Day 1: Startup Weekend Zürich Spring Edition 2016

„Today you have the chance to find the person you want to work together forever.” – David Andersen from Denmark opened the Startup Weekend Zürich 2016 Spring edition!

We are happy to announce that the doors of Startup Weekend Zürich are open again and we were welcoming our participants at a new and beautiful location of Samsung. 86 people registered for the event. Sold out event! The weather hasn’t been that nice this year – but it is for the Startup Weekend, it seems it tries to show off for all the people who are coming to Zürich from different countries for the Startup Weekend. It is great to see the energy in the room and motivation of participants.


David, the SWZH facilitator from Denmark broke the ice even more. We jumped, we clapped, we were giving high fives and we baked ideas. He emphasized to let the ideas growing, go out, meet local people, test your ideas during the weekend and join a team even if your own idea hasn’t been chosen. Since you will learn the most from the working process, methodologies and from the others. As we heard in the introduction, who knows, maybe you find your future business partner already this weekend.


No talk – all action. This is the motto of Startup Weekend. David talked about the importance of the energy and vibe. “Let’s get the energy going!” The video of the Insane Drummer to visualise on how to do it.

8pm, time for the pitchfire. People were lining up to pitch their ideas and more people joined in. More people gained the courage to pitch and stood up as well. We listened to 35 ideas, this number beat last years and it is not going to be an easy competition this year neither. The marketplace was loud and busy, but the 14 best ideas got chosen by the participants themselves. Teams have been formed and the work already started on the first evening.

Let’s see how they proceed on the following days.


The Why, the Who, and the How

Let’s review a few questions people who’ve never been to a Startup Weekend usually ask:

Why attend Startup Weekend ?

  • Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating.  Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
  • Build your network: This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.
  • Find a co-founder: We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
  • Learn something new: Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
  • Get face time with thought leaders: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
  • Actually launch a business: Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months.  Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.

Who should attend Startup Weekend Zurich ?

Come with an open mind and get ready to build something truly amazing and innovative. Designers, developers, scientists, students, teachers, marketing, sales, strategy, etc; you are most welcome to participate in the weekend. Diversity drives innovation and success.

Do I need to come with an idea?

If you have an idea for a startup, then great! We hope you pitch for the weekend. If you don’t have an idea, that’s also alright! Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched and maybe something strikes your interest. The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other.

Register for the event here.

5 things to expect at Startup Weekend


1. Late nights and lots of coffee

Startup Weekend kicks off Friday night with 1 minute pitches and ends with the final presentations on Sunday evening. That’s not a whole lot of time to do everything needed to wow the judges, including customer validation, design, and the actual building of your idea. To make the most out of this time, you might have to sacrifice some sleep. Be prepared to stay up late coding and up early the next morning getting back at it. I promise, it’ll be worth it. And coffee helps!

2. Learn something new

Have you been wanting to learn a new coding language like Node.js, play with cool things like Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and 3D Printers, or have an idea you think could turn into a business? Well there’s no better place to do it then a Startup Weekend.

3. Meet some cool people

Startup Weekend is going to be packed full of talented designers, developers, hardware hackers, marketers, and people who love startups. Expect to work closely with your team and mingle with everyone else. You never know, that person might be your future co-founder, next employee, or someone who can help you with your day job.

4. Actually build something

Startup Weekend’s slogan is “No talk, All action”. That means there’s no time to hum and haw over options and there’s certainly no red tape to cut though. If you have an idea, you can build it immediately. Aim to have something built by the final presentation on Sunday and maybe, if you’re brave enough, even do a live demo!

5. Mentorship and advice from experts

At Startup Weekend, there will be a whole slew of mentors there to help your team out. These will be people with a whole lot of experience building things so I suggest you ask them questions and have them scrutinize your plan. The more help you get, the better your final pitch will be and the better chance you’ll have at taking home the grand prize!


Bonus: You’ll quit your job and start a company

This might not happen to everyone, but I’m willing to bet it will happen to someone. Over the course of the weekend, you’ll be validating your ideas, talking to customers, and building a ton of awesome things. But after Sunday, everything doesn’t have to stop. You can take what you’ve worked on and turn it into a real business that might even let you quit your job. It happens every time at Startup Weekends.

3D printing at Startup Weekend Biel/Bienne!

For the first time in Switzerland in a Startup Weekend, participants will have a FabLab (fabrication laboratory) at their disposal!

What is a FabLab? It is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication. Participants of Startup Weekend Biel/Bienne will be able to convert their startup idea and produce a single piece of their startup prototype: be it with a 3D printer (plastics), 3D scanner or even with a laser cutter.

