Success stories

Smixin: “The international market is eager to find cleantech solutions”

Smixin AG, based in Biel, develops systems for hand washing: they do not only work contact-free to eliminate the risk of germ transmission, but they also save resources. Smixin’s mission is to save 10 billion liters of water by 2021. Thomas Dechorgnat, Head of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Smixin, explains how this business model has developed and how such cleantech products can be successful on the international market.

Smixin systems save 90% of water and 60% of soap compared to regular hand washing
Smixin systems save 90% of water and 60% of soap compared to regular hand washing

Thomas Dechorgnat, Smixin is specialized in hand-washing systems. How did this idea come about?
The Swiss innovation hub Creaholic, “the professional inventors”, were approached by one of their clients to find a solution to mix beverage ingredients perfectly. Other technologies were used in the end, but Creaholic kept the patented technology and decided to use it for hand-washing solutions. To keep developing this idea, Creaholic created a spin-off, named Smixin, for SMart MIxing INside.
The mixing head alone was not market-ready, so Smixin decided to develop hand-washing systems using this mixing head that provide a complete solution wherever hygiene is needed. From the 2-person spin-off, Smixin has grown into a small enterprise of 20 employees.

What role does sustainability play in the products?
During the design phase of our products, we focused all our efforts on environmental sustainability. Our systems do not only provide hygiene, but they also save 90% of water and 60% of soap compared to a regular hand washing process. Smixin not only intends to provide hand hygiene, we also intend to ensure resource savings.

Is there great potential for sustainable products on the international market?
Nowadays, the market is eager to find solutions to save on resources. All markets are different of course, but when it comes to resource savings, and consequently cost reductions, everyone is looking for improvements. Furthermore, several countries such as South Africa are currently facing drought and Smixin products could help them to reduce water consumption.

How established are the products in the Swiss and in the world market?
Smixin is well established in Switzerland with systems installed in locations such as the Jungfraubahnen in Interlaken. Our products are also installed in several places in Europe, like the Berlin main train station in Germany. Despite this, it is in Asia and the Middle East that Smixin is the most present, with systems installed in Dubai, India, Hong Kong, Manila, Macau, and many others.

You have an office in Hong Kong, what are the advantages of this subsidiary?
Smixin is well represented in Asia. Having an office in Hong Kong allows us to provide a fast response to the market inquiries. Thanks to this subsidiary, we are expanding exponentially there.

How crucial is the export business for Smixin?
Smixin is making more than 80% of its business outside of Switzerland, therefore export is vital for the good of the company. Smixin intends to expand to South Africa, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, the US and many more with new clients.

How was S-GE able to support Smixin in exporting?
S-GE helped Smixin to work with the authorities in order to validate the systems certification and to allow Smixin to sell them. This support was crucial, as we feared that we were facing a dead end with the authorities and that we would not be able to sell the product. However, S-GE’s support eased the communication and helped Smixin to make progress.


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