Swiss startup synergies
Synple Chem, a Swiss startup in the med-tech industry has developed an automated synthesiser which facilitates faster drug discoveries and speeds up delivery of medicines to patients. Its challenge was procurement of cost-efficient specialty chemicals without compromising on quality, owing to the competitive drug market. It has connected with some of India’s leading players to source the raw materials resulting in a significant cost reduction.
In a similar story, Bestmile, a Swiss startup offering driverless technology solutions, showcased its innovative technology in India in the Lift India Conference a few years ago. Shortly after, during the Urban Mobility India Conference, it collaborated with an Indian partner, Hitech Robotics, to combine their respective technical know-how in developing autonomous systems.
Swissnex aided both the above-mentioned startups by coaching and connecting with their relevant partners in India. For nearly a decade now, Swissnex, an initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, has been enabling Swiss startups in entering the Indian market right from the heart of India’s startup capital, Bengaluru.
“Like Bengaluru, Switzerland has a very dense and dynamic innovation ecosystem, with world-class universities, a high number of startups that are looking to go global and several multinational corporates,” Sebastien Hug, Consul General & CEO, Swissnex India tells Aditya Mendonca. With offices already located in leading innovation hubs world-over, the organisation came to Bengaluru in 2010 attracted by the city’s innovation ecosystem, represented by a rich mix of passionate entrepreneurs, dynamic research institutions, established innovative companies and an enthusiastic multicultural crowd.
The deep interest of Rapyuta Robotics–an ETH Zurich spinoff that builds cloud robotics solutions, in exploring opportunities in Bengaluru is a testimony as to why the city was the destination of choice. Similarly, Swiss deep-tech in the areas of fintech, drones and robotics are sought after by Indian companies who are looking for innovative solutions.
A startup with ambitions to test foreign waters requires a lot more than a potential market. Swissnex, as an ecosystem builder, provides the foundation required for Swiss startups to enter and sustain in the Indian markets. The Academy-Industry Training Program trains researchers interested in starting up entrepreneurial ventures and the annual ScienceComm Conference aims to further boost Indo-Swiss ties through an exchange of ideas and knowledge among researchers and communicators in the field of science communication.
Based on an analysis of past activities and future opportunities, the organization has identified renewable energy, deep-tech, life sciences and health-tech as well as science4society as areas where the potential for sustained Indo-Swiss collaboration is the highest.
It has also partnered with various local venture capitalists to strengthen the Indo-Swiss innovation ecosystem. In the field of academia, it facilitates collaborations between Indian and Swiss universities by offering research workshops, networking opportunities, and mobility programs, amongst others.
When institutions from diverse countries function together, the respective work cultures need to be managed, and thus Swissnex guides start-ups, universities, and innovative companies. As Hug says, institutions such as Swissnex India “are trying to show Swiss startups, universities and innovative companies the opportunities of the Indian market by creating networking platforms and thematic deep dive tours.”