Theme | Fostering the next Entrepreneur

pratternTurning challenges into opportunities. Finding novel ideas in old practices. Upturning the status quo. This is thinking like an entrepreneur, and it’s how we can adapt and thrive in our dynamic, global society. Whether leading a fortune 500 company, developing a new medicine, or protecting our environment, “at its core, entrepreneurship is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and to create value” (Bruce Bachenheimer, Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University).

At this year’s Swiss Talent Forum, five start-ups or young enterprises representing different industries will open their thinking to the youth of STF to help solve an entrepreneurial challenge. It might be venturing into a new market, redefining product offerings, making a strategic organisational shift, or implementing a fundamental change in the company.

To address each challenge, two teams of participants will follow a structured process to help the company find novel solutions for their challenge. Groups will need to think outside the box, and at the end of three full and insightful days, each will present their results and get feedback from the companies.

Each group will be mentored by a member of the «Collaboratory», a collective of international innovators and change experts. Groups will have access to the client for questions and additional information.

Group members should become entrepreneurs: experiencing the challenges, frustrations and thrills of entrepreneurial life. The STF aims to give participants insights into future career choices, learning opportunities, and topics that characterise our dynamic world, no matter what they choose to do in the future.


Business Challenges
Fostering the Next Entrepreneur

At the Swiss Talent Forum 2017, you will have the opportunity to explore what it means to be an innovator by joining the ranks of successful companies and learning first-hand about the challenges, triumphs and difficulties that entrepreneurs are facing. Five start-ups or young enterprises from different industries will open their thinking to the participants of STF, posing real entrepreneurial challenges relevant to their business. This sheet provides preliminary information on each challenge.



Challenge 1
«How can the «SwissShrimp Club» inspire the passionate private cook?»

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SwissShrimp is a Swiss startup in the process of setting up shrimp production in Rheinfelden, Switzerland, with the first shrimps growing in 2018. The company is solidly financed and has successfully conducted a pilot in 2014/2015.

In a landlocked country, without access to any sea or ocean, shrimp aquaculture is especially valuable. It is anticipated that SwissShrimp shrimps will be larger, fresher and more ecologically sustainable than any shrimp imported in frozen form from abroad.

The company has created a partnership with the Swiss Saltworks in Rheinfelden, which will be important in terms of energy use and recycling, and in terms of the local salt needed for the shrimp rearing process.

SwissShrimp expects to produce 60 tons of Shrimp each year, supplying retailers, high-end gastronomy wholesalers, and through personal pickup and postal delivery to individuals.

In this challenge, the company wants to develop an initiative to inspire the passionate private cook with their direct shrimp delivery service.


Swiss Youth in Science

Challenge 2
«How can Swiss Youth in Science improve its customer journey for young Scientists in Switzerland and in Europe?»

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Only a country that consistently promotes curiosity, creativity, innovation and its implementation in practice will be globally competitive. One key element of Swiss Youth in Science is the targeted support of motivated and talented young people who are ready to make an extraordinary commitment.

Swiss Youth in Science (SJf) organises various events for inspired young people in secondary education I and II (secondary, intermediate, vocational training) who are interested in science and research. Our intention is to provide young people with a platform where they can gain a first experience in academia. Adolescents from all over Switzerland are introduced to independent research.

The promotion is in addition to school education and emphasizes, above all, the independent learning and discovery of the world of sciences. However, it also promotes the development of competence for later career or study.

In its work, the Swiss Youth in Science Foundation takes into account four groups: The youth, the public, the talent mediators, and resource providers. In this challenge, we focus on youth as the primary key group.

Today, Swiss Youth in Science mainly communicates with their primary target audience through classical means, such as the website, social media (Facebook), newsletters etc. However, communication is evolving and young people today use a different range of tools and means to stay connected.

In this challenge, you will find new solutions to help Swiss Youth in Science stay connected with their key audiences in the future and you will create customer journeys for two annual events of Swiss Youth in Science.



