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Start-up awards Insect-inspired drone maker tops Swiss start-up charts

Flyability drone

The sky appears the limit for Flyability's drones

(© Keystone / Christian Beutler)

A drone making company that takes its inspiration from flying insects has been named as Switzerland’s best start-up at an annual awards event to recognize the best of Swiss innovation.

Flyabilityexternal link impressed the 100-strong jury with its successful record during the first five years of operations, along with the company’s future commercial potential. Its small, lightweight drones are designed to reach inaccessible, hazardous or confined areas such as disaster zones. 

The spin-off firm from Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) already has an impressive list of clients and partners in the fields of law enforcement, industry and insurance. Earlier this year, the company’s founders told how nature helped shape the design of their drones.

On Wednesday, the Top 100 Swiss Startup Awardsexternal link selected the most promising young Swiss companies. The top of the list, which also included the Ava Womenexternal link ovulation bracelet and medtech firm Lunaphoreexternal link, looked similar to last year’s selection. But that will change in 2020 as some of these firms will no longer be considered as start-ups having operated for more than five years.

Best scale-ups

The list of top 100 Swiss start-ups, which employ some 8,700 staff, was dominated by technology firms.

GuestReadyexternal link, a company providing management services for Airbnb hosts in 14 cities around the world, won the public vote for best start-up.

In recognition of companies that continue to flourish beyond the start-up phase, the jury also compiled a list of the best 25 “scale-ups”.

“From VIU VENTURES counting 400 employees in six years, to Sophia Genetics opening 2019 with a CHF77 million financing round, this ranking further illustrates the amazing potential shown by Swiss start-ups,” stated a press release.

The Top 100 Swiss Startup awards was organized by Venturelabexternal link, a collaboration of public, private and academic partners aimed at supporting start-ups in Switzerland.

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