On top of the Lift India conference and Data Canvas Exhibition detailed in the first part of this recap article (recap video included), 7 of the best Swiss startups of 2015 joined the Lift team for a crash-course on business in India and a visit of a few hand-picked innovation hubs of Bangalore. This discovery tour culminated with the Swiss Innovation Night on Friday 30, a fast-paced pitching session in front of representatives from corporations, governments, investors and fellow innovators, held at the Mövenpick hotel.
Swiss Innovation Night
To celebrate the Year of Swiss Innovation in India, swissnex India and Lift teamed up to gather 7 of the best Swiss startups to come on stage for an intense pitching session, showcasing the best of Swiss Innovation across different tech sectors.
In front of a crowd composed of governments officials, corporate representatives, investors and entrepreneurs, the Swiss startups gave their best on stage delivering inspiring pitches to highlight meaningful examples of Swiss innovation.
Balz Strasser, CEO of swissnex India and Consul General of Switzerland in India and Abir Oreibi, President of Lift, kicked off the evening with an insight into their roles as innovation facilitators between the two countries. His Excellency Dr. Linus Von Castelmur, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, presented some of the main innovation assets from our country and outlined potential cross-border opportunities, both for Swiss and Indian innovation actors.
Each of the startups had 5 minutes to present their stories and tease the audience about their value propositions before interacting with them during the networking dinner & cocktail. The Swiss entrepreneurs got to connect with potential stakeholders and learn more about the Indian ecosystem while eating some delicious food from the Swiss buffet. The evening ended with a pleased audience and the startups running out of business cards.
As part of the efforts to bridge international communities through its extended network in key countries, Lift brought 7 Swiss startups to Lift India to discover the Indian innovation ecosystem and explore potential collaborations with business partners. The Swiss startups were welcomed with an introductory afternoon organized by swissnex India. Experts such as Guhesh Ramanathan (Lift India Editorial board member) gave a session on business culture as well as IP and legal apsects of conducting business in the country before they met with successful local entrepreneurs such as the founders of Taxi for Sure. On the following day, the startups took advantage of some free time to hold business meetings with potential partners before getting ready to come on stage, both for the Swiss Innovation Night and the one-day conference.
Soraia Binzagr (leftmost on the banner below) presented for the first time publicly her project émoi: edible interfaces communicating your emotions through chocolate. Soraia made a hit in the media with multiple articles, such as in the Times of India, along with a great response from the audience who loved tasting her delicious (Swiss) chocolates and discover which emotions they could convey.
Taha Bawa (center on the banner below) joined us to present Goodwall, a career coaching platform for yougsters. Taha took took time to deeply understand the local ecosystem and came back inspired with many insights about what he could improve, benefitting in particular from the experience of Ajay Ramasubramaniam, head of zonestartup accelerator in Mumbai.
Nanolive (rightmost on the banner below) has developed a revolutionary microscope which allows non-invasive 3D visualization of cells. The company was represented by Berty Tyloo, investor and Head of distribution, and Davide Merulla, who already had a solid experience of India. They kept themselves (very) busy, which enabled them to find a distributor for India and to lead a demonstration and seminar to engage with local experts at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (IISc).
Finally, Anubhav Ratha and Karl Njalsson, co-founders of Shared Electric (leftmost on the banner below), presented their dream of catalyzing the Indian solar revolution with an affordable energy monitoring device. While they have set down their office in India, they developed their idea in Switzerland in 2014 during their studies at ETHZ. At the Swiss Innovation Night, they officially launched their new platform, Solarfamily.org.
After a few days in Bangalore, we headed to Mumbai for an intensive 36-hour trip with Adam Varkalis from Fotokite (rightmost on the banner below), who proposes a new approach to aerial photography and Raphaël Grindrat from Bestmile (center on the banner below), who develops autonomous vehicle fleets management systems. We met with Ajay Ramasubramaniam at Zone Startup before heading to Tech Mahindra to meet with some of their innovation experts. We concluded the day with a pop-up pitch meeting in a coffee shop to discuss with smart automobile specialist AutoTranz.
Read about the details of the Lift India conference and the Data Canvas exhibition in the first part of this recap article!