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DePoly and SWISSto12 selected among WEF Technology Pioneers

Business environment

10 June 2024

Western Switzerland EPFL spin-offs SWISSto12 and DePoly have been selected as Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum for 2024. Both DePoly and SWISSto12’s inclusion in this prestigious group underscores their significant contributions to their respective fields and their potential to drive technological advancement on a global scale. | © Unsplash/Adi Goldstein

Western Switzerland EPFL spin-offs SWISSto12 and DePoly have been selected as Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum for 2024.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the selection of 100 start-ups as the new cohort of Technology Pioneers. These companies, active in fields such as artificial intelligence, clean energy, the space sector, and healthcare, will engage with high-level leaders at the Davos summit. Among these pioneers are two Western Switzerland companies, both spin-offs from EPFL.

DePoly, founded in 2019 in Sion (canton of Valais), focuses on plastic recycling. Led by Samantha Anderson, DePoly has raised nearly CHF 14 million to date. The company, which employs around 20 people, is working on constructing a demonstration plant capable of processing 500 tons of bottles or packaging annually. DePoly’s innovative approach to recycling PET plastics has previously garnered attention for its potential to revolutionize plastic waste management, as highlighted in their recent CHF 12.3 million seed financing round aimed at scaling their technology.

SWISSto12, another EPFL spin-off, was founded in 2011 and has raised over CHF 75 million so far. Specializing in lightweight antennas and radio frequency subsystems for satellites, the company, led by Emile de Rijk, employs 125 people and is currently expanding its production space in Renens. SWISSto12’s groundbreaking work includes the development of the HummingSat, a small yet powerful telecommunications satellite. The company recently secured a CHF 25 million working capital facility to support the manufacturing and delivery of their first HummingSats, further cementing its position as a leader in the aerospace industry.

For these start-ups, being selected as a Technology Pioneer does not come with a financial reward but provides valuable access to the WEF’s extensive network. The winners are invited to various events, including a dedicated gathering in Dalian, China, at the end of June. A WEF spokesperson noted that only “a certain number” of these pioneers will participate in the upcoming summit in the Grisons, depending on their engagement and relevance to the program.

The 2024 cohort includes companies from 23 countries, with a significant presence from the United States, China, and India. Previous Swiss laureates of this recognition include Akselos, Climeworks, Goodwall, MobyFly, Proton, H55 and Transmutex.