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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The Why, the Who, and the How

Main event page:


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 FinTech Startup Weekend Zurich ?

It doesn’t matter if you are in the financial industry or not. Come with an open mind and get ready to build something truly amazing and innovative. If you have an interest in Fintech, whether you are in the financial industry or not (e.g. : designer, developer, scientist, student, teacher, etc) you are most welcome to participate in the weekend.

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 quite 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.

Game changers at the Startup Weekend Zurich


“Demographics”. This is the key word we can take away from this edition of Startup Weekend Zurich 2015 Spring Edition. After 3 days of intense work of startup building, TALINX convinced our jury and won the overall best price and the Creative Hub coaching award.

With their idea of reversing the recruitment process by enabling people to shape their own jobs with an online tool and connect them to recruiters, Talinx is the team that captured and touched a very sensitive nerve: the demographic shift and its impact on the recruitment system.

Only about 12% of the Swiss and the German population are aged between 15 and 24 years old. In the next 5-10 years, the baby boomer generation will leave the labor market.

”The economy will lose more workforce than ever in history. The demographics are stark”,

noted Dr. Barbara Lang, CEO of joba-consulting AG in Hergiswil and member of the jury.

“The labor force in Switzerland is aging and declining dramatically in the next 5-10 years, yet very few HR departments have a strategic HR program in place to face that demographic tsunami. The baby-boomer generation is in charge.”

These people have grown their careers in a market where people needed to adapt to the job-description. Many people competed for desirable job. That era has come to an end. Now, and even more so in the next 5-10 years, many open positions are available to a very limited pool of talent. While the baby-boomers were used to “fit a round shape into a square hole” simply to get the job, that era is over.

As Dr. Barbara Lang mentions,

“Generation Y doesn’t have to bend over backwards to get a job – and they know it. The demographics show that a wide choice of open positions is available to a small pool of talent. The logic of the hiring process is changing, “Führungskräftemangel” is already the word of the day among HR professionals.”

People will be able to define their desired job and their requirements. Companies may have no choice but to adapt, and to adapt fast – especially smaller companies in order to attract the talent they need.

TALINX captured this paradigm shift – and therefore deservedly won the first prize.

Congratulations TALINX!

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Judging Criteria


The universal Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighed equally):

●      Customer Validation (does the business have a good understand customers and their needs)

○      Did your team get out and talk to customers?

○      Who will be your users, who will be your customers (are they different)?

○      How many users have you interviewed?

○      Did you target the correct people to interview?

○      What did you learn from your customer interviews (revenue)?

○      What are the core needs of your users?

●      Execution & Design

○      What feedback have you gotten to inspire your Minimum Viable Product?

○      Did you build a prototype (paper or powerpoint is ok)?

○      How effective is your a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (be it software, hardware, etc.)?

○      How functional is your technical demo?

○      How easy is it for the user to navigate and use your product?

○      Were you able to incorporate customer feedback into the solution?

●      Business Model (is this business feasible)

○      Is it a big/unique idea?

○      What is your key value proposition?

○      How do you plan on making this a successful business?

○      Have you thought about competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, revenue model etc.?

○      Have you identified a specific target market?

○      How will they acquire their first 100 customers?


Good luck to all the teams for today!