About Us | Venture

About >>venture>>

>>venture>> is the leading competition for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Switzerland. Founded by Dr. Thomas Knecht in 1997, the competition empowers young innovators to develop their business ideas into startup companies. A joint initiative of ETH Zürich, McKinsey & Company, Knecht Holding, Innosuisse and EPFL >>venture>> has been led by the >>venture foundation>> since 2013.

Learn more about the >>venture foundation>>

Advisory Board

Alban Fischer
Alban Fischer
Vice Director General and Head of Patent Division of IPI
Axel Lehmann
Axel Lehmann
President Personal & Corporate Banking / President UBS Switzerland
Bruno Chiomento
Bruno Chiomento
Chairman EY
Calvin Grieder
Calvin Grieder
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bühler
Christian Buhl
Christian Buhl
CEO Geberit
Christiane Leister
Christiane Leister
Chairperson of the Board Leister
Christoph Loos
Christoph Loos
CEO Hilti
Didier Denat
Didier Denat
Head Corporate & Investment Banking, Member of Executive Board of Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd.
Dieter Bambauer
Dieter Bambauer
Member of the Executive Management, CEO PostLogistics
Felix Mayer
Felix Mayer
Co-Chairman Sensirion
Francisco Fernandez
Francisco Fernandez
Founder and Group Chairman Avaloq
Frank Lehmann
Frank Lehmann
Head of Innovation & Venturing Nestlé
Frank Rehfeld
Frank Rehfeld
CEO LEM
Hariolf Kottmann
Hariolf Kottmann
Chairman of Clariant Group
Holger Cordes
Holger Cordes
CEO Ascom
Jos Dijsselhof
Jos Dijsselhof
CEO SIX
Julian Bertschinger
Julian Bertschinger
Head Therapeutic Platform Innovation Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Martin Buyle
Martin Buyle
CEO Orell Füssli
Matthias Reinhart
Matthias Reinhart
CEO VZ Holding
Mauro Saladini
Mauro Saladini
CFO Kudelski
Pascal Kiener
Pascal Kiener
CEO BCV
Patrick Amstutz
Patrick Amstutz
CEO and Member of the Board of Directors Molecular Partners
Paul Hälg
Paul Hälg
Chairman Dätwyler
Pietro Supino
Pietro Supino
Publisher and Chairman Tamedia
Severin Schwan
Severin Schwan
CEO Roche
Thierry Léger
Thierry Léger
CEO Swiss Re Life Capital

