Switzerland Innovation Tour 2017

Bringing the top Indian startup investors to Switzerland!

Event Details


Zurich, Lausanne, Berne


October 23, 2017 3:30 am - October 26, 2017 12:30 pm

The delegation led by Prateek Khare includes representatives from various segments of the Indian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and startup enablers as under:

  • Angel investors who wish to explore partnerships with Swiss counterparts
  • Seed/Early Stage Institutional Investors (VC’s) who wish to explore co-investments
  • Incubators (university based & standalone) for establishing mutual exchange of research, experts and technology transfer
  • Accelerators who wish to explore exchange of experts and startups with Switzerland
  • State and Central Govt policy makers promoting entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Academia (dean or professors from high ranking Indian Institutes running scientific labs and supporting university spin-offs)

Envisaged Outcomes

  • Discovery of mutual strengths and possible exchange between India and Switzerland in the fields of startup, startup investments and joint programs
  • Institution to institution (incubator, accelerator, corporate innovation) connect for exchange of startups, experts and best practises
  • Canton-state level connect to offer pilot project to startups
  • Co-investment strategies for Indian & Swiss investors and strategic investments in Swiss startups by Indian Investors
  • Academia-industry connect for entrepreneurship

Tentative Program*

Sunday 22nd October 2017 

Arrival in Zurich and evening Zurich tour with Switzerland Tourism

Monday 23rd October – Zurich

8:30 – 11:30am Meeting with Investiere and Switzerland Global Enterprise at Investiere

12:00 – 14:00 Meeting with Kickstart Accelerator team, followed by meeting with select interested startups at Kickstart

14:15 – 15:30 Meeting with F10 team, followed by pitches from select F10 startups

15:45 – 16:45 Meeting with digital switzerland at digital Switzerland office

17:30 – 19:00 Business Angel Switzerland meets Indian investors followed by networking apero at Zunfthaus zur Saffran

Tuesday 24th October Zurich – Lausanne – Berne

10:00 – 11:30 Meeting with Venture Kick and venturelab at EPFL Innovation Park

11:30 – 13:00 Meeting with EMD of EPFL Innovation Park

13:00 – 15:30 Meeting with select startups at EPFL Innovation park

15:50 – 16:30 Visit of a Swiss corporate (tbc) at EPFL Innovation park

19:00 – 21:00 Investors dinner at Swiss startup Day Bern

Wednesday 25th October – Berne

At Swiss startup Day Bern – Interested Swiss startups can book individual slots of investors to meet them using the B2match tool of Swiss Startup Day.

Thursday 26th October – Berne -Zurich

8:15 – 10:00 Meeting Innosuisse

12:15 – 14:30 Meeting ETH Tech Transfer and tour of ETH Zurich labs

15:00 – 16:30 Visit NEST, EMPA business incubator followed by start-up pitches

16:00 – 20:00 Closing dinner

Friday 27th October

Self Organised follow-up meetings or departure to India

* The detailed final program will be updated by Friday October 13th 2017.


There is no participation fee. The tour is self-funded by the participants.

Indian Delegation

Dr Somdutta Singh
Dr Somdutta is a serial entrepreneur, investor, mentor and NASSCOM Product Council’s Vice-Chairperson.
She’s also Co-trustee and Director at Centre for
Entrepreneurial Excellence (CEE), founder of Unspun
Group, one of India’s 1st technology-based marketing
company in Bangalore. Dr Somdutta has also founded
Digital Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit
organization that offers Digital Marketing Certification

Relevance to startups:
1. NASSCOM Product Council’s Vice-Chairperson
2. Investor in various start-ups
3. Serial entrepreneur
4. Mentor/Advisor at Target Accelerator, Microsoft
Accelerator, NASSCOM 10 K, T-hub
5. Co-trustee and Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial
6. Founded Digital Leadership Institute offering Digital Marketing Certification courses

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Looking to identify Business opportunities for
Unspun’s products and services
2. Looking to identify partners to up-sell and cross-sale Unspun’s products and also Digital Leadership Institute certification
3. To identify opportunities where collaboration
between Swiss accelerators, education institutes and
funding is possible with NASSCOM
4. Looking to identify industry bodies/programs/
accelerators where can join as advisor/mentor
Anjali Ajaikumar
Anjali Ajaikumar is the Vice President of Strategy &
Quality at HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd. She is
responsible for key strategic initiatives of the group,
including international expansion, alliances and
investment opportunities as well as the quality
department. Anjali joined HCG in 2009 and was
instrumental in establishing and driving the quality
department and the HCG Foundation, which was set up to provide financial aid to needy cancer patients.

