Vatorex won a total of CHF 130,000 in seed capital at the final of Venture Kick for its novel way of fighting varroa mites. According to a Venture Kick statement, the parasitic mites are very stressful on beekeepers because they are difficult to fight. They multiply in beehives, attack the larvae and harm their growth. Every winter 10 per cent of the total European bee population disappears as a result.
The hyperthermia treatment developed by Vatorex stops the growth of the mite population in bee hives without using chemicals, only heat. The procedure is based on the different temperature tolerances of mites and bees. A heating coil is introduced into the wax foundation of the brood combs, heating up the main area of the brood from inside while preserving the natural thermoregulation of the bees.
Thanks to the new capital, Vatorex will now be able to further test and develop its product. “Venture Kick is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs, where you are forced to identify the strengths and challenges of our business case. The whole process helped us turn an idea into a product, a product into a company and a company into a customer-oriented, successful venture,” said Pascal Brunner, Vatorex CEO.
Vatorex is headquartered in the Technopark Winterthur, where 50 start-ups, established companies and institutes from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) from various fields and disciplines work under one room.
Venture Kick, an initiative of the Venture Kick Foundation, finances promising business ideas. Its goal is to double the number of spin-offs at Swiss universities and raise the attractiveness of these start-up for national and international investors. It runs a highly competitive programme to select winning start-ups.