Specialised staff supports you during the weekend with all its know-how.

Find a place to sleep during SW Biel/Bienne 2016

Startup Weekend Biel/Bienne will take place at Swiss Innovation Park Biel/Bienne (previously named INNOCAMPUS), located 5 min away by foot from train station.

We have the chance to have one hostel 100m away, Hotel Continental Biel/Bienne, which has very correct prices.

And we also have a youth hostel situated 300m away, which is a great and cheaper alternative: LagoLodge (which has, moreover, also a brewery alongside – probably a great place to continue “working” during the night!).

Gründen heisst Gesicht zeigen – Branding für Start-ups

In der heißen Phase der Unternehmensgründung gibt es viele Hürden zu meistern. Ein professionelles Branding als Grundlage einer einheitlichen Unternehmenskommunikation gehört sicher dazu. Der Prozess zur Erstellung des visuellen Erscheinungsbildes eines Startups ist dabei nicht nur essentiell, sondern kann zudem sehr aufschlussreich sein, schließlich gilt es, sich intensiv mit dem eigenen Markenkern auseinanderzusetzen. Das ist die Voraussetzung jeglicher Kommunikation. Bevor das Logo, als kreativer Startschuss für eine starke Corporate Identity, gestaltet wird, ist es wichtig, sich über die essentielle Botschaft des frisch gegründeten Startups klarzuwerden. Als offizieller Sponsor des Startup Weekends Bern gibt 99designs exklusive Tipps für Startups.

7 Schritte zum Unternehmensbranding

  1. Die Marke definieren

Worin liegt eure Mission? Jede erfolgreiche Marke ist darauf ausgelegt, ein Bedürfnis zu befriedigen. Was möchtet ihr mit eurem Unternehmen bei eurer Zielgruppe erreichen? Worin liegt die Idee eurer Unternehmung? Erst wenn ihr genau wisst, wer ihr seid, könnt ihr eure Marke positionieren. Findet die Werte, die euch einzigartig machen und kommuniziert diese authentisch.

  1. Die Zielgruppe festlegen

Wie sieht euer durchschnittlicher Kunde aus? Denkt an den Tagesablauft und die Gewohnheiten. Was interessiert ihn, wo hält er sich auf? Je mehr ihr über eure Zielgruppe wisst, umso passgenauer könnt ihr sie ansprechen, indem ihr euer Unternehmenslogo und alle weiteren Kommunikationsmaßnahmen auf euer Publikum zuschneidet.

  1. Das Umfeld scannen

Wie sehen eure Wettbewerber aus und was unterscheidet euch von ihnen? Erkennt euren Wettbewerbsvorteil! Schaut zudem genau, welche branchentypischen Logodesigns es gibt, was sie eint und unterscheidet. Entscheidet selbst, welchen Branchenkonventionen ihr folgen möchtet und inwiefern ihr euch von diesen absetzen wollt.

  1. Inspiration finden

Eure Marke ist jung, charismatisch und umweltbewusst, aber ihr habt keine Ahnung, was dies für euer Logodesign bedeutet? Lasst euch von den Logos eurer Lieblingsmarken inspirieren. Was gefällt euch an anderen und was nicht? All diese Informationen sind wichtig für den Designer, um eure Vorstellungen optimal umsetzen zu können. Nutzt die Online Bildersuche und achtet darauf, welche Logos euch sofort ins Auge springen

  1. Logo erstellen

Logo-Design des Designers Project4 auf 99designs Logo-Design des Designers Project4 auf 99designs

Wenn ihr nun alle Informationen und Inspirationen zusammengesammelt habt, teilt diese den Designern mit. Die Gestaltung eines Logos sollte immer von einem Grafikdesigner erfolgen, denn Fehler können später fatal sein. Der Designer weiß genau, welche Schriftarten, Farben und Bilder er wählen muss, um eurem Unternehmen gerecht zu werden und eure Marke am besten zu repräsentieren. Außerdem kennt er sich aus, was zu tun ist, damit euer Logo am Ende für alle Medien on- und offline ohne Probleme genutzt werden kann. Um eine Vielzahl an ganz unterschiedlichen Designs zu erhalten, eignen sich Logo-Design-Wettbewerbe besonders gut. Die Kommunikation mit den Designern über die Plattform ist einfach, Bewertungstools unterstützen den Auswahlprozess und Umfragetools erleichtern die Bestimmung des Gewinnerdesigns. Die Frage um Nutzungsrechte ist im Vorhinein ausverhandelt und der Zahlungsverkehr unkompliziert. Erfahrt wie ihr mit 99designs ganz einfach ein Logo erstellen lassen könnt. 

