AIT Swiss Camp – Day 5

AIT Camp Switzerland – The Zurich experience


Zurich, 29 April 2016 (Friday, day 5)


The last morning of AIT Camp started a little bit different from the previous four days. Driven by enormous amounts of caffeine (thanks, Nespresso), the hands are sweaty, the heart beats faster and the minds did not stop thinking about the greatest challenge of the week: the Final Pitch.

In the well-known Swiss sharp schedule, the entrepreneurs were divided in two groups: the Brazilians and the Swiss that went to Brazil presented their pitches in a room while the Indians and the Swiss who went to India in another space. For all the participants, there was a clear evolution from the first presentation in Lausanne to the Final Pitch. Many concepts were added in order to bring value to the various projects. The judge boards evaluated the pitches and provided feedbacks and insights on the enterprises, rising important questions to assess possible drawbacks and gaps to be sorted out.

After all the pitches, the judges gathered everybody in the Startup Space for the announcement of the winners! From the Swiss team, the AIT grant winners were Marc Spaltenstein (Sterilux, EPFL) and Marco Pisano (Lymphatica, CHUV/EPFL). The prize of CHF 10’000 was provided by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). The winners from the India team were Ashray Malhotra (SoundSurround, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay) and Shruti GuhaSarkar (UriGel, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay). Both won 10 lakhs (1 lakh equals 100’000 rupees), given by the Department of Science and Technology of India. The Brazilian AIT champions were Paula Regina (Breath Diagnostics, Fortes, University of Campinas) and myself, Lucas Secchim Ribeiro (Simile, Federal University of Minas Gerais). Both won 25’000 Reals, thanks to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.

It was an awesome week, filled with learning, exchange, innovation and partnerships! I believe we came back to our houses with a lot more than an entrepreneurial experience. We left Switzerland with the feeling that there is much more beyond our laboratory benches, a brand new world ready to be explored!

Thanks, swissnex, for the incredible opportunity!

Lucas Secchim Ribeiro, B. Pharm, M.Sc., Ph.D.

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Credits images: @venturelab