For five weeks, we traveled to each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons and reported on the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that is at the core of our beautiful country.
We talked to civic leaders, politicians, artists, and other personalities who define the business and cultural landscape in their respective canton.
It’s been a hot, dry summer and river levels are suffering, including at the Rhinefalls in Schaffhausen. But that hasn't stopped over a million visitors flocking to Europe’s biggest waterfall—and there are more attractions in the pipeline.
IWC, the luxury Swiss watchmaker, is expanding its manufacturing in Schaffhausen. CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr tells Hannah Wise why the brand is proud to be different and why it’s making the most of the assets in its home canton.
Florian Lachat is a serial entrepreneur from the canton of Jura, who at the age of 28 had to take over the family business after the death of his father. He tells CNNMoney Switzerland that this experience has helped fuel his passion for advising family-run firms, especially on issues of succession.
At age 45, Jacques Gerber, Jura’s cantonal minister of economic affairs, is slightly older than the canton itself, which split from Bern in 1978. He spoke to CNNMoney Switzerland about the challenges the youngest canton in Switzerland faces.
Only nine months after knee surgery, freestyle skier Mathilde Gremaud won a silver medal in the Winter Olympics earlier this year. The 18-year-old caught up our reporter Joel Espi in her family house in Gruyère, an area that’s passionate about sports.
Martin Braun came to Switzerland from Germany to create his own specialized wristwatch brand. After what he calls a “bad experience” in the industry, Braun decided to continue his journey as a fully independent watchmaker. Reporter Eleonore Payro met him in his atelier in central Switzerland, where he told her that among all the challenges in the watch industry, being independent was the hardest.
Legend says it inspired Italians to create Parmigiano. But one thing is clear: Sbrinz is the oldest extra hard cheese in Switzerland and is still produced as it was 500 years ago. All handmade by just 26 families of producers in central Switzerland, Sbrinz follows very strict guidelines to keep its AOP seal of approval. But despite that, Sbrinz is not widely known. Reporter Eléonore Payro met Stefan Heller, the CEO of Sbrinz Switzerland, who told her about the importance of maintaining traditions and excellency as a marketing tool to conquer new markets.
Chocolat Stella, part of the Bernrain Group, turned 90 this year, and its CEO Alessandra Alberti has been with the Ticino-based company for 21 of those years. She’s a hands-on manager who’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and all while maintaining Stella’s sweet spot: specialty chocolate.
Known for finance, wine, and palm trees, Ticino is also home to the world-renowned Locarno Film Festival, which this year celebrated 71 years. But this was artistic director Carlo Chatrian’s last heading the event. Ana Maria Montero spoke with him in the city’s centerpiece, the Piazza Grande, about what he would like his legacy to be and what comes next.
WeMakeIt is Switzerland’s biggest crowdfunding platform and one of Europe’s most successful. In an interview with Tanya König, the site’s co-founder Rea Eggli tells us about her upcoming projects and the challenges of raising awareness for the concept of crowdfunding in Switzerland.
He is one of Zurich’s originals and has shaped the city with his activism and art. Dieter Meier, best known for being part of the electro-pop duo Yello, is also a successful entrepreneur producing his own organic meat and wine in Argentina. As he told reporter Tanya König, he has big plans for revolutionizing the chocolate market too and is currently in talks with Starbucks, Unilever and Barry Callebaut.
The ancient art of making automatons has a future. François Junod, based in Sainte-Croix, is one of Switzerland’s most famous automaton makers. Despite his fears that the profession was on the decline, an automaton he made for a luxury brand in Geneva was just sold to a buyer in Asia for CHF 8 million. Sarah Chiarello met up with the artisan to find out more about the renewed interest in this old craft.
Summertime is a boon for medical tourism, and Swiss private hospitals have been upgrading their services to attract the wealthiest customers. With the global medical spa market valued at $11 billion, Simone Gibertoni, the CEO of Clinique La Prairie in Montreux, is eyeing the lucrative opportunities. In conversation with reporter Sarah Chiarello, he details the luxury spa’s plans to become the top destination for longevity and wellness treatments.
The Geneva summer festival has been a rollercoaster for tourists and residents alike. After two loss-making editions, the 2018 festival has been reduced to the bare minimum, with only the traditional fireworks show remaining. Reporter Sarah Chiarello sat down with Nicolas Guinand, art director at Sugyp and designer of this year's pyrotechnic display. With a budget of nearly 1 million francs, Guinand explains why fireworks are actually one of the cheapest art shows to organize.