Challenge 3
«How can tibits make use of the digital transformation to interact with and delight its customers?»

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Once upon a time vegetarians had little choice:  restaurants served mainly meat! Three Swiss brothers decided to change this. Christian, Daniel and Reto Frei had a dream: a delicious and fresh vegetarian buffet, as speedy as a fast food restaurant, and as cosy as your corner café.

They enlisted the help of Rolf and Marielle Hiltl, owners of the legendary and oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world: Haus Hiltl in Zürich. Rolf and Marielle generously shared their experience with the Frey brothers, helping to open the first tibits restaurant in 2000.

Today there are nine tibits restaurants and the two families still share close ties, united by the desire to explore and expand vegetarian and vegan cooking. Fresh, delicious, easy going: that’s what tibits aims to be.

At the moment, tibits runs eight restaurants in Switzerland and in one in the UK. tibits is planning further expansion into the French part of Switzerland, two more restaurants in the German part, and one more in London.

While the majority of tibits’ customers are women, the customer base ranges from young students to elderly couples, from international visitors to casual locals, and from business customers to young mothers meeting up for coffee. Most guests are not vegetarian; they simply enjoy good quality food in a relaxed environment. tibits enjoys a very loyal group of regulars that visit its restaurants daily.

In this challenge, you will create specific solutions and a roadmap on how tibits can make use of the digital transformation to serve their customers in restaurants faster and better.



Challenge 4
«How can Gryps grow exponentially in the next five years?»

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GRYPS is a procurement portal for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and individuals in Switzerland. Whether you are looking for an investment trustee, a coffee machine for your company, or an alarm system for your home, Gryps will help you obtain three quotes from suitable suppliers.

The Gryps team brings a fresh mix of experience, market competency and creativity, enriched by commitment and passion to support the Swiss SME market.

Gryps was founded by two former IBM managers, Priska Schoch and Gaby Stäheli, in 2010. Since 2014 the platform has offered a wider range of industries and also the option for private clients to obtain quotes.

Gryps has a unique three-step process for sourcing the best quote for any client:

  1. The buyer fills in a questionnaire about his or her needs;
  2. The buyer receives a call from Gryps to qualify and clarify the request;
  3. The buyer will receive 3 quotes from suitable suppliers.

In addition to their quote service, Gryps also offers free background information for SMEs about the sourcing of services and goods.

During their time in business, the Gryps team has gained unique knowledge and insights into the SME world in Switzerland, making them a strong partner for both their client bases: people searching services or products, and companies offering those services and products.

In this challenge, you will develop new ideas for Gryps to grow in new markets or with new offers to existing customers.




Challenge 5
«New Sensor Solutions for a Smarter World»

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Sensirion is the leading manufacturer of high-quality sensors and sensor solutions for the measurement and control of humidity, and of gas and liquid flows. Founded in 1998 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, the company is based in Stäfa near Zurich, Switzerland, and employs people in countries such as the USA, South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Germany. Research, development, and production is undertaken at the Swiss headquarters.

Sensirion’s sensor components and solutions are used globally in the automotive industry, in medical technology, building technology, industrial processes, and in consumer goods. Sensirion’s success is based on the innovative CMOSens® technology, which combines sensor and analysis electronics in a single semiconductor chip. This means large unit numbers can be produced at high quality and low cost. This makes Sensirion a preferred supplier of microsensors and sensor solutions.

With facilities all around the world and a seamless distribution network, the company can be local to any customer anywhere in the world, providing the best possible support at every stage of a project. Proven by a range of awards, Sensirion will go the extra mile for their customers. Most recently, Sensirion  received the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year® 2010″ Award, which is presented to companies that have contributed to improving the competitiveness of the Swiss economy by means of personal commitment and the willingness to take risks.

Since its foundation, Sensirion continues to make an active contribution to better health, safety and energy efficiency. New and innovative products are constantly under development.

In this challenge, you will create new ideas for sensors and develop a business model (Canvas) to show in what markets or market segments these new sensors could be successfully introduced.