Jury

Adrian Bührer
Adrian Bührer
Startup Investor & CEO Panaman Consulting
Adrian Hilti
Adrian Hilti
CTO Red or Blue Labs
Adrian Kalt
Adrian Kalt
Senior Director at KIRKBI AG
Alex Hardtmuth
Alex Hardtmuth
Non-Executive Director at D3O
Andreas Emmendörffer
Andreas Emmendörffer
Independent Consultant
Andreas Schlenker
Andreas Schlenker
Head of M&A and Investments at Tamedia Digital
Andrey Petrichtche
Andrey Petrichtche
Senior Credit Risk Manager Post Finance AG
Andy Schwarzenbach
Andy Schwarzenbach
Head of New Business at Genossenschaft Migros Zürich
Anil Sethi
Anil Sethi
Entrepreneur-in-Residence at ETH Zurich
Antonio Gambardella
Antonio Gambardella
Director FONGIT
Arnd Kaltofen
Arnd Kaltofen
Partner at VI Partners
Aron Braun
Aron Braun
Entrepreneur & startup coach Zimballo GmbH / lecturer at Bern University of Applied Sciences
Axel Bolte
Axel Bolte
Founder and CEO Inozyme Pharma
Bernard Spycher
Bernard Spycher
Head of Commercial, CH & AT, Biosciences at Becton Dickinson (BD)
Bettina Ernst
Bettina Ernst
CEO PRECLIN Biosystems AG
Björn Klocke
Björn Klocke
Managing Director & Founder of Digital Health Consulting
Brigitte Baumann
Brigitte Baumann
Founder and CEO of Go Beyond Early Stage Investing
Bruno Derungs
Bruno Derungs
Managing Partner at Adaxia Capital Partners
Cédric Mutz
Cédric Mutz
Investment Director at Emerald Technology Ventures
Christian Suter
Christian Suter
Partner at suterscience LLC
Christoph Ruchti
Christoph Ruchti
Former Chief Engineer Plants at General Electric
Claudia Zimmermann
Claudia Zimmermann
Founder and owner of C-Advisory
Corinne John
Corinne John
Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and board member of Redbiotec AG
Daniel Brandenburger
Daniel Brandenburger
Startup coach Innosuisse
Dario Caleffi
Dario Caleffi
Founder & CEO darcal / Startup coach Innosuisse
Donat Matthews
Donat Matthews
Entrepreneur & Investor at SyncAct.com
Dragan Grabulovski
Dragan Grabulovski
CEO Grabulovski Consulting Services / Startup coach at ETH & Innosuisse
Francesco De Rubertis
Francesco De Rubertis
Partner and Co-Founder of medicxi
Frido Stutz
Frido Stutz
Entrepreneur, Airline Captain, Aircraft Engineer at NewGreenTec GmbH & V-Locker AG
Gerd Scheller
Gerd Scheller
CEO Siemens Mobility AG
Hanna Brahme
Hanna Brahme
Technology Transfer Manager Spin-offs ETH Zurich
Heiko Visarius
Heiko Visarius
CEO VISARTIS Healthcare GmbH
Hervé Flutto
Hervé Flutto
Growth & fundraising specialist at Sparksense.co
Hilmar Scheel
Hilmar Scheel
CEO bob Finance AG
Jann Hatz
Jann Hatz
Vice President Corporate Development at Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund
Jérôme Mariéthoz
Jérôme Mariéthoz
Associate Founder at Parfi Management
Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis
Business Consultant at Blackbird Projects GmbH
Johan Roman
Johan Roman
Director EMEA Marketing & Channel Partnerships at Kudelski Security
John Millard
John Millard
Head of Technology Transfer at Paul Scherrer Institut PSI
Kaan Aykac
Kaan Aykac
Head of Product Growth and Subscriptions at Amazon Music
Karen Wagner
Karen Wagner
General Partner at Ysios Capital
Kaspar Binz
Kaspar Binz
Founder & CEO of Binz Biotech Consulting GmbH / Co-Founder of Molecular Partners AG
Katrin Siebenbürger Hacki
Katrin Siebenbürger Hacki
Director at Medows
Manuel Aschwanden
Manuel Aschwanden
CEO Optotune
Marco Rüedi
Marco Rüedi
CEO & CMO Axalbion SA / Startup coach Innosuisse
Marcos García Pedraza
Marcos García Pedraza
Founder and Managing Partner of orgart
Marjan Kraak
Marjan Kraak
Head of Spin-off Group ETH Transfer
Martin Bartholet
Martin Bartholet
Managing Director and Co-founder of Celeroton AG
Massimo Lucchina
Massimo Lucchina
Managing Director & M&A Europe at Samsung Electronics / Head of Innovation Council at Innosuisse
Matt Lanfear
Matt Lanfear
Founder of Xinetiq Advisors GmbH
Mauro Lattuada
Mauro Lattuada
Technology Transfer Manager at EPFL
Michael Sidler
Michael Sidler
Co-Founder Redalpine Venture Partners AG
Michal Bartos
Michal Bartos
Founder and CEO ARTO AG
Monika Krüsi
Monika Krüsi
Member of Boards
Nicola Fantini
Nicola Fantini
Jury President Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC) / Founder & Partner Spectas AG
Peter Burckhardt
Peter Burckhardt
Chairman of ErfindungsVerwertung AG / President of BioValley Business Angels Club BioBAC
Philipp Steinberger
Philipp Steinberger
Founder of Nupeak Ventures AG
Ralph Schiess
Ralph Schiess
CEO and Co-Founder ProteoMediX AG
Ravi Kurani
Ravi Kurani
Principal at Earlybird Venture Capital
Reinhard Anton
Reinhard Anton
Owner Reinhard H. Anton International Business Development / Regional Director Central Europe at Boxxstep
Rhea Hamilton
Rhea Hamilton
Ventures Director of OGCI Climate Investments
Romain Boichat
Romain Boichat
Partner at Corpus Health SA
Ruedi Gygax
Ruedi Gygax
Member of the Supervisory Board at Ava AG / Expert Innosuisse
Shila Schneider
Shila Schneider
Business Development Manager at Ewopharma AG
Simon Nebel
Simon Nebel
Managing Partner of VIOPAS Partners AG
Stefan Kyora
Stefan Kyora
Editor in Chief at Startupticker.ch
Stephan Hess
Stephan Hess
Founder and CEO Swiss Technology Brokers GmbH
Stephan Knecht
Stephan Knecht
Founder & CEO Bones AG
Søren Bjønness
Søren Bjønness
Director & Swiss Representative EURONEXT
Thomas Dübendorfer
Thomas Dübendorfer
President Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC)
Tim Rehder
Tim Rehder
Principal at Earlybird Venture Capital
Tomas Svoboda
Tomas Svoboda
Managing Partner at Tagator
Valentin Chapero
Valentin Chapero
Co-Founder & Partner VERAISON Capital AG / Board Member
Walter Looser
Walter Looser
Member of the Board of Directors at Technopark Winterthur AG
Yves Pitton
Yves Pitton
CEO VTX Telecom

