Female Founders News #1 – March 2023

Text: Ritah Ayebare Nyakato

Ladies Drive - Ritah Ayebare Nyakato
Since International Women’s Day on 8 March, several organisations, leaders and ambassadors of diversity, equality and inclusion in the Swiss startup ecosystem have come out to celebrate women and raise awareness of the gaps that need to be closed.

Startupticker took a deeper look at the topic of venture capital investments in female-led startups. While the total amount raised by female founders continues to rise, the proportion of the total capital raised that is assigned to female-led startups has remained significantly low.
Nonetheless, startups with strong female leadership have continued to attract investment, both equity and non-dilutive. Here are some examples:

  • Lunaphore, Deborah Heintze as Co-founder & CMO and Alice Feng as CFO raised CHF 40 million. The startup is developing technology to enable spatial biology in every laboratory.
  • MetaLead Therapeutics, which is developing a potent treatment for metal poisoning, has received CHF 150’000 from Venture Kick.
  • FluoSphera, with Clélia Bourgoint as Head of Operations, has closed its first financing round. The startup is developing a unique technology platform to predict the effects of drug candidates by mimicking the communications between multiple human organs.
  • Aequaland, founded by Alma Moya Losado, CEO and Lucy Antrobus, COO, is an edtech startup that offers a gamified learning platform for kids between 6 to 11 years old. The female duo received funding from the Foundation for Technological Innovation.
  • Oculis, whose Chief Financial Officer (Sylvia Cheung) and Head of Medical Affairs (Joanne Chang) are women, went public this month via NASDAQ.
  • Resistell, under the leadership of Danuta Cichocka, Co-founder and CEO, has recruited the first patients for its international clinical study. The startup developed a device and testing method that reduces the time for antibiotic susceptibility tests (AST) from days to hours.

The ecosystem continues to empower female founders by putting them in the spotlight. The following startups have, for instance, impressed various juries, scoring themselves a spot in acceleration programs and winning trophies.

Catarina Dahlin, founder and CEO of Dagsmejan, won the Female startup of the Year Award by SEF.Women and Melanie Gabriel, co-founder and CMO of Yokoy, was awarded the HSG Founder of the Year 2023 Award during the START Summit conference. Claire Meuwly, the co-founder of NowCare, also received cash and in-kind prizes after winning the pitch’n’bar pitching competition. The Forbes 30 under 30 Europe and Financial Times list of fastest-growing startups includes female-led companies: Greta Preatoni of myLeg and Dagsmejan are on the lists. Flowbone and Alver world are among the Startups heading to Boston and New York for the Swissnex Startup bootcamp. Startup supporters in the fintech and gaming sector will help two startups advance their solutions by giving them training and access to industry experts. Smartpurse was selected for the Tenity Incubation program and Luciana Vigano from the knit’n’purl game studio for the SwissGames Showcase.

Femtech startups address female-related challenges

While female founders get empowered, solutions designed to address female-related should also get recognised. An example is Aspivix, which is focused on improving gynaecological and fertility care. Its medical device, Carevix, is a non-traumatic, gentle approach to reducing pain and bleeding in multiple transcervical procedures, including IUD insertions. The results from its ADVANCE Women study were positive.

The accelerator program supporting femtech solutions announced a new cohort comprising two Swiss startups; Adira Health and Healthy Longer.


Ladies Drive - Ritah Ayebare Nyakato

Ritah Ayebare Nyakato

Ritah Ayebare Nyakato is a business journalist with over seven years of experience writing about technology and innovation, particularly on Swiss startups. She is the Duty Editor at Startupticker, Switzerland’s leading independent news and information platform for startups, investors, supporters and the entire ecosystem. Born in Uganda, she moved to Switzerland in 2011 and attained her bachelor’s degree in Germany, followed by two master’s degrees at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland.


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Veröffentlicht am April 24, 2023

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