HAYA Therapeutics triumphs at the 13th TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award
11 September 2023
Western Switzerland’s burgeoning start-up scene witnessed another remarkable year of innovation and growth as Haya Therapeutics won the first place at the 13th edition of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award.
Held at the Startup Space in Schlieren and orchestrated by Venturelab in collaboration with partners Credit Suisse and Swiss Venture Club, the 13th edition of the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award showcased Switzerland’s relentless drive to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. This year’s edition honored companies from diverse sectors – biotech, foodtech, and fintech, to name a few, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the Swiss start-up landscape.
At the forefront of this celebration was a start-up from Western Switzerland, HAYA Therapeutics. Landing at the first position, HAYA Therapeutics, based in Epalinges (canton of Vaud), is a biotech company that specializes in precision drugs, with its lead candidate targeting cardiac fibrosis currently undergoing preclinical trials. Founded by Samir Ounzain and Daniel Blessing in 2019, the company is a testament to the innovative prowess emanating from the Health Valley region. Notably, HAYA had secured the eighth spot in the 2022 rankings, marking a commendable ascent to the pinnacle this year.
The awards, over their decade-long history, have spotlighted over 553 high-tech start-ups, creating a staggering 17,955 jobs, and attracting investments in the amount of CHF 12.7 billion.
While HAYA Therapeutics claimed the limelight with its first-place ranking, the event was also a broader reflection on the potency of the Swiss start-up world. The diversity of represented sectors, the emergence of artificial intelligence, and the rise of cleantech start-ups are clear indicators of Switzerland’s adaptability and forward-thinking approach to innovation.
Stefan Steiner, the TOP 100 program director, encapsulated the essence of the event, stating, “The ranking reflects the strength of the Swiss start-up ecosystem… Start-ups remain true drivers of innovation.” With 41 new nominees introduced this year, the Swiss entrepreneurial landscape continues to evolve, offering the world a glimpse into the future of business and technology.
A global search for Switzerland’s next big unicorns
Recognized “unicorns” such as Climeworks, GetYourGuide, MindMaze, and Sophia Genetics all trace their origin to early recognition at the TOP 100 Swiss Startups ranking, illustrating the Summit’s profound influence in identifying and nurturing potential global market leaders.
Switzerland’s reputation for innovation is further amplified by the term “Soonicorns,” which signifies startups that are on the cusp of achieving unicorn status – a valuation of over USD 1 billion. These burgeoning enterprises are the focal point of the Investor Summit. With a turnout of esteemed venture capitalists, super angels, corporate VCs, and representatives from affluent family offices spanning from Europe, America, and Asia, the event creates an unprecedented platform for promising Swiss start-ups to secure substantial investment and mentorship.