Foundation Board

Thomas Knecht
Thomas Knecht
Board Chairman of Knecht Holding / Founder of >>venture>> / Chairman of >>venture foundation>>
Ralph Eichler
Ralph Eichler
Former President of ETH Zürich / Vice Chairman of >>venture foundation>>
Lino Guzzella
Lino Guzzella
Former President of ETH Zürich
Marco Ziegler
Marco Ziegler
Senior Partner McKinsey & Company
André Kudelski
André Kudelski
President of Innosuisse
Martin Vetterli
Martin Vetterli
President of EPFL

Team

Lea Firmin
Lea Firmin
Chief Executive Officer
Nathalie Geiger
Nathalie Geiger
Events & Participants
Priscilla Sarnau
Priscilla Sarnau
Marketing & Communications
Jules Vandierendonck
Jules Vandierendonck
Marketing & Communications
Neva Tres
Neva Tres
Events & Participants
Clarisse Alpaert
Clarisse Alpaert
Marketing & Communications
Emilie Haizmann
Emilie Haizmann
Events & Participants

About the Foundation

The >>venture foundation>> was founded in 2013 to formalize support for the >>venture>> competition, which has been empowering young Swiss startups since 1997. It is funded by the organizers and by the sponsors represented on the Advisory Board. The activities of the Foundation are also made possible by generous hands-on support from mentors and jurors, which is provided exclusively on a pro bono basis. 

About the Organizers

ETH logo

ETH Zürich

A partner of the >>venture>> competition since its inaugural year in 1997, ETH Zürich represents world-class scientific competence, research to benefit the economy and society, and the education of highly qualified experts. As a hub of study, research and administration, the university hosts more than 20,000 students and 530 professors from 120 countries. ETH Zurich’s more than 400 spinoff companies and twenty-one Nobel laureates confirm its innovative power and excellent reputation.

McKinsey logo

McKinsey & Company

Consistently named the world’s most prestigious consulting firm, McKinsey & Company continues to deliver the top management advice leaders have trusted for nearly a century. Over the past decade, McKinsey has broadened its offerings in areas such as digital transformation, advanced analytics, design, and implementation to help clients succeed in a rapidly evolving business context. With more than 28,000 people, McKinsey serves clients in 129 offices in 65 countries. In Switzerland, McKinsey & Company is represented with offices in Zurich and Geneva.

Knecht logo

Knecht Holding

Dr. Thomas Knecht is the founder of the »venture» startup competition. While acting as the managing director of McKinsey’s Swiss office, Dr. Knecht joined forces with ETH Zürich to launch the first edition of »venture» in 1997–98. Dr. Thomas Knecht is currently the chairman of Knecht Holding, which is a diversified service company. The company’s major divisions are the Eurobus-Group, Knecht-Reisen and Welti-Furrer.

Innosuisse logo

Innosuisse

Innosuisse is the federal agency responsible for promoting innovation in Switzerland. The agency provides targeted training courses to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset among students and researchers and to teach them as well as current and future start-up entrepreneurs the fundamentals of business creation and development. Innosuisse also offers individual coaching for start-ups and for people interested in setting up a company and supports science-based innovation projects carried out by companies in cooperation with research partners.

EPFL logo

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. EPFL fosters a dynamic environment and is centered on three missions: teaching, research and innovation. The university hosts 14,000 people from more than 120 countries and is home to 13 bachelor programs, 24 master programs and 350 laboratories. Since 1997, an average of 13 high-tech startups have been created at EPFL each year.