5 investors and 5 startups took to the stage to pitch in front of a fully booked room at Technopark Zurich. In the end it was Nicolas Brand from Lakestar who was selected as the best investor pitch, whereas NetGuardians took the spot as the top startup pitch. This though was only the tip of the iceberg at the most unique pitching event in Switzerland this fall.

Pitching events are trending in Switzerland with a steady rise in numbers all over the country. This is a very good sign for the Swiss startup community as a whole, but also in particular for FinTechs looking to raise money. FinTech is finally getting an important space in the local startup movement and an increasingly national attention. This is the result of much hard work from the Swiss FinTech community, many of who joined us last Thursday for the #ReversePitch. The occasion proved a fresh format, with national and international investors taking to the stage and pitching to the almost 100 people strong audience. The Swiss Finance + Technology Association would like thank everyone who attended the event and contributed to make it a success. We are thrilled to share some highlights below.

Early Birds

Though the event was open to the public at 13:00, the #ReversePitch day at Technopark Zurich had started well before that. Thanks to the flexibility from side of the participants, the morning was filled with over 25 1-on-1 meetings between entrepreneurs and investors.

The general problem addressed by the event was the funding gap in Switzerland and how to help overcome this hurdle, by making investors more accessible while showcasing what they were looking for.

The series of 15’ meetings offered startups a chance to present themselves, get direct feedback from the investors, and exchange contact details for further discussions. The goal was to keep it as lean and easy as possible: short application, no long pre-reading materials, no complex selection. It was well received by both sides and numerous follow ups were confirmed.

Special thank you goes to:

Andreas Pages (Swisscom FinTech Venture Fund)

Martti Granberg (BBVA)

Milda Jasaite (Earlybird)

Radboud Vlaar (Orange Growth Capital Partners)

Ralph Mogicato (SICTIC)

Thanks to your availability and dedication, we even managed to accomodate additional unscheduled meetings with enthusiastic entrepreneurs! It was a pleasure for us to work with you.

Thank you also to all the startups who participated in 1-on-1 meetings: Anivo, Convenex, green[::]match, Lendity, One PM, Quotip, SONECT, Tastier and WealthArc.

Starting off on the right foot

The event has kicked off with an inspirational speech by Richard Olsen, founder of Lykke, who spoke about how his company was financed, presented the latest news and updates on the platform, and discussed how everyone can become an investor. Richard reminded the audience, that one thing is certain, when launching a startup one should never forget the importance of the funding structure which will have future implications, so choose carefully when seeking funding.

John Hucker (CFA), president of Swiss Finance + Technology Association was next and took a moment to introduce the motivations behind the Reverse Pitch event. Switzerland is flush with wealth, which makes it easy to raise early stage funding and also large amounts of institutional investment. However, the small home market leads to a) a lack of large-enough local VC for Series A/B rounds, and b) startups looking to global markets and investors abroad. The event helps to bridge the gap by attracting international investors and educating local entrepreneurs currently seeking such funding.

“SwissFintech is true catalayst – their events are invaluable for the whole community, thank you.” Richard Olsen

Unusual pitchers

Normally during the pitching events you would only see startups on stage presenting their idea and trying to convince the audience and, especially, the investors. But at the Reverse Pitch we turned the tables and by asking 5 investor to go on the stage first to present their fund and investment process to the audience. Thank you to our presenting investors for their insights:

Radboud Vlaar (Orange Growth Capital Partners)

Nicolas Brand (Lakestar)

Andreas Pages (Swisscom FinTech Venture Fund)

Florian Graillot (Axa Strategic Ventures)

Ralph Mogicato (SICTIC Fintech Angels)

“The event generated many opportunities to connect with the startups and the investors. Within the current environment where we have many FinTech events and pitching opportunities, it is refreshing to see some twist and a new format. Many thanks. I enjoyed it very much.” Andreas Pages

After the audience voting, Nico Brand from Lakestar was announced the winner of the Investor Pitch thanks to his charming analogy about how agreeing to work with an investor should be approached like falling in love.

Swiss FinTechs

After the investor pitches and a networking break, the 5 selected Swiss FinTechs took the stage. Marc-Etienne Jan spoke about how Biowatch intends to address the secure identification problem. Carl Lunsford presented the Carbon Delta solution that allows to assess the risks connected to the climate change. Andreas Signer explained the Fractal’s automated financial assistant for businesses, that allows to keep everything under control. Mine Fornerod form NetGuardians revealed how the help banks to combat internal fraud by prevention and simplify regulatory compliance that becomes more and more costly for the banks Last but not least Dessy Todorova and Stephane Alec presented their software solution for the insurance brokers operating in the so-called New Insurance Markets that addresses multiple issues – Virtual Broker.

Congratulations to  Mine and NetGuardians for winning the 1st Prize at the Reverse Pitch!

It is exciting to see the Swiss FinTech Ecosystem growing and thank you to everyone for being a part of it. We are looking forward to meeting all of you and those who could not join us at the 6th of October at our next events – please check out the full list here.

If you would like to join us for a similar event in Spring 2017, please sign up here to receive the updates before all the others!