups. In addition to the choice of the right venue, a ton of further preparations was done, such as the planning of the catering, sending out invitations, choosing the right jury members and much more. Other than preparing the startups for the event, the Swiss Startup Factory was also responsible for laying out the entire procedures on stage, as well as taking care of the technological aspect of the evening. Our Co-Founder Oliver Walzer mastered this very big task confidently, which at this point deserves a huge thank you!
Yusuf Savmaz, who is responsible for the Credit Suisse Entrepreneurs & Executives in the region of Zurich, welcomed the guests and opened the evening. In his speech, he also presented his departement and emphasized the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland. As 250 guests attended, over a 150 more than the year before, he mentioned next time we’ll probably fill the Hallenstadion! After a good laugh, he asked our very own Mike Baur on stage, who then took over the moderation for the rest of the evening. He pitched the Swiss Startup Factory and then introduced the keynote speaker and SSUF Advisory Board Member Andreas Gall. Andi started his inspiring speech on his career and the path he went on, to where he is now. Then he went on talking about his current work at Red Bull. Part of his speech included amazing videos, he produced with Red Bull Media House. The innovation and implementation of technology in these videos was breathtaking. Andi mentioned the Slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” and referred to his daily life. Everyone’s daily attitude should be to love what you do at such an extent that it gives you wings.
After the keynote speech, the jury was asked on stage, which were three highly qualified experts in entrepreneurship: Andreas Gall, Raphael Bienz from Blueglass and Andreas Arni, CS Head of Entrepreneurs & Executives Switzerland. After they took a seat, the startups were introduced one by one and asked to pitch five minutes on stage. After each pitch there was a three minutes Q&A session. In the meantime, the audience was able to vote online via a website called Slido. Mike Baur asked Yusuf Savmaz back on stage for the winner ceremony. At first, the jury prize was announced. After extensive evaluation, the jury chose Blinkers by Velohub. Thereafter, the audience results were finally analyzed and the three winners of the audience prize were announced. Here, IDUN Healthtech won the main prize: Digital shares worth 5’000 CHF.
At last, Yusuf Savmaz thanked everyone for joining the event and invited the guests to the apéro riche, with the advice to network with each other, as evenings like that are one of the best occasions to meet skilled entrepreneurs without searching for them. And indeed, with a glass of wine and a delicious meal guests and startups got in touch and we are sure great things are coming!