Organised by Ladies Drive, the event resulted in the awarding six female change makers. The main Award category “Female Innovator of the Year”, sponsored by BMW, went to Jenny Prange (CTO) and Deana Mohr (CEO) from Muvon Therapeutics. The founder duo is working on a cell-based tissue engineering therapy for damaged skeletal muscles in patients with Stress Urinary Incontinence.
Laura Stocco, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Openversum accepted the Recognition Award, the second main award.
Four additional awards were bestowed: Barbara Studer from hirncoach won the Digital Innovation Award from DQ Solutions; Silvia Frey from Kyma AG received the Eco Award from the Canton of Zurich; Priska Burkhard from TechFace took home the Diversity & Inclusion Award from Siemens, and Catherine Meuter from VYN won the Design Award from USM.
Alongside the Female Innovation Forum are several other programs that have recognised innovations from female founders.
- Swistor, the only female-led startup in the Swisscom Startup Challenge, was one of the three winners. The cleantech startup developing innovative energy storage devices, enabling ultra-fast charging supercapacitators.
- The latest DayOne Tech and Day One Health cohorts include female-led companies: Oncoswab and AncoraAI & MachineMD. The latter was also recognised as Digital Health Startup of the Year by be-advanced.
- The Future of Health program kicked off with 23 startups, including YLAH and Mynerva, which also won the Falling Walls competition in Switzerland.
- The EY Entrepreneur of the Year award is underway, with Foodtech startup Alver and mobility startup Urban Connect in the finale.
Funds to fuel growth
Investments are essential for startups to achieve their ambitions and accelerate their growth. Biotech startup Tolremo, focusing on preventing non-genetic drug resistance in cancer, secured the largest round by a female-led company last month. It obtained USD 39 Million in its series A financing round. Haelix, the provider of next-generation solutions for transparency in consumer goods supply chains, also secured an investment. The early-stage energy startup qcella won the Venture Kick award, securing itself CHF 150’000, which it will use to bring its heating mats to the market. Vivent’s investment saw its two investors become the majority stakeholders in the startup to help accelerate its expansion to new markets. Founded by Carrol Plummer, the startup provides technology to decode plants’ language and gives farmers and agtech businesses early warning of disease, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and water stress. This was the first commercial crop health diagnostic system based on plant electrophysiology –internal electrical signals plants use to coordinate growth, reproduction and defence.
Sarah von Aesch, founder and CEO could not share the same good news as her counterparts on the investment-seeking round. Due to the lack of sufficient funds, the startup shut down operations.
Startups can also take over other companies to leverage their strengths. Lara Matter, founder of dating platform Noii, acquired an American company to automate its match-making technology.
Many other factors also enable startup growth: winning new customers to apply the new technologies is one of them. Legeltech startup DeepJudge welcomed its pilot partner to its customer base that uses its Knowledge search platform. Climbing the growth ladder is Circle Toys, which provides second-hand toys, with already 230 customers served. NowCare, the provider of sustainable hair products, made it into the Coop City retail stores.
Time and again, Innosuisse awards startups ready for sustainable growth with the Innosuisse Certificate. Terapet, the startup dedicated to making nuclear medicine imaging more accessible for every patient, is one of the recent recipients. The art of asking questions the right way
In a survey among Swiss female entrepreneurs, the FE+MALE Think Tank analysed whether founders tend to answer questions in a preventive or promotive way. The study found that founders who answer investors’ questions in a promotive way have greater chances of getting funded, as opposed to those answering them with a preventive approach.