Startups led by UNIGE students win top awards at Innosuisse Business Concept Training Spring 2021 Session

The Innosuisse Business concept programme, designed for ambitious researchers, students and faculty members of Swiss Universities and research institutes was held last spring as a one-day bootcamp to present and compete for winning venture ideas.


The winning project

UNIGE PhD Alumni Maude Strobino and UNIGE PhD candidate George Ramzy join forces with EPFL Alumni Hélène Payen and HUG PhD candidate Ceren Askin to develop the Adriane’s Thread project, which offers the first sustainable European alternative to disposable surgical masks for medical use. Through the industrial manufacture of trackable, washable and sterilizable fabric masks with EN14683 type II certification, Adriane’s Thread aims to solve the supply and quality issues of the current surgical mask industry and its dramatic environmental impact, lately highlighted by the Covd-19 crisis.

In the next 6 months, they will begin mask prototyping, laboratory tests and the IP protection process.

Team member Maude Strobino shared her impressions: “A very interesting course that allows you to realize if your idea is applicable to a startup“ while Ceren Askin shared: “It was a wonderful experience to attend this instructive program. I would highly recommend it for all enthusiastic students and alumni.”

Given the progress and viability of their innovative idea, Adriane’s Thread captured the Life Sciences Prize, which is includes a personalized 6 months of hosting and coaching program by the Geneva life science incubator Geneus, jointly run by EPFL Innovation Park and Fongit.


ECOhesion, an innovative project for a sustainable urbanisation

UNIGE’s Willem Rischau Post-doc Physicist and Manu Vega-Cuberos, Political Scientist joined CERNs Civil Engineers Alexandra Tudora and Vincent Ricodeau to develop ECOhesion, the first sustainability and innovation platform for the construction sector in Switzerland. By connecting architects with innov

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ators to find sustainable approaches to their projects. In the next 6 months the team will focus on building the platform and recruiting innovators and architects and will be searching for an architect  and web developer to join the team.

“After having done public research most of my life, this business concept training was the perfect opportunity to get to know the famous ‘other side’. I recommend this course strongly to anybody who is interested to learn what founding a startup actually means. It is a perfect mixture between interesting lectures and being thrown into the cold water to develop a business model yourself.” – Willem Rischau, Post-doc Physicist

Given the progress and viability of their innovative idea the team won one year of Audible subscription.


Transform a project idea step-by-step into a concrete business concept

This year, Innosuisse Business Concept Trainings took place in 4 cities across Western Switzerland, training over 129 ambitious researchers and students who developed 40 business projects. These trainings are done with the help and support of university management, deans, professors, and student associations at UNIGE.

Over 6 years, Innosuisse Business Concept Western Switzerland has built a network of over 1500 alumni and generated nearly 100 start-ups including recognized companies such as Agron Sustain, CompPair, Urbio amongst others.


An opportunity to be seized

Innosuisse Business Concept Trainings are a free semester-long course to help innovators across all sectors explore the viability of their business idea or commercialization path for their research. Taught by a network of industry and subject matter experts and coaches, the training provides participants with the opportunity to improve business skills, connect with other entrepreneurs and connect with a wide network of innovators.

Applications in Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg and Yverdon for the Fall Session are open. For more information visit, and apply before August 1.

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Last modified: 19 juillet 2021

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