EPFL start-ups raise record funds in 2016

EPFL's business ecosystem is thriving: start-ups linked to the Lausanne-based technology institute raised close to 400 million francs this year.

EPFL Campus
The environment on the EPFL campus is conducive to the development of successful start-ups. © EPFL | Alain Herzog

EPFL start-ups have so far raised a total of 397 million francs this year, and the number is still on the rise. That's 50% more than the previous record high of 242 million reached in 2014, the university said in a statement. The funds were raised by spin-offs created as a result of technology developed in an EPFL lab, as well as by companies located within EPFL’s Innovation Park, which hosts over 120 start-ups and 23 well-established companies including Intel, Logitech and Siemens.

100 million francs were raised by one company alone, Mindmaze, which develops virtual reality products to stimulate neural recovery. AC Immune, a biopharmaceutical company, raised 42.7 million and began trading on Nasdaq, adding a further 60 million francs. NEXThink, a spin-off specialized in company software management, completes the top three with 38 million francs. Seven other start-ups completed funding rounds for more than 10 million francs each.

The current trend in private investment in Switzerland is looking good: half of the start-ups raised the funding domestically, a quarter in Europe and the rest went further afield, to the USA and Asia.

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