Unicorn Switzerland
Workshop Summit

With entrepreneurs and investors who have done it.

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How to become an international high-tech success story

At this keynotes and workshop event, we will bring know-how and best practices that are required to succeed internationally to ambitious Swiss high-tech SMEs and startups.

Who should come?

The event is for Swiss high-tech SMEs and startup entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, as well as coaches and educators.

What will be discussed?

In workshops, keynotes and panels we will present and discuss what is needed to create large high-tech successes. This will be done from the viewpoints of entrepreneurs, investors and educators/accelerators.

Why should you come?

At this event we have experts from Europe, Switzerland, Israel, the US and Asia present and discuss with you what is needed to succeed. They have done it already and can teach/discuss practical approaches from their very own experiences.

March 28, 2019

Opens: 08:30Ends: 12:00

Holiday Inn, Messe, Zürich


This event is initiated by




The surprising story of the Flash market unicorn(s)

  • Dov Moran, Chairman and CEO of M-Systems and the inventor of the USB Flash Drive

Networking break

Breakout Workshops

SMEs & Startups

What are the challenges to become an international success story creating hundreds or thousands of high-tech high-paying jobs?

Leo Keller, Vincent Bieri
Aron Braun, Dr. Dorian Selz,
Dr. Jörg Rychen, Peter Ohnemus
Speaker & Panel
Dov Moran

More Details


What are the challenges for high-tech investors to be part of large success stories?

Nils Granath, Jan Reinhart
David Hug, Steffen Wagner,
Alexander Stoeckel
Speaker & Panel
Andy von Bechtolsheim

More Details

High-tech SME and Startup Workshop

What are the challenges to become an international success story creating hundreds or thousands of high-tech high-paying jobs?

Some of the hypothesis that will be discussed:

  • Not enough angel and venture capital money available.
  • Lack of experienced startup entrepreneurs that could serve as role models and mentors.
  • Lack of international business expertise.
  • ...

What can be done to overcome these challenges?

  • Bring in international talent.
  • Move operations to other more suitable places.
  • Operate a virtual company seeking for talent worldwide.
  • ...
Leo Keller, CEO, Blue Ocean Semantic Web Solutions,
Vincent Bieri, Co-founder & board member, Nexthink
Aron Braun
Dr. Dorian Selz, Co-Founder & CEO, Squirro
Dr. Jörg Rychen, Researcher, University Zürich
Peter Ohnemus, Founder, Chairman, President and CEO, dacadoo
Speaker & Panel
Dov Moran, Managing Director, Grove Ventures

High-tech Investors Workshop

What are the challenges for high-tech investors to be part of large success stories?

Some of the hypothesis that will be discussed:

  • Not enough money compared to US, Israel or China
  • Lack of institutional investors
  • Not enough true investment potentials to invest into
  • ...

What can be done to overcome these challenges?

  • Collaborate with international talent.
  • Co-invest with international VCs.
  • Pension system policy changes.
  • ...
Nils Granath, Investment Executive, ZKB
Jan Reinhart, Managing Director, Reinhart Capital
David Hug, Managing Director, Ringier Digital Ventures
Steffen Wagner, Co-founder & co-CEO, investiere.ch
Alexander Stoeckel, Partner & Member of the Board of Directors, btov
Speaker & Panel:
Andy von Bechtolsheim, Founder & Chief Development Officer, Arista Networks




Dr. Dorian Selz

Dr. Dorian Selz is co-founder and CEO of Squirro.

Before that he founded the Swiss search platform local.ch and made it the market leader in four years.

Previously he was a partner and COO at Namics, the largest e-business consultancy in Switzerland & Germany.

He holds a PhD from the University of St. Gallen and a Master in Economics form the University of Geneva.;Squirro is a data insights solution developer.

Based in Zurich and with offices in London, New York, Munich and Barcelona, Squirro works with global data-driven organisations, predominately those in the financial services and telecom industries.

The core suite of Squirro solutions offers risk, service, and customer insights.Deployed by the world’s leading banks, law-enforcement organisations and other commercial businesses, Squirro’s cognitive technology extracts more value and business-critical information from complex data environments to improve operational efficiency and increase revenues.

Benjamin Soffer

T³ is the technology transfer office of Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Its task is to open the doors to innovation, facilitating the passage of new ideas to successful products and companies in world markets. As part of Technion Research and Development Foundation Ltd. (TRDF), T³'s success in bridging between the laboratory and the marketplace has been critical in affirming Technion's position as a global pioneer of innovation.

Marcel Dridje

Marcel Dridje, a principle investor in Vaelsys, Faveeo, Cyberflowanalytics, Digitalarti and OnePulse brings his rich commercial acumen and business development experience to the team.

