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At the Swiss Market Entry Bootcamp and the Start-up Days in Bern, Switzerland, 40 start-ups from 20 countries will be on hand to present solutions for industries that are particularly affected by COVID-19.

The corona pandemic has led to innovations among start-ups worldwide. This was demonstrated at the Swiss Market Entry Bootcamp in Zurich and the Start-up Days in Bern, which were attended by representatives of 40 start-up companies from 20 countries, either locally or online, depending on the country of origin. The companies came from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Turkey and numerous European countries. Germany and France were most strongly represented, with eight and seven companies respectively.

According to information from the organizers, eight start-ups focused on digital health solutions, while seven provided digital support for the education sector. Ten focus on mobility and SmartCity, nine companies come from the FinTech and InsurTech sector and six from the food and retail sector.

Transformation process of great significance

“They are all united by the idea of supporting the structural change and transformation of the economy which the corona virus has accelerated or even triggered in all industries through digital ideas, thus creatively shaping the change process,” the organizers emphasize. To be represented at the Bootcamp, the companies had to pass through a successful application phase. Among other things, they had to prove that they had already completed an external financing round and provide evidence of “a convincing business model.”

“The corona virus has triggered a transformation process of great significance in almost all areas of work and life: travel, work, learning, but also shopping, health advice and leisure: digital solutions had to be found for all of these, solutions that would not only prove themselves in the crisis, but also in the long term,” explains Matthias Zwingli, Head of International Affairs and Startups at digitalswitzerland. “We called on successful start-ups around the world to present their ideas here in Zurich.”

The Bootcamp is an “excellent opportunity for Swiss companies to bring new ideas and creative innovations from all over the world to the country,” emphasized Katka Letzing, Co-Founder & CEO of Kickstart Innovation. Conversely, Switzerland is an attractive market and location for foreign start-ups “to develop qualitatively and network with existing companies.

Gini: Reading documents in real time

The Munich-based Fintech company Gini is one of the start-ups that was able to convince in Zurich with its business model. It offers intelligent data extraction of documents – for example for insurance companies or law firms. These companies would have to rely on the accuracy of the special data extracts, but could save themselves the tedious process of manual checking. “Gini can read out documents in real time. Tedious paperwork is now a thing of the past,” says founder and managing director Holger Teske.

HealthyHealth: Digital health profiles for diagnostics

HealthyHealth is based in London and uses digital data to calculate the diagnostic risk for more than 800 diseases. This saves the applicant hours of filling out long questionnaires or paying visits to the doctor. “With the rapid development and spread of smartphones and fitness trackers, HealthyHealth is leading the associated device-based revolution in health tracking. Once a user gives access to their personal data via their smartphone or wearables, we can calculate their unique health risk profile in minutes,” says co-founder and COO Etienne Bourdon.

Processim Labs: Playful learning with the smartphone

The EdTech company Processim Labs from Costa Rica enables students to learn with their smartphone in a “playful, entertaining and dynamic way, to practice their decision-making skills and to train critical thinking” with its learning games. COVID-19 has forced students worldwide to learn from home, explains Javier Chan, founder and CEO of Processim Labs. “Many lack the technical equipment to do so. We enable interactive learning with the smartphone, which is fun.”

Switzerland is number one

Switzerland is currently the world’s number one in digital innovation, ahead of the U.S., Sweden, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The Swiss would like to further strengthen this position through international networking. This year’s Swiss Market Entry Bootcamp is the third of its kind after the great success of the 2018 launch event.

It was initiated by digitalswitzerland with support from Kickstart Innovation and gives start-ups from other countries an insight into the ecosystem of Swiss entrepreneurship. Other ecosystem players are also involved, such as Startup Invest, Day One, Climate-KIC, F10 and Impact Hub Switzerland.

The organizers have set themselves the goal for the event to “network foreign tech pioneers with financing partners, accelerators and incubators as well as established Swiss companies, which in turn are looking for creative solutions to digitalize their business processes.” These partner companies include APG, Coop, Chain IQ, CSS, Migros, EY, IBM, PwC, PostFinance, Sanitas, Smile Insurance, Swisscom, Swiss Post, Swisslife, UBS and others.