IMAGINE IF! Swiss Finals 2018 – All the winners!

Adele Fanelli Written by Adele Fanelli
Published on 29 March 2019
4 min. read

On February 21st, 2019 the IMAGINE IF! Swiss Finals have been held at EPFL in the CO2 auditorium hosting more than 70 people coming from EPFL, start-ups and companies.

After a brief Innovation Forum Lausanne introduction by the association President Claudia Bigoni, Marc Gruber, Vice President for Innovation at EPFL, warmed the audience with a great talk about Lausanne start-up ecosystem and how to identify and exploit opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Afterwards, Diego Dupouy, co-founder and CTO of Lunaphore, was invited to describe his startup and the journey that brought it where it is today. At Lunaphore they are creating an automated technology for tissue diagnostics with microfluidic immonochemestry techniques. Earlier this year they released their first product LabSatTM.

Concluding the talks sessions, Serge Gander, CEO of CombaGroup SA, introduced his company, which has developed an aeroponic system to grow soilels vegetables. The beneifts of this agricolture method, especially in the view of sustainability, have been highlighted.

The long-awaited moment arrived later in the evening: the IMAGINE IF! Global Start-up Accelerator Swiss Finals for 2018 edition. The Top 10 start-ups pitched in front of a jury committee of experts and proved themselves defending their projects during the discussion with them. All startups pitched brilliantly:

I was impressed by the startup pitching at the IMAGINE IF!, the teams were highly committed to their projects and the presentations were mostly of the highest standard – Nicolas Charton, E-CUBE Strategy Consultants

Many prizes have been awarded after the competition:

  • Audience Prize: thanks to a hot-tie the audience at the event elected our next 2 Innovators of the Month: Swoxid and Neurosoft!
  • 1-month desk-space at Swissnex in San Francisco, CA to the first place-winner in the cleantech field: hiLyte!
  • 3-month lab space at Startlab, Biopole chosen by Olivier Philippe, ruolo at Biopole: SenSwiss!
  • First place-winner in the healthcare stream & 3’500.-CHF non-dilutive cash prize as first-place in the overall competition: Neurosoft!

Neurosoft presented a novel device for treating neurological diseases: a soft interface that allows conformity to the curvature of the brain or spinal cord, contrary to the rigid systems currently used in clinics, providing better performances. Improving such technology represents an important step forward in the medtech field. We are honored to support it. 

The IMAGINE IF! contest provided us with great mentoring that enabled us to increase the impact of our pitch, which is of major importance when looking for investment. Moreover, it allowed us to compete against top tier startups from the Lemanic Arc area. We learned a lot on the entrepreneurship landscape and also made friends that are pursuing dreams similar to ours.  – Neurosoft Team

hiLyte introduced an environment-friendly consumable-based iron battery for a very specific tagret: helping people living out of the grid, as the Sub-Saharan Africa population, that currently uses expensive and polluting kerosene to get light and phone charging. Their idea only only needs iron, paper and iron salt to generate enough power for 5 hours. The impact is uncountable.

Innovation Forum Lausanne works for supporting such impactful ideas and promoting their success since their very first steps! That’s what IMAGINE IF! Accelerator is really about. 

IMAGINE IF! is always a great opportunity to see some early stage but very promising projects from the universities of Romandie! It’s also very important to raise awareness toward entrepreneurship among other students and academic members. – Patrick Biro, Venture Kick

To know more about our Top10 start-ups, read here

Congratulations to the winners and the best wishes to all our applicants! We can’t wait to see your next brilliant achievements.

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