A seasoned European Sales Executive, Marcel has substantial field of experience helping IT and Telecom startups in the US and EMEA.

Marcel has a broad range of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, communication and management with direct experience with Fortune 500 enterprises (IBM, Nortel, Lucent, Cisco, EMC, ALU) and startups (Quantum, Andrew Networks, Pluris, Corvis, Ascend and Airespace).

During the course of his career, he has held Vice President roles most notably as VP EMEA Corvis (first all optical router) where he grew the team and business to an outstanding success.

Of French and British origin, Marcel launched his career after completing a Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Computer Science from Portsmouth Polytechnic.

He walked away from his first position with IBM UK as an Application Engineer greatly relieved to embark on a career in sales… his forte and passion. He hasn’t looked back since.

Bi-lingual in French and English with a strong knowledge of Spanish, Italian, German and Arabic.

Three major highlights from his career include where he helped Airespace to be the #2 WLAN in EMEA market share and positioned Cisco to be #1 WLAN vendor worldwide.

He also pioneered the French ISP Internet business while leading Ascend’s insertion into France Telecom Wanadoo’s first ISP business to include ISDNET, OLEANE and Internetway.

At Cisco he spearheaded both the NMS/OSS and Cloud Orchestration Software solutions Insertion into the Top Worldwide Service providers.

Again not looking back, Marcel most recently left 35 years in IT and Telecom Sales to start his new venture as a Business Angel (Sophia Business Angels Club VP business dev) to help EMEA startups with seed money, VC connections and Business development.

Vaelsys, Faveeo and Cyberflowanalytics are his star ventures.

A self-proclaimed Serial Entrepreneur, Marcel loves new challenges in sharing his 35 years IT & Telecom experience with new High Tech startups ready to expand their EMEA Sales and Marketing success.

Benjamin Joffe

Benjamin is General Partner at HAX, the #1 acceleration engine for hardware startups. His experience spans 16 years in Asia (China, Japan, Korea) in various high­tech industries: telecom, Internet, mobile, gaming and hardware.

Prior to HAX, he was the founder of +8*, a strategy consultancy researching Asia­based digital innovations supporting clients such as Microsoft, Citi and Harvard Business School. He also founded Mobile Monday Beijing, a community of thousands of mobile industry professionals in China, running over 40 events.

He has lectured, judged or joined panels at the world’s leading technology events and universities in over 20 countries, including TechCrunch Disrupt, LeWeb, Pioneers, Slush, SXSW, TEDx, Stanford, Berkeley and more. Benjamin is a regular guest writer on TechCrunch, also quoted by Forbes, Bloomberg TV, CNN, WSJ, The Economist, WIRED, Quartz and more.

Benjamin’s online presentations recorded over a million viewers, covering topics from innovation ecosystems to “Lean Hardware” methodology.

Dr. Luca Triacca

Luca Triacca has a Master of Science in Corporate Communication & Marketing and a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences.

After his studies, his only love has been YOUR INTERFACE founded in 2005 and since then, his second (and sometimes first!) home.

He led the company from start-up to adult with his demanding and visionary spirit.

Today he is responsible for Brand design, Information and Interaction design & Usability.

He cultivates his love for research leading thesis and research projects in collaboration with some universities where he also teaches (but please don't call him professor!).

He is passionate about creativity and brand with an acknowledged expertise in usability.

He is also Professor and Scientific Director for the innovation and e-business area in the Master of International Management at Franklin University Switzerland, where he teaches “Digital communication strategies” and “Innovation Management”.

Since 2017, he collaborates with IMD Business School as External Expert in Digital Transformation.

Vincent Bieri

Co-founder & board member of Nexthink, a Swiss high-tech enterprise software in the field of digital experience management. With various leadership roles, I’ve been involved in developing and growing this company from scratch to over 300 employees in 2018 and year-over-year revenue growth over 75%, including a total of $70mio fundraising.

Before Nexthink, I spent 7 years at Cisco where I lead Technology Marketing in EMEA with the responsibility of new products launch, relationships with press and analysts, go-to-market programs, partnerships, and sales enablement.

Before moving into technology and business, I enjoyed several years competing in sport as professional cyclist racing in Europe and USA. In 2017 I was nominated member of the Forbes Technology Council of the renowned Forbes Magazine for which I am now writing recurrent publications.

Nils Granath

Investment executive with over 10 years of experience as growth investor in and board member of disruptive technology companies from start-ups scaling up to US$150+ million turnover.

