The TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award is the yearly reference for investors and media of the Swiss startup ecosystem. Explore the top five engineering startups of this years ranking, solving problems ranging from hyperspectral imaging to world record solar panels.
Gamaya, Lausanne, #8
Pure high-tech: Gamaya combines innovative image sensors with machine learning and knowledge of agronomy. The results of the data analysis delivered by satellites and drone cameras can help farmers detect weeds at an early stage or even plant disease, pests and nutrient deficiency. ‘This makes farming more efficient and sustainable,’ says Gamaya CEO Yosef Akhtman.
Savings of up to 50% are possible for chemical inputs alone. The company has developed solutions for sugar cane and tobacco plantations and has won its first customers in Brazil for both crops. The Swiss startup is currently setting up a sales team there. A former Syngenta marketing manager is in charge, having joined the startup in spring.
Gamaya also has the support of a strong Swiss network. Its investors include former Nestlé boss Peter Brabeck and it is receiving support from Philip Morris for the market launch of its solution for tobacco plantations. The US group operates a research and development centre in Lausanne. ‘Swiss agriculture has no potential as a market for Gamaya, given its small-scale structure,’ says Akhtman. ‘But thanks to the high density of large companies, Switzerland is an ideal location for us.’
CREAL3D, Ecublens, #19
Although there’s a lot of talk about smart glasses, they have still to make their mark in everyday life. One problem is that virtual images are projected on to the eye from a fixed distance, which means the eye cannot focus naturally. CREAL3D is the first company to develop a fundamental solution to this problem. It now intends to develop its high-end VR glasses with a well-known Swiss engineering company.
Fixposition, Zurich, #21
Autonomous vehicles need a real-time positioning system with unparalleled reliability and precision. Zurich-based Fixposition supplies this by combining satellite-based positioning systems such as GPS with computer vision technologies which can give precise positions to
within a centimetre. Its customers include groups such as Huawei.
9T Labs, Zurich, #26
Carbon-fibre components are light and stable, but time-consuming to manufacture. Zurich ETH spin-off 9T Labs has now developed a 3D printer for the material. At the start of the year, Giovanni Carolina's team raised CHF 300,000 of seed capital, from investors including GetYourGuide co-founder Pascal Mathis.
Insolight, Lausanne, #27
Insolight’s solar modules are twice as efficient as conventional modules, thanks to a highly efficient combination of solar cells and magnifying lenses that track the sun and concentrate the light. It completed the first funding round in January, generating more than CHF 2.3 million. The first pilot projects are now underway. The start-up is also involved in GRECO, a European project that researches cheap, environmentally friendly and sustainable photovoltaic products.