  1. Corporate Design

Einheitlichkeit Einheitlichkeit in der Unternehmenskommunikation ist essentiell für einen starken visuellen Auftritt.

Zum Corporate Design gehört weit mehr als nur ein Logo. Das Logo ist der perfekte Anfang, da es im besten Fall auf allen weiteren Kommunikationsmitteln abgebildet ist. Wenn das Logo erst einmal gestaltet ist, kann es also weitergehen. Das Corporate Identity Pack von 99designs beispielsweise ist eine Art Starter-Paket für Start-ups und enthält Designs für Visitenkarten, Geschäftspapiere (Briefkopf und Briefumschlag) sowie ein Facebook Titelbild, denn auch in den Sozialen Medien sollte ein professioneller Auftritt nicht fehlen.

VisitenkartenVisitenkarten bleiben ein All-time-Klassiker der Unternehmenskommunikation

  1. Online gehen

Apropos online – die eigene Firmenwebsite ist nach dem Logo wohl eine der ersten Maßnahmen zur Kommunikation der Marke an die Außenwelt. Sucht euch also einen passenden Domain-Namen und überprüft seine Verfügbarkeit. Stellt sicher, dass die Website zu eurem gesamten Corporate Design und allen weiteren visuellen Elementen (Bilder, Schriftarten, Farben etc.) eures Start-ups passt. Neben der Website sollten auch alle gewählten Kanäle in den Sozialen Medien einen weitestgehend einheitlichen Auftritt zeigen und zur Wiedererkennung eurer Marke beitragen.

Die Kommunikationsinstrumente und somit die Anforderungen ans Design variieren mit den Branchen. Jedoch egal, mit welchen Kommunikationstools ihr euer Branding betreibt, es empfiehlt sich in jedem Fall immer, einen Fachmann an das Design zu lassen. Nur so könnt ihr euch sicher sein, dass alle Design-Richtlinien eures Unternehmens auch berücksichtig werden.

Macht aus eurem Start-up eine Marke, die in den Köpfen bleibt! Das Auge ist an diesem Prozess maßgeblicher beteiligt.

Fintech Startup Weekend Zurich – And the winner is….

The Fintech Startup Weekend Zurich was incredible. We had more than 70 participants, 18 fintech ideas pitched and eventually 12 fintech startups.

We opened the ceremony with a panel of discussion. Holger Spielberg, head of innovation at Credit Suisse discussed the importance of fintech and its challenges. We then dived deeply into a neuroscientific view of disruptive innovation and leadership with Dr. Khoris, neurologist, trainer and coach at JKH-consulting. Finally Andrew Hyde – founder of Startup Weekend and Startup Week – related how 8 years ago in Colorado he initiated the largest startup events series in the world.

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The teams had then 4 minutes to pitch and 3 minutes to answer the jury’s questions.

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After a long deliberation, the jury composed of Holger Spielberg, Mike Baur, Didier Sornette, Dirk Wiedmann and Michael Hartweg has selected 3 winners. Here are the results:

Our 3rd prize went to Sensorbay. The jury decided to reward them for their idea of turning private user data and location into a user revenue stream. They provoked an interesting discussion about the definition of “fintech” and its boundaries. “Finance follows closely value creation and Sensorbay is definitely creating value” explained Didier Sornette, Professor on the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. Each member of Sensorbay received a 50.- voucher to redeem at Swisscom.

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3rd place – Team Sensorbay

ATMapp earned the second prize. Their ATM locator tackles the high costs when withdrawing money abroad, by indicating each ATM’s exchange rates and withdrawing fees. They won the Swiss Start Up Factory coaching prize: a 10-hour coaching provided by Mike Baur, Founder and Chairman of the Swiss Startup Factory along with 100.- Swisscom vouchers.

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2nd place – Team ATMapp


And the first prize went to Crowdcrawler, a crowdfunding real-estate aggregator with added value services. They convinced the jury with their practical and well-thought concept that helps global investors to make timely and informed real estate investment decisions by aggregating and comparing crowdfunding deals. Besides the 200.- francs Swisscom vouchers, Fintech Startup Weekend offers them the “mission to London” prize: on January 11-12 they will visit the fintech ecosystem in London and attend the London Blockchain conference.

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Winners – team Crowdcrawler

Last but not least, Unter got the public recognition with their commoditized service exchange.

We wish there were more prices to reward and encourage the excellent presentations and ideas we saw on Sunday.

