Swiss startups ready to conquer China

St. Gall/Zurich/Lausanne, July 8th, 2015 – After a very successful first edition of the venture leaders China program in Shanghai and Beijing in 2014, the Swiss national startup team of 2015 is once again ready to conquer the Chinese market. The 10 startups are active in multiple high-tech domains and have been chosen among more than 50 high profile applications. The October business development trip, co-organized with swissnex China, will enable the finalists to learn about the three economic hubs Peking, Shanghai and Shenzhen, in order to better understand the Chinese market and to seize business opportunities.

For Swiss startups, China is a key market to explore. With growing opportunities and market prospects, as well as the necessity to increase the visibility of Swiss high-tech innovation in China, venturelab launched the first edition of venture leaders China in 2014, inspired by the model of the venture leaders USA program. The prize offered to 10 carefully selected high potential Swiss entrepreneurs is a 10-day market exploration and business development journey in rising entrepreneurial and economical metropolis: Shanghai, Beijing, and for the first time this year, Shenzhen.

Exploring a challenging and complex environment

“No entrepreneur can ignore Asia anymore, especially at a time when China and other countries’ economic growth shift to an innovation-driven model. While remaining a challenging and complex environment, China offers market opportunities, world-class expertise in production and supply chain as well as a competitive talent pool. venture leaders China guarantees that the startups learn how to make the best of this fast moving region”, explains Pascal Marmier, swissnex China CEO. And the business development trip to China has proven successful for last year’s participants, such as Wulf Glatz, greenTEG CEO, who concluded four new partnerships with Chinese distributors in May this year: “We wanted to get an idea about the ideal time and best strategy to enter the Chinese market. The trip and contacts made there confirmed us in our plans to take the next steps and meet several customers and distributors.”

Increasing the visibility of Swiss high-tech startups on the Chinese market

The 2015 finalists again represent a great display of the Swiss innovation potential, which will be made visible through multiple events in China: “Our finalists’ products and services range from new wind energy technologies, innovative greenhouse solutions to grow salads locally, revolutionary microscopes allowing the observation of living cells in three dimensions, to novel systems for faster detection of water and food pathogens”, explains Jordi Montserrat, Managing Director of venturelab. “This doesn’t only show the diversity and the quality of the Swiss high-tech innovation once again, but also the interest of these startups for the Chinese market.”

The venture leaders China 2015 at a glance:

Arik Zucker, Qvanteq AG – Medtech (, Zurich (ETH spin-off)

Qvanteq_logo-4c_FQvanteq develops novel bioactive coronary and endovascular stents (a small implantable mesh tube used in narrowed arteries to restore blood flow) to address and overcome clinical adverse effects of today’s devices. Qvanteq’s bioactive Qstent promises fast and controlled healing therefore reducing the risk of restenosis (re-narrowing) and thrombosis.

Benoit de Combaud, CombaGroup SA – Green Tech (, Molodin (VD)

Founded in 2011 in Switzerland, CombaGroup has developed an innovative greenhouse technology to grow salad locally all year long, using 100 times less water, 10 times less space and reducing carbon footprint per more than 2 compared to traditional ways of growing.

Christoph Rickert, Ability Switzerland AG – Medtech, neurorehabilitation (, Opfikon ZH (ETH spin-off)

logo-ability-small1Based on a research about how humans walk (gait), Ability Switzerland AG develops, produces and markets novel gait therapy solutions to bring patients with neurological disorders back on their feet. Their rehabilitation system, called LYRA®, is a fully automated gait trainer that enables an effective gait therapy and provides significant benefits to patients, therapists and clinics. LYRA® received medical certification for Europe in 2014 and is therefore approved for sales in all countries accepting the CE label.

Corey Houle, TwingTec AG – CleanTech (, Dübendorf (Empa/FHNW spin-off)

Twingtec-Logo_FinalTwingTec develops and markets a new wind energy technology called TwingPower. The strong and persistent winds at high altitudes are harvested with tethered wings (twings) and transformed into electrical power at the ground. The technology allows a dramatic reduction in both cost and impact of wind energy while making new, sometimes remote sites available both on- and off-shore.

