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Field Trip


1 July

13:00 to 17:00

EPFL Campus, Building BC, Room BC04




Innovaud - From the Lab to International Heights

Meeting point: EPFL Campus, Building BC, Room BC04

Number of participants: 25

Registration fee: CHF 17 (light buffet lunch included)

Organizer and sponsor: Innovaud and SPEI - Canton de Vaud

Contact: Caroline Graf (


Switzerland has a long tradition of industrial know-how in industries as diverse as watchmaking, engineering and pharmaceuticals. The country’s strength lies in its ability to combine traditional and modern know-how to create new professions and disruptive innovation.

A country of eight million inhabitants, Switzerland has proven itself to be fertile ground for innovation thanks to an immense pool of talent, solid technology transfer activities, and a culture of interdisciplinarity linking world-renowned universities and schools of applied science with cutting edge industry. All these factors add up to a vibrant research and innovation ecosystem, contributing not only to a healthy Swiss economy, but also to developments with global impact.
On this Field Trip, you will learn about the success factors of the Vaud region, home to a unique mixture of talented startups. You will have exclusive meetings with six of the region’s most successful high-tech scale-ups*. For one afternoon at the heart of EPFL, you will meet with the bold minds behind these successful technology companies. Diverse as they are, they all have one thing in common: they are champions of disruptive innovation in fields ranging from medtech to drones and autonomous vehicles, and from fintech to AI.

You will have the unique opportunity to talk to the founders of:

Abionic (Medtech, diagnostic) – CEO Nicolas Durand

Founded in 2010 as a spinoff from EPFL, Abionic is commercialising the world's fastest allergy diagnosis platform (CE marked & FDA registered). Ideally positioned at the boundaries of medical technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology, Abionic uses the most advanced technology to supply health care professionals with a 5 minutes point-ˇof-ˇcare diagnostic tool. Abionic therewith gives access to immediate results for various diseases, for example the fastest test for early sepsis detection. Abionic raised a total of USD 37 million.


Bestmile (Fleet Orchestration Platform) – COO Anne Mellano

Born in 2014, Bestmile empowers mobility providers to deploy, manage and optimize autonomous and conventional driven vehicle fleets, supporting fixed-ˇroute and on-ˇ demand services, regardless of the vehicle brand or type. Bestmile’s mobility platform allows operators to support multi-ˇmodal, multi-ˇservice offerings in a safe and efficient manner by integrating autonomous vehicles in the existing transportation system. Bestmile’s platform is being used daily in shared electric autonomous vehicles in pedestrian areas and public roads. Bestmile has global offices in San Francisco (USA) and Lausanne (Switzerland).

Flyability (Drones) - CSO Salvatore Bocchetti

Flyability develops safe drones for inaccessible places. Its advanced drones can fly indoors and in areas that are difficult to reach by humans, effectively navigating through complicated spaces and eliminating the need to send operators out in dangerous conditions. Their carbon frames are shock-ˇresistant and modeled upon insects’ ability to remain stable after in-ˇflight collisions. Flyability’s drones are used in a wide range of applications from site inspections to public safety, all with the same goal – to cut operating costs and risks. Flyability counts 75 employees and more than 350 customers worldwide.

Frontiers (Publication, AI) – CEO Kamila Markram

Frontiers is an award-ˇwinning Open Science platform and leading Open Access scholarly publisher. Our mission is to make research results openly available to the world, thereby accelerating scientific and technological innovation, societal progress and economic growth. We empower scientists with innovative Open Science solutions that radically improve how science is published, evaluated and disseminated to researchers, innovators and the public. Access to research results and data is open, free and customized through Internet Technology, thereby enabling rapid solutions to the critical challenges we face as humanity.

NetGuardians (Fintech) – Data Scientist Jerome Bovay

NetGuardians is an award winning Swiss FinTech. Established in 2007, we help over 50 Tier 1 to Tier 3 banks worldwide to fight financial crime. NetGuardians developed the smarter artificial intelligence solution made for banks to proactively prevent fraud. We empower our clients by providing AI technology together with contextual information and great user experience. Banks using NetGuardians’ solution achieved 83% reduction in false positives, saved 93% of the time lost in fraud investigation, and prevented new fraud cases. Recognized as Gartner Cool Vendor in 2015 and Chartis RiskTech 100 Vendor in 2018 and in 2019.


(*) A scale-up company is a fast growing startup, with more than 10 employees and a yearly growth of 20%. 25 Scale-up companies exist in Vaud today. These former startups have grown into international companies and have created 1300 highly qualified jobs worldwide.

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