Alexander Stoeckel

Alexander Stoeckel is a Partner and Member of the Board of Directors of btov. He has an academic background in international business administration and has studied at the European Business School (ebs) in Oestrich-Winkel and Paris as well as at the International School of Management (ISM) in Dortmund and San Diego. He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining btov in 2007, Stoeckel has worked for Hauck & Aufhaueser Private Bankers as fund-of-funds manager, and as Executive Management Assistant (Vorstandsassistent) to KPMG’s Global Managing Partner for Tax. Alexander is a member of the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA), where he was a member of the Executive Board from 2015 to 2017. He is also a guest lecturer on venture capital topics at the University of St. Gallen. Stoeckel was born in Berlin and lives with his family in St. Gallen.

Peter Ohnemus

Peter has been involved in high-tech and bio-tech investments over the last 25 years and this had led to four IPO’s and multiple trade sells. Peter co-founded ASSET4, the world’s leading provider of extra-financial information, in 2004, which was sold to Thomson Reuters in November of 2009. Mr. Ohnemus previously held senior executive positions with Sybase, Logic Works, The Fantastic Corporation and COS – all of which went public during his tenure.

Dr. Luuk van Dijk

Luuk is the founder of Daedalean, where he leads a team in the development of autonomous flight software for the electric personal VTOL aircraft of the near future.

He advised a number of international tech start-ups and previously held Senior Software Engineering positions at Google Zürich and SpaceX, where he worked on infrastructure, flight software, and machine learning projects, among others. He holds a PhD in theoretical Physics and has had no formal training in the use or programming of computers.

Dr. Jörg Rychen

I studied physics at ETH Zürich in the nineties. In my PhD I built up a complex scanning probe microscope to investigate the quantum hall effect.

As an experimentalist my profession is to create systems of mechanics, electronics and informatics.

In 2002 I founded a company providing control systems for surface science experiments.

Always being interested in quantum and neuromorphic computing I joined the institute of neuroinformatics in 2012 to work on experimental setups in the group of Richard Hahnloser.

Here we research how birds learn to sing. I develop systems for the acoustic experiments with songbirds.

Andy von Bechtolsheim

Andreas Bechtolsheim is a Founder and Chief Development Officer of Arista Networks, a high-speed datacenter and cloud networking company.

Previously, Andy was a Co-Founder and Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems, responsible for next generation server, storage, and network architectures.

From 1995 to 1996, Andy was CEO and President of Granite Systems, a Gigabit Ethernet Switching startup company he founded that Cisco acquired in September of 1996.

From 1996 to 2003 Andy was General Manager for the Gigabit Systems Business Unit at Cisco System that developed the Cat-4K Switch family, which became the highest volume modular switching platform in the industry.

As a private venture investor, Andy has been involved in the funding of numerous companies including Google, VMware, Mellanox, Brocade, and Magma Design.

He has served on the Board of Directors of 25 companies, the majority of which went public or were acquired.

Andy earned a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1976.

He was a doctoral student in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University from 1977 to 1982. He has been honored with a Fulbright scholarship, a German National Merit Foundation scholarship, the Stanford Entrepreneur Company of the year award, the Smithsonian Leadership Award for Innovation, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dov Moran

Dov Moran formed M-Systems in 1989, a pioneer in the flash data storage market. The company invented the USB Flash Drive (DiskOnKey), the FlashDisk (DiskOnChip) as well as several other innovative flash data storage devices. Under Moran's leadership, M-Systems grew to $1B revenue within 18 years, and at the end of 2006 it was acquired by SanDisk Corp (NSDQ: SNDK) for $1.6B. This still ranks as the third largest acquisition in Israel's history.

After the sale of M-Systems, Moran founded Modu, an innovative company with a revolutionary modular phone concept, which eventually sold its patents to Google in 2011. These patents are the basis for Google's modular phone project, called Project Ara .

During his time at Modu, Dov was also the chairman of Tower Semiconductor, a developer and manufacturer of semiconductors and integrated circuits. During his tenure, he turned the struggling company around towards profitability. Moran was also chairman of Biomas, a developer of innovative pharmaceuticals.

In 2011, Moran founded Comigo, a company with a vision of revolutionizing the TV viewing experience. The company developed a multi-screen platform for Pay TV operators, redefining personalization, social viewing and engagement. Moran is acting as the chairman of the company.

In the course of his entrepreneurial work, Moran has filed more than 40 patents.

Nicolas Bürer

Nicolas Bürer, studied Physics at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

After several years in management consulting and young startups, he then went on to co-found MOVU, of which he still is Chairman.

Movu has been acquired through a Swiss insurance Group in 2017. Since October 2016, Nicolas Bürer is Managing Director at digitalswitzerland.

