ETH spinoff clinches two WSJ Innovation Awards

ETH opened the doors of its new research centre in Zurich on November 1 Keystone Archive

GlyCart Biotechnology, a spin-off of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) has won two Wall Street Journal Innovation Awards.

This content was published on November 29, 2001 minutes

Two other Swiss startups made the top of the list in the General Technology and Base Technology categories. A panel of European business leaders judges the awards.

GlyCart Biotechnology's successful use of antibodies in cancer therapy is a unique achievement, a factor that helped the Swiss firm capture the top technology innovation prize, as well as first place in the Biotechnology/Medical category.

LTU Technologies SA was number one in the General Technology section, while id Quantique SA won third place in the Base Technology segment.

The jury

The Innovation Awards jury included Fabiola Arendondo, former Yahoo Director, Europe, Julian Hirst, head of European technology and a managing director at UBS Warburg, Esther Dyson, author and business angel, and Guy Kawasaki of, among others.

The Swiss company, Shockfish of Lausanne, was highlighted for its wireless messaging solution targeted at conference goers.

The awards are meant to recognize top European innovators. A good innovation won't be overtaken by competitors overnight and has a unique, sustainable competitive advantage. Such innovation is "disruptive," breaking with existing patterns and conventions, say the judges of the WSJ Innovation Awards. The Journal received more than 220 entries for the awards, which were sponsored by Accenture.

The founders of GlyCArt Biotechnology won the Venture 2000 business plan competition organized by McKinsey and the ETH, then subsequently raised seed-financing funds from Novartis Venture Fund and Lombard Odier.

It also received W.A. De Vigier prize money, a Swiss innovation award, which also contributed to its seed funding.

by Valerie Thompson

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