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
CEO at Swiss Life Lab AG
Alex Hardtmuth
Alex Hardtmuth
Non-Executive Director at D3O
Andreas Emmendörffer
Andreas Emmendörffer
Independent Consultant
Bernard Spycher
Bernard Spycher
Division Manager at Abbott Diagnostics
Bruno Derungs
Bruno Derungs
Managing Partner at Adaxia Capital Partners
Daniel Brandenburger
Daniel Brandenburger
Startup coach Innosuisse
Hanna Brahme
Hanna Brahme
Technology Transfer Manager Spin-offs ETH Zurich
Heiko Visarius
Heiko Visarius
CEO VISARTIS Healthcare GmbH
Jann Hatz
Jann Hatz
Vice President Corporate Development at Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund
Jérôme Mariéthoz
Jérôme Mariéthoz
Associate Founder at Parfi Management

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
André Kudelski
André Kudelski
CEO 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 and Communications
Jules Vandierendonck
Jules Vandierendonck
Marketing and Communications
Neva Tres
Neva Tres
Event Management
Clarisse Alpaert
Clarisse Alpaert
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. VNTW-50 Test

About the Organizers

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.

ETH logo

ETH Zurich

A partner of the >>venture>> competition since its inaugural year in 1997, ETH Zurich 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.

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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.

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.

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 startup entrepreneurs the fundamentals of business creation and development. Innosuisse also offers individual coaching for startups and for people interested in setting up a company and supports science-based innovation projects carried out by companies in cooperation with research partners.