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  • Writer's pictureDina Aletras

Meet Switzerland’s 100 Most Promising Startups

The 10th-anniversary edition of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award celebrated Switzerland’s best startups: Cutiss (1st), Wingtra (2nd), and Piavita (3rd) were the top picks of the expert jury, while Authena (formerly Acatena) won the TOP 100 Public Voting. A selected audience of 100 startups, 100 investors, and key partners of the TOP 100 were present at the event, and for the first time, the award show was live-streamed. The 10th-anniversary edition of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award was presented in partnership with Credit Suisse, SVC, Swiss Prime Site, SECA, and digitalswitzerland.

Within a decade, the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has become a benchmark in Switzerland’s startup ecosystem. The award show connects the most promising Swiss startup CEOs with Swiss and international investors, executives, and journalists. What started with a first publication of the ranking in 2011 has turned into a comprehensive collection of events and activities, including an invitation-only Award Night, the Investor Summit that allows handpicked TOP 100 startups to pitch to selected Swiss and international investors, regional pitch events organized together with presenting partner Credit Suisse, and the scale-up ranking. The TOP 100 Swiss startups magazine covers all these events and news with editorial content in German, French, English, and Chinese.

“It is a very special context to celebrate the 10th anniversary of TOP 100, with COVID-19 taking the spotlight,” said Jordi Montserrat, managing partner at Venturelab. “On one hand, it impacts the celebration and the way we live; yet, on the other hand, when looking at tonight’s line-up of startups, they truly embody the resilience and potential of Swiss entrepreneurs. I am even more convinced that they are ready to turn the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities and transform the future.”

The evening’s keynote illustrated the potential of the TOP 100 nominees with the founders of Climeworks (ranked 11th in the first TOP 100 edition 10 years ago), which just completed a CHF 100 million investment round to accelerate the fight against climate change, and with AMAL Therapeutics, which was the largest European biotech startup exit in 2019. “Such role models illustrate that we are well prepared and can look ahead with anticipation to see how the TOP 100 startups will shape the next decade,” said Stefan Steiner, co-managing director of Venturelab and TOP 100 director. “The fact that funding continues to flow at a pace similar to that of 2019, which was a record year, speaks for the quality of the Swiss startups.”

Three female founders among the TOP 3 Swiss startups Cutiss, Wingtra, and Piavita took home the top prizes. All three companies were among the 10 most promising Swiss startups in 2019.

First place: Cutiss. The life-sciences startup is able to bioengineer large quantities of individually customized human skin grafts: denovoSkin™ is a safe, effective, and accessible therapy for children and adults who suffer large-scale burns or scalds. Cutiss’s human skin grafts are expected to result in a minimally scarring outcome after transplantation. The Zurich-based startup was founded in 2016 by Dr. Daniela Marino (CEO) and Dr. Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch (CCO) and ranked 6th in 2019.

Second place: Wingtra. The Zurich-based startup develops vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) mapping drones for surveying applications. Wingtra’s drones are used in over 70 countries on all continents, and industries such as mining, construction, research, agriculture, urban and spatial

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planning benefit from the powerful surveying robots. Wingtra was founded in 2016 by Maximilian Boosfeld (CEO), Basil Weibel (CTO), and Elias Kleinmann (CFO). The startup ranked 4th in 2019.

Third place: Piavita. Founded by Dr. Dorina Thiess and Sascha Bührle in 2016, the medtech startup aims to develop digital solutions that transform veterinary care. Piavita combines sensors, big data, and AI to form a platform for the remote monitoring of sick and convalescent horses with a hardware-enabled software solution for a completely non-invasive approach to vital-sign monitoring. The Zurich-based startup ranked 8th in 2019.

Winner of the TOP 100 Public Vote The TOP 100 Public Voting, which runs parallel to the expert ranking, was the public’s chance to highlight an excellent Swiss startup. The winner of this year’s public vote is Zug-based Authena (formerly Acatena), whose patented product tracing technology enables products to be tracked from the production site to the consumer, helping to prevent counterfeiting and fraud.

Tracking the growth of Switzerland’s scale-ups For the second consecutive year, the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award also featured the scale-up ranking. As startups cannot appear in the TOP 100 for more than five years after incorporation, a growth jury was asked to select the TOP 25 scale-ups. These companies, aged five up to 10 years, show the greatest potential for further growth.

Key facts and figures:

• To date, the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has recognized a total of 435 startups.

• Cumulatively they have raised more than CHF 5.4 billion, with 47 exits and three IPOs.

• The TOP 100 startups represent more than 9,553 active jobs.

• 85 women hold management positions in the TOP 100 startups 2020, including 24 co-founders.

About the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award Venturelab has been organizing the annual TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award since 2011. The 100 most innovative and promising Swiss startups are picked by a panel of 100 leading investors and startup experts. Each one nominates 10 Swiss startups that are less than five years old and show the greatest commercial potential. The first-placed company gets 10 points, the second 9, and so on. All these individual rankings are compiled to generate the final TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award ranking, which recognizes the startups that have most impressed all 100 jury members.

The TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award 2020 is supported by presenting partners Credit Suisse, SVC, Swiss Prime Site, SECA, and digitalswitzerland. offers the German, French, English, and Chinese editions of the TOP 100 Swiss startups magazines, the full 2020 ranking, the jury members and more information about the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award.


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