Six start-ups win W.A. De Vigier Award

Solothurn – Six start-ups have been honored at this year’s W.A. De Vigier Award. Their projects range from metal foams and rentable guard robots to the recycling of mixed plastic waste, sustainable remediation planning, innovative fibrosis therapies and cellulose without wood.

At this year's W.A. De Vigier Award ceremony, there were six winners instead of the usual five. The winning start-ups each receive CHF 100,000 in this oldest and most highly endowed award for young entrepreneurs in Switzerland. The W.A. De Vigier Foundation 's sponsorship prizes have been awarded for 35 years. To date, 145 Swiss start-ups have received a total of 14.3 million in non-repayable seed capital.

The 2024 winners are Apheros, Ascento and Optiml from Zurich, Grensol from Thalwil ZH, Tandem Therapeutics from Schlieren ZH and Treeless Pack from Opfikon ZH.

Apheros, a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich(ETH), produces metal foams whose special properties make it possible to increase the efficiency of climate-relevant technologies.

Ascento rents out robot guards by the hour. The Ascento web app analyzes videos and images using artificial intelligence, can be integrated into existing video surveillance systems and provides reports for security officers.

Grensol makes mixed plastic waste recyclable for the first time. With the help of high-intensity light from renewable energies, hydrogen and carbon black are produced in seconds.

Optiml, also an ETH spin-off, creates data transparency for efficient and sustainable building renovations for real estate owners, asset managers and consultants with its artificial intelligence-based software.

Tandem Therapeutics is tapping into the previously inaccessible multidimensional drug space based on a deep understanding of the mechanobiology of the matrix and its relationship to fibrotic diseases. The ETH spin-off is developing novel therapies with optimized matrix targeting peptides.

Treeless Pack produces nanocellulose using specialized bacteria in scalable and automated modular vertical farms. This reduces deforestation and avoids long transportation routes. ce/mm

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