A big round of applause to the jury and the coaches that came to support our teams with coaching and advises!

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Congratulations again to all of you and see you at the next edition!

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Startup Weekend Zurich – Day#3 & Final Results

Last day of the Startup Weekend came. People seemed a bit tired in the morning, but instead of giving up, they need to make a full attack in order to be the best in the afternoon.
Pitch tech checks go quick. Teams come one-by-one to check their presentation and get some tips from the organizers. The challenge is big. They need to work out an idea, put together a presentation, convince the judges and make sure that the pitch is no longer than 4 minutes. This is definitely not easy. In the working area there is a tense mood, group pictures are done for the presentations, participants are staring at the computer, the presentation needs to be very smart.
4 pm, pitch room is ready, visitors start to arrive to watch the final pitches. Interesting to see how big the interest is for the event. The apero room is full of people. The energy of building a startup in 54 hours reached a lot of people, and the atmosphere was active and energized, only the ones who was presenting at the final were a bit nervous.
At 5 pm the event started. After the introduction of the judges the teams had the chance to show what they were worked on the whole weekend.
Over 130 people and the 3 judges in the pitch room at Microsoft heard great presentations. It can really be said that they did their best and every team took the competition very seriously. We had projects related to health care, real estate, but there were also ones related to dining, travel or technology. The jury didn’t have an easy job this time neither. But they made their decision, and I am happy to announce the winning teams:
  • Best Pitch: ConnectContact – Full fledged solution to keep up to date your business contacts
  • Best prototype: Insumo –  Brings you real success stories that will make your heart beat faster and motivate you in your ventures
  • Custom Motor won the special price of a design coaching by creative hub –  A platform for engineers to design small individual customized motors
  • The overall winner is team Dentra: trusted platform for hand picked dental services in Europe! Congrats!!
Such a great event and such a great occasion to meet great people. I wish all the teams to manage to develop their ideas in the future and became a startuper once for living.
[Thank you Orsi for writing these blog posts! & Werner Büchel for the great pictures and memories]

Startup Weekend Zürich – Day #2 – The day of hard work

The teams that have been formed on Friday evening arrived back early on Saturday morning to Microsoft Switzerland, the location where Startup Weekend takes place in Zürich this time. The work they planned yesterday needs to be accomplished today. This is not easy, but they all knew this, that is why they applied. The venue is full of flow-charts, time-lines, post-its and filled lean-canvases.

Before lunch we had the chance to say hello to our fellow startupers in Trondheim, Norway via Skype. There are six Startup Weekends going on different locations all over the world this weekend, hard to imagine though that any of those would be more international than the one in Zürich right now.


During the afternoon we welcomed the couches, 13 mentors with many different professions. It was nice to see how the couches got energised from the atmosphere and the environment of Satrtup Weekend from the very first time. The teams presented their project and the couches also introduced themselves. So matching the teams with couches became easy, they could choose how they would like to work together.


During the afternoon we had a very useful speech from Carlos Morales, the co-organiser of Lean Startup Zürich Meetup about how to put a great idea into practice. We also had the chance to listen to Ash Maurya himself, the author of the Running Lean and Creator of Lean Canvas – Helping Entrepreneurs Everywhere Succeed. He joined us via Skype from the US and talked more about lean canvas and answered questions of the audience.


We finished the day with even more work and better defined ideas. The time was passing very quick, the day was over and the teams need to be ready with the first version of the pitch right on Sunday morning. Let’s see how they succeed.

Startup Weekend Zürich – Day #1 – Let’s get started!

The day came. Venue is ready. Name tags are printed. Facilitator made the final tech-check. You can almost touch the excitement of the organisers. 5pm, first participant arrived and I am happy to announce the Startup Weekend Zürich 2015 fall Edition officially started.


Almost 80 participants, 80 ambitious and enthusiastic people from all around the world came to test and compete their startup ideas or help others to reach success. We have startupers from UK, France, Hungary, Slovnenia, Italy, Denmark, Germany and more – besides Switzerland. We heard 33 pitches, all very good ideas. So the competition is already big from the very beginning, since only 13 ideas were chosen to be developed during the weekend. Teams have been formed, they have already started to work and put the base down for their projects.


Teams in 2015 Fall are:

  • DIGA
  • Frame it!
  • Link nexus
  • Custom Motor
  • White card
  • Heathgram
  • Reality Estate
  • No Q
  • me
  • Indoor Locate
  • Flat Form
  • Intermed

I can say that everyone went to bed exhausted but full of experiences after the first afternoon. Many thanks for Microsoft Schweiz to provide us this beautiful venue for the event.