Success Stories

Female academic entrepreneurs and their companies in the spotlight

Anastasia Ailamaki is CEO and Co-Founder of RAW Labs, an EPFL startup that provides cutting-edge iOT technology to capture the imperceptible vibrations of machines and prevent asset failure before it happens, in the most demanding environments.

Deana Mohr
“Just try it! You can only win.”
Deana Mohr, CEO MUVON Therapeutics AG
A spin-off from the University of Zurich

Having grown up in a family of architects and engineers, Deana has engineering and entrepreneurship in her blood. Her interest in biology led her to study cell architecture and tissue engineering, and naturally, founding a company of her own was somewhat in the back of her mind. In October 2020, she took the leap and co-founded MUVON Therapeutics AG, a clinical stage spin-off from the University of Zurich. She currently serves as a CEO of MUVON Therapeutics, which has the mission to provide the patients the chance to regain control of their lives by using their own muscle precursor cells to functionally regenerate damaged muscle tissue. Her team has developed an autologous, and minimally invasive therapeutic personalized medicine approach using adult muscle cells. After successful completion of PhaseI in 2021, the lead indication of the platform technology is about to start PhaseII clinical study for treatment of female urinary incontinence.

Clara Moldovan, the founder of the EPFL startup Swistor, is one of the two winners of the 2020 Isabelle Musy Award. The award is given out every two years to outstanding female entrepreneurs from the French- and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland, and comes with CHF 50,000 in prize money.

Marija Plodinec
”We need more women leaders prepared to disrupt the status quo and bring in the diversity and change needed to deliver better and more accessible healthcare across the world.”
Marija Plodinec, CEO ARTIDIS
A spin-off from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel

Inspired by the fact that something she was part of developing during her Ph.D. studies, could be directly applied to patients motivated Marija to leave University and found ARTIDIS. The thought that she could bring this technology to every hospital world-wide as a standard of care has been the greatest motivation and driving force for her.
ARTIDIS has developed the first nanomechanical biomarker for fast bedside cancer diagnosis and treatment optimization. Together with the ARTIDISNet platform, the ARTIDIS’ nanomechanical biomarker can maximize the response of solid tumors to chemo, immuno- and cell-therapy. The ARTIDIS technology visualizes each cancer signature and its environmental interaction over time, helping to find the best treatment ap- proach for every single patient.

Margaux Duchamp, the founder of the EPFL startup ArcoScreen, is one of the two winners of the 2020 Isabelle Musy Award. The award is given out every two years to outstanding female entrepreneurs from the French- and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland, and comes with CHF 50,000 in prize money.

Olga Dubey
“The key thing is to work out what kind of role you want to play in the company. You can’t do everything all at once, but it’s good to try everything out.”
Dr Olga Dubey, CEO AgroSustain SA
A partner of University of Lausanne

As a female company founder you have to believe in what you’re doing. As a woman you may be treated differently to a man. That’s why it’s vitally important that you respect yourself. And gain the respect of others. If a woman has a great idea and believes in it, she should definitely start a company.

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Samantha Anderson is CEO and Co-Founder of DePoly, an EPFL startup founded in 2020. Their mission is to create a sustainable circular economy for plastics with enhanced recycling.

Sandra Tobler
“You’re never alone as a business founder – it helps to find an environment with likeminded entrepreneurs who are in a similar situation to you. It’s equally important to draw on the experience of others.”
Sandra Tobler, CEO Futurae Technologies AG
A spin-off by ETHZ

As a female company founder you have to believe in what you’re It would be wonderful if there were more women in my industry, greater diversity in general and more varied career paths. That would create new role models and alleviate the fears of female career starters

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Stefanie Flückiger Mangual
“Don’t be paralyzed by the fear of failing! I hope my example will inspire other scientists to do the same with their projects.”
Stefanie Flückiger Mangual, CEO TOLREMO therapeutics
A spin-off from ETH Zurich

“Why don‘t you turn your research into a company?“ A wise question by a professor turned Stefanie, a brave and passionate scientist doing her postdoc after finishing her Ph.D. in molecular and translational biomedicine, into an entrepreneur. Four years ago, based on her research, she co-founded TOLREMO therapeutics AG, a company with a goal to develop resistance-preventing cancer therapies. TOLREMO‘s drug candidates reprogram cancer cells to prevent them from becoming resistant to certain cancer therapies and thereby prolong the lives of cancer patients.
TOLREMO currently operates with a team of 12 people, has raised over CHF 22 million and has its first drug candidate which will enter the clinic in 2022.

Virginia Hess
„The tech world needs these special skills that only we women have. We think more broadly, consider more influencing factors.”
Virginia Hess, Director Dedomena
A startup from the University of Basel

Virginia has been fascinated since childhood with how people and cities function and how they have evolved over time into what we know today. Today‘s cities are often not very people-friendly, which led Virginia to found Dedomena, an urban data analytics platform with the vision to design cities on a human scale. Dedomena pro- vides broad-linked digital data to identify behavioral patterns and trends in public spaces at any given time so that urban planners, governments, and businesses can better plan, design, manage, and promote local activities.
Through her background in Business Management, Virginia became interested in digital techno- logies when she co-created an application for young bank customers at her former employer, a big Swiss bank.

Margaux Peltier is the CEO of the EPFL startup Enerdrape, which has developed technology that can recover heat from underground parking lots and use it to warm the apartments above. Its geothermal wall panels are currently undergoing pilot tests at a building in Lausanne’s Sébeillon district.
„Innovation enjoys a higher priority in Switzerland than in other countries. We’re grateful to be able to do research and develop our ideas here.”
Margaux Peltier, Co-Founder Enerdrape
An EPFL startup

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Trust yourself, don’t underestimate yourself or think you don’t have the skills.”
Aude Ambrosini, CO-Director Klode
A HES-SO start-up

Aude Ambrosini launched her start-up Klode during her Masters, the fruit of a collaborative effort with two other students. Today, the three partners manage their business from product development to sales. Their flagship product, an innovative compost bin with a vacuum system, makes it possible to sort organic waste without odours or insects. Cultivating self-confidence, setting goals that evolve over time and, above all, being able to set limits have been essential elements in her journey to maintain a work-life balance.

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