Teams 2006 – Winners Phase 1

205 business ideas were submitted in the first phase of »venture» 2006. Of the 35 teams nominated, 10 teams were each awarded CHF 2,500 for the best business idea.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Arktis Radiation Detectors (ETH Zürich)

Radiation portal monitoring – the screening of cargo to detect concealed dangerous radioactive materials – has become standard practice wherever trucks, trains or ships deliver their cargo. Steel mills, incinerator plants, landfills, seaports, and border crossings are but a few examples that rely on portal monitoring to prevent nuclear smuggling/proliferation or to avoid environmental damage. Current technology has many shortcomings. Most notably, the all too frequent “false positives”, i.e., so-called nuisance alarms, disrupt the automated flow of goods and cause delays.

Arktis proposes a new detector technology. Developed and proven in particle astrophysics research, our technology is aimed at reducing the false alarm rate by a factor of ten, while increasing the sensitivity to dangerous radioactive materials. This allows for cost savings and more reliable detection of dangerous goods.

CEMOPTxD, Zürich

CEMOPTxD is a specialized simulation tool for design and optimization of cement kilns, with 1-, 2- and full 3-dimen-sional (xD) simulation capability. It is based on first principles modeling of kiln combustion processes, including species, momentum, heat balances, and combustion. Simulations can predict key quantities in clinker production such as free lime content, concentration of emissions, temperature variation in the kiln, etc., for given design parameters such as type of fuel, kiln geometry, etc.

Cement production is highly energy intensive. Given the high growth predicted for the industry globally, a constant drive towards increasing energy efficiency in production, combined with a solid strategy for minimum environmental impact is required. CEMOPTxD will strongly impact the design of next generation kilns that are more energy efficient and environment friendly.

Covagen (ETH Zürich)

Covagen is a clinical stage company that develops bispecific FynomAbs by fusing its human Fynomer® binding proteins to antibodies, resulting in therapeutics with novel modes of action and enhanced efficacy. Our current pipeline is focussed on the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. The ability to fuse Fynomers to multiple sites on an antibody allows Covagen to create FynomAbs with tailored architectures to maximize efficacy.

FLISOM, Zürich

FLISOM, a spin-off company of ETH, has made innovative breakthroughs in renewable energy research. The company specializes in flexible and extremely lightweight solar cells devised on plastic that can convert light into electricity. FLISOM intends to commercialize this technology. It has developed the prototype and is now looking for a second round of funding.

The FLISOM solution has the following unique attributes that make it a disruptive technology:

  • a. Lightweight – over 100 times lighter than conventional solar cells
  • b. Flexible – as thin and rollable as a sheet of paper
  • c. Low cost – on scaling up, the solution would be 50% to 70% cheaper than conventional solar cells
  • d. Highly efficient – holds world record for the highest efficiency achieved on flexible solar cells on plastic.

FLISOM promises to bring clean and inexpensive energy to revolutionize the global energy market.

FunZyme BioTechnologies S.A., Genf

FunZyme BioTechnologies will develop and commercialize new enzyme-based drugs and agents for some important applications in health care and biotechnology. It will do so by exploiting potent enzymes isolated from fungi that have the property to cleave any protein from its extremities resulting in the release of single amino acids.

The use of these enzymes – either alone or in combination – has many promising industrial applications ranging from highly specific and controlled partial modification of a protein’s extremities to the complete degradation of large and resistant proteins down to single amino acids.

FunZyme will develop a first drug for Celiac disease, original keratinolytic formulations, prion decontamination, waste recycling and tools to facilitate protein production.


GEPETO (GEomodeller for PETroleum Open source) is a new software framework for the 3D modelling of geological structures and their physical properties. The main application field will be the petroleum industry.

The GEPETO framework will be developed under an open source concept. It is designed to facilitate the development and the integration of third-party tools (open or commercial plug-ins). Through collaboration and by taking advantage of this open source technology, the users will boost the level of innovation in the market of geo-modelling tools. This concept also makes the software technology accessible to the academic and environmental worlds.

The GEPETO team will develop and manage the software framework. The development will be sponsored by a consortium of petroleum companies. Additional income will arise from maintenance tasks and specific developments based on the open source framework.

HyBiom (University of Fribourg)

HyBiom provides its customers with customizable units to store hydrogen in a solid form. In our units we use modern metal-hydrides, which can absorb and release hydrogen in a controlled manner. This hydrogen can then be used in traditional combustion engines. Alternatively, the hydrogen can power fuel cells, which provide electric energy. In both applications, hydrogen is a pollution-free energy source yielding pure water as an end product.

The HyBiom hydrogen storage units will find applications in solar energy production; grid-free energy supply, and mobile applications. We think our units support the development of decentralized energy production and storage. This will allow our customers to regain control of their future energy costs and develop a sustainable, CO2-free energy policy.

Kochexpeditionen (ETH Zürich)

Kochexpeditionen strives to occupy a niche on the markets of food trade and gastronomy by developing a novel course of business, which covers the different needs of clients. Kochexpeditionen is mainly aimed at people with health consciousness, social life, restricted free time and an interest in international food culture.

LiberoVision (ETH Zürich)

Emotions are the inevitable essence of football games. LiberoVision provides innovative media services to enhance the viewer’s experience and intensify emotions relating to football broadcasts on television.

Based on state-of-the-art computer graphics research developed at ETH Zurich, LiberoVision offers novel replay technology for live coverage and enables emotional discussions on controversial situations during post-game analysis.

With LiberoVision, the viewer can experience astonishing views of football games that no one has ever seen before. The advantages over competitors will be service quality and ease of integration. LiberoVision could already enhance your experience of EURO 2008 in Switzerland and Austria.

Qualimetro S.A. (EPF Lausanne)

Qualimetro SA is a young start-up, created by three microtechnological engineers, who developed a mechanical arm as means for measurement in surgical orthopaedics.