The first person to write coding for a computer was a British mathematician and a woman: Ada Lovelace. Nowadays, the IT-world is dominated by men. Melanie Kovacs, founder of the Swiss Coding Academy Master21, wanted to do something about it. Last year she organized the first female coding week in Switzerland. CNNMoney Switzerland's Tanya König attended the very first day of the course.
After the 2008 financial crisis, the shipping industry took a hard hit. SkySails CEO Stephan Wrage saw an opportunity for his special technology: using massive kites to propel ships and produce electrical power. “We’re sold out for next year, for the first time ever,” he says. Wrage goes on to explain why competition makes him happy and why Switzerland, which has said “no” many times, could really benefit from their technology.
Swissnex India sees the rise of India’s medtech sector as potentially advantageous to Swiss start-ups. But the relationship could be mutually beneficial, says Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan, principal scientific adviser to India’s government: “There’s a substantial fire in the belly in India, and there’s a substantial capability in Switzerland.”
Access to the EU and the free movement of people are high on the priority list for the outgoing CEO of SBB, Andreas Meyer. When it comes to internal competition, however, he’s “absolutely convinced” that it doesn’t help consumers. His bets for the future are more on digitalization of the so-called mobility chains.
From trains to buses to e-scooters, SBB and Lucerne-based Axon Vibe explain how they plan to integrate all forms of Swiss mobility under one app. While their new platform integrates Google Maps, Axon Vibe insists that it will treat data privacy in a “totally different way.” And it hopes this app will be a hit in foreign markets, too.
The World Economic Forum has called bioplastic one of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019. Swiss start-up Bloom Biorenewables wants to replace petroleum—one of the key elements of plastic—with a greener, more sustainable option. Co-founders Remy Buser and Florent Héroguel are combining chemistry with technology to find a petroleum alternative that will put a dent in our carbon footprint.
The struggle to get around crowded cities has given rise to on-demand mobility options like bike sharing and electric scooters. “We’re at the cusp of massive transformation,” says Alastair MacLeod, CEO of Teralytics. The Swiss start-up uses data from tracking mobile phones to help cities around the world keep up with the changes and better accommodate passengers. And the company has just secured $17.5 million to help make sure your ride is there when you need it.
By 2035 Swisspod’s hyperloop technology could get you from Zurich to Geneva in just 20 minutes. CEO Denis Tudor is moving ahead on the project with some valuable advice from Elon Musk. But he still needs to convince the Swiss government, which has the late Swissmetro project fresh on its mind.
In our monthly Swissnex edition of Tech Talk, Thomas Estier, co-founder and CEO of Rovenso, says a key to tapping into the coveted Chinese market is to get the attention of partners there. That’s just what happened when the Swiss robot company was awarded an innovation prize at CES Asia last month. No deals have been signed yet, but thanks to the award Estier says Rovenso now has access to investors he couldn’t easily approach before.
This month’s swissnex catch-up takes us to China and CES Asia, where Swiss tech made quite an impression, winning six CES Innovation Awards. On this week’s Tech Talk, swissnex CEO Felix Moesner walks us through having a front-row seat to the action.
Threema, the Swiss encrypted messaging app, has seen downloads skyrocket since WhatsApp’s recent security woes. The company even counts the Swiss government as one of its clients. But is secure messaging just an illusion? Roman Flepp, head of Threema’s marketing and sales, says there is no absolute guarantee.
Swissnex India, the think tank foraus, and the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence have teamed up to explore India’s booming landscape of AI for Good. Critical sectors like farming and healthcare can be “enhanced” thanks to AI, argues Alpan Raval, the institute’s head of data science.
EPFL’s TWIICE is an exoskeleton that’s helping paraplegics walk again, and a new version to come may even help them ski down a mountain. But TWIICE co-founder Tristan Vouga says that despite such life-changing innovation it can still be difficult to find the right kind of funding in Switzerland.
A robot named ANYmal and an exoskeleton called TWIICE stole the show at the 2019 edition of Viva Technology in Paris. Meanwhile, start-ups and smart living put the spin on the #Swisstech pavilion. Ana Maria Montero was there and talked with the movers and shakers.
Equiis CEO Derek Roga says we should each own our digital footprint. The social media business has, as he puts it, “evolved off the back of people’s data.” Part of his concept is to help you own your data and determine how much – or how little – you want to monetize it for public consumption.