Relevance to startups:
1. Partner with innovative health startups to provide
access to Indian markets.
2. Intrapreneur within the company for new initiatives across HCG

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Looking to identify Business opportunities for
collaboration with HCG
2. Looking to identify partners to in healthcare
technology, and medical devices
3. To identify opportunities where collaboration
between Swiss accelerators, education institutes and
funding is possible with HCG
4. Looking to identify industry bodies/programs/
accelerators where can join as advisor/mentor
Dr. Preeti Nair
Dr. Preeti Nair is Dean, International Relations Cell and Dean Faculty of Social Work at Parul University,
Baroda, India. She heads International Relations with
unique areas of cooperation with top European
Universities including the Bern University of applied
sciences. Preeti is also the chief coordinator of the
Indian Summer School and is engaged as the Project
Coordinator representing India for Erasmus + Project
funded by the European Govt. in the areas of Higher
Education (CABCIN)

Relevance to startups:
1. Provide an opportunity to work in Indian market,
especially the state of Gujarat, focused on Business
2. Opportunities of collaboration in the areas of cultural impact projects
3. Provide assistance and support to students having
ideas or start up under the EDC at Parul University

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Interested in meeting participants and network for
areas of collaboration
2. Interested to know more about the Institutional
Collaborations for fostering Entrepreneurship at the
Institute Level for students
Ajay Nanavati
Ajay is a seasoned, global executive with 28+ years
with 3M. He set up 3M's operations in India as its first employee and has held various positions including
M​anaging ​D​irector​​ positions for 3M Israel, ​ India​ and
APAC. ​He has been extensively involved in angel
investing, mentoring startups and launching a new
venture in the tech enabled home health care space.

He is Chairman of Syndicate Bank and on the board of Alicon Castalloy Ltd.​ ​

Relevance to startups:
1. Angel investor in various startups (including
2. Member, CII Start up Council
3. Member, CII Innovation Council
4. Co-sponsor, CII Corporate Governance Council

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Interested in identifying mid-size Swiss companies
looking to partner with Indian companies especially in
the industrial manufacturing and health care space
2. Build a network of senior executives to mentor startups
3. Leverage extensive corner office relationships to
build credible partnerships
Avnish Sabharwal
Avnish is Managing Director in Accenture India,
responsible for Ventures and Open Innovation. He has 25 years of distinguished track record of achievement and performance around developing, growing and
turning around businesses for Fortune 500 clients in
both mature and emerging markets.

In his current role at Accenture in India, Avnish is
responsible for designing and leading the Open
Innovation programme for India including managing
relationships with the startup ecosystem comprising
VCs, PEs, accelerators, incubators, industry bodies like NASSCOM as well as academia. He is also responsible
for scaling Accenture’s digital and innovation

Relevance to startups:
1. Responsible for Accenture’s Open Innovation
programme in India
2. Member, NASSCOM Product Council
3. Experienced in partnering with international startups who want to expand in India
4. Delegation lead for international startup visits (eg: NASSCOM’s recent Israel delegation)

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Interested in meeting growth stage startups who
are looking to expand to India
2. Interested in meeting accelerators, industry bodies, startup associations and other ecosystem players for
potential tie-ups
3. Leverage NPC membership to explore partnerships
Neeraj Gupta
Neeraj is co-founder at Excubator, an ecosystem
building initiative, mentoring startups, consulting for
corporate innovation and supporting the government.

Relevance to startups:
1. Build an international network for portfolio startups 2. Provide a platform for international startups to build their base in India and introduce products and services in Indian market
3. Build corporate and national innovation portfolio
4. Run fund-raising program 'Ex-seed' to raise upto
INR 2 Crores
5. Excube360 platform for idea validation
6. Ecosystem integration platform for national startup
resources - can be scaled for any federal body across
the globe, ex: digitalswitzerland

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Switzerland has potential to become the startup
capital of Europe and Excubator is interested to be a
part of building this ecosystem together
2. Excubator plans to expand its startup platform
across the globe in order for other ecosystem partners to make use of the same
3. Interested in meeting with counterparts: funds,
Co-investors, venture capitalists, Angel investor
associations, VC funds
4. Interested in Gov. Structures to investigate
applicability of platform
Prasad Vanga
Prasad Vanga is the founder and CEO of Anthill
Ventures, a speed scaling platform for early growth
stage startups. Anthill has a startup portfolio of 21
companies across India, USA and SE Asia that has
grown by 150% in portfolio value. He has over 18 years of experience in helping senior executives from large
organizations like Symantec, Nike, Nestle, Novartis,
Wachovia, HSBC and YES Bank to drive business

He is a board advisor to Indian School of Business,
SRITNE center of excellence, Charter Member (TiE),
Member (Hyderabad Angels) and an active Alumni of
the Stanford Business School. His achievements have
been quoted in several media including Forbes Asia,
Business Standard, Economic times and Washington

Relevance to startups:
1. Market Access program for International Startups in Asian and US markets
2. Growth Funding for market expansion
3. M&A opportunities with portfolio

Interests/ Requirements:
1. Interested in meeting with counterparts: funds,
Co-investors, venture capitalists, Angel investor
associations, VC funds
2. Co-Invest along with Swiss based funds and then
later scale them in Asian and US markets

Innovation Tour led by 

Balz Strasser
CEO and Consul General of Switzerland / balz.strasser@nullswissnexindia.org
Prateek Khare
Head of Startup Partnerships (Coaching & Investor Relations) / prateek.khare@nullswissnexindia.org