Dr. Edin Balic, SwiSS-9, GmbH – Chemicals, Energy efficiency, Renewable energy (, Nidau (Empa spin-off)

Swiss-9-logo-high-resSwiSS-9 has developed and is commercializing a wet-coating for glass surfaces that functionalizes them easy-to-clean, anti-soiling and anti-reflective. This Swiss technology was developed at Empa-Thun and is being produced on an industrial scale in Nidau, BE.


Hans-Anton Keserue, rqmicro LLC – Biotech (, Zurich (ETH spin-off)

Logo-rqmicro-defrqmicro develops a novel system for the rapid detection of water and food pathogens, consisting of analytical instrumentation and consumable kits that enable the quantification of dangerous microorganisms in less than an hour.

Mark Forster, Adello Group AG – Media, mobile advertising/IT (
Adello_Logo_2014Zurich Adello is a media-buying platform that harnesses the power of deep learning technology to deliver mobile advertising to the right customer at the right time and location. More than 500 advertising partners trust Adello’s self-learning campaigns to achieve their brand and direct-response goals in diverse industries from retail to luxury cars to financial services.

Martin Ebner, Battrion AG – Engineering/Energy (, Zurich (ETH spin-off)

BattrionLogoBattrion develops a fabrication technology for lithium ion battery electrodes that aspires to double the charging speed without loss in energy density and lifetime. Their technology is a plug-in replacement for industrial manufacturing techniques and can be retro-fitted to existing plants.

Qifan Zhang, Nanolive SA – Biotech (, Lausanne (EPFL spin-off)

Nanolive_Logo_01Nanolive SA develops a disruptive proprietary technology, which allows for the very first time to explore a living cell in 3D without damaging it. This is a major milestone in the fields of education, biology, pharmaceutics, cosmetics, labs and industry.

Dr. Thomas C. Fessard, SpiroChem AG – Chemicals (, Zurich (ETH spin-off)

SpiroChem-LogoSpiroChem supports pharma-, agro- and biotech companies to drive their new molecule and synthesis innovation process, leading the way to new classes of molecules with highly attractive cost/benefit profiles. Their high-value-added products, services and technology accelerate their clients’ R&D in finding the drugs of tomorrow.



More information about the venture leaders China program

View all our 300+ alumni (venture leaders China and USA)

Startups like L.E.S.S., Dacuda, greenTEG or eSMART hit China in 2014 – learn more about them

Venture leaders China partners

This year’s trip and business development program, worth the equivalent of CHF 10’000 per participant, is made possible thanks to the support of our long time partners EPFL Innovation Park, EPF Lausanne, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Canton de Vaud, ETH Zurich, the Office for Economy and Labour of Canton Zurich, the “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” program and swissnex China.

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venturelab – World-class Startups. Swiss made.

venturelab is the accelerator program for Switzerland’s best startup talents. Since 2004, startups have benefited from a unique international industry network and an access to leading investors. A great number of successful startups such as Abionic, BioVersys, Covagen, Climeworks, Doodle, GetYourGuide, InSphero, L.E.S.S., QualySense or Poken have emerged from our program. Today, they are growing strongly at an international scale.

In 2014, 72 venturelab alumni made it to the TOP 100 Swiss startups. The fully private program venturelab is partnering with leading industry partners such as BKW, Swiss Post and Swisscom as well as successful founders who actively support the next generation of startups. /


Management, French-speaking Switzerland:

Jordi Montserrat
+41 (78) 708 18 04

Media & communications, French-speaking Switzerland:

Lara Rossi
+41 (21) 533 09 85
+41 (79) 425 13 26

Management, German-speaking Switzerland:

Beat Schillig
+41 (71) 242 98 98

Media & communications, German-speaking Switzerland:

Tina Lohfing
+41 (71) 242 98 87
+41 (79) 961 87 61