Nicolas is one of the 100 „2018 Who is Who“ of the Swiss Economy and has been awarded as 2018 „Swiss Business Angel of the Year“.

He is a passionate entrepreneur an startup investor.

Leo Keller

In 2000, Leo Keller started as a Business Angel for Startups in the area of Semantic Intelligence. He re-founded Netbreeze GmbH in 2002, and successfully performed as co-CEO until 2009, inciting interest from Microsoft, who finally acquired Netbreeze GmbH in 2013.

For the past 10 years, he has developed over 50 different business solutions using Semantic Technologies and Open Data implemented across multiple professional disciplines (Private Banking, Investment Banking, Wealth Management, Insurance and Reinsurance, Automotive, FMCG, Government and Research) and business sectors (Business Intelligence, Product Development, Marketing and Market Research, Risk and Issue Management, Communication and Reputation, Compliance and Anti-Counterfeiting). With his company Blue Ocean SWS, Leo continues to act as a business angel and entrepreneur in this technology sector, successfully entering the field of M&A.

Previously, Leo Keller was co-Head of A.T. Kearney Switzerland and a member of the Executive Group of Arthur D. Little (Switzerland), where he successfully acted as Strategy Consultant with a special focus on Learning Organization, Change Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. He holds a master degree in Natural Science (ETH Zürich) and in OE Organization Development (SAAP).;Blue Ocean Semantic Web Solutions GmbH is a recognized leader in Semantic Web Technology and Open Source Intelligence, acting as a consultancy firm for system integration projects.

For over 12 years, Blue Ocean SWS has successfully delivered solution on the use of internet data (“listen to the Web”) that immensely improve Business Intelligence processes, focus on unstructured web data, social media and stakeholder themes for specified data sources.

The team combines Web Technology and Consulting, with its vast experience in Marketing, Market Research, Business Intelligence and Risk and Compliance Management. Its industrial competences lie in a broad range of industry segments, including Insurance, Banking, Pharmacy, Life Science, FMCG, Retail, Travel and Leisure.

Blue Ocean SWS is a recognized expert in the area of start-up coaching, M&A, Internet Policy Consulting, Internet Crime and Compliance and Marketing Research Solutions, running M&A projects and acting as a strategic partner and business angel for various start-ups in the field of Semantic Intelligence.

Steffen Wagner

Steffen is Co-CEO and co-founder of investiere.

Since the mid Nineties, Steffen has researched and worked in the interface of financial markets and private sector development: as the founder of two successful companies (a technology venture in Berlin and a dried fruit producer in Uganda), as a management consultant for financial institutions (Accenture, b&m management and PricewaterhouseCoopers) and as a business development consultant in Africa (UNDP).

He is also the author of various studies on financial markets and small and medium-sized businesses and currently acts as the Swiss correspondent manager for the Foundation of German Business.

Steffen holds an MBA and has an academic background in Economics and Philosophy (Freie Universität Berlin and Carlos III de Madrid).

Steffen enjoys the complexity and passion in jazz and classical music, the togetherness with close friends and the solitude of ski mountaineering

Adrian Bührer

Adrian Bührer is a digital entrepreneur and consultant.

In the last 15 years he founded several startups, some of which he sold successfully to international corporations such as Axel Springer.

Among his investments are companies like students.ch, spontacts.com, ledgy.ch, neon-free.ch and many others.

The studied media scientist and business economist is also on the board of directors of the Swiss organic online market farmy.ch and the real estate market place flatfox.ch.

Through his company panaman.com he consults large corporations such as Migros, Swiss Life and others.

Ralf Haller

My more than two decades work experience has spanned various marketing, project management and business development roles, based on my training as an electrical engineer and masters in Telecommunication Systems (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).

My career started while at university, when I took an assistant role in the USA. Later, I worked as an IT project manager for large key account clients at CompuNet in Munich and also worked in Hong Kong supporting the Asian region.

This prompted my move to Silicon Valley where I lived for many years, working as a Product Manager for successful startups building some of the first data communication equipments in the market. (first gigabit ethernet router/switch)

Since 2001, I provide product marketing and business development support and have organised different high-tech business events in Switzerland.

I am the organiser of about 15 per year national and international high-tech trends, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology business events in Switzerland, among them:

+ Silicon Valley meets Switzerland, svms-event.ch

+ Startup-Nation Israel meets Switzerland, startup-nation.ch

+ Chinese-Swiss High-tech Summit, china-innovation.ch

I am also the founder and president of the first - not for profit - "High-Tech Connect suisse" association encouraging and inspiring high-tech business development.


I started teaching the course "Global Innovation Ecosystems" and others at universities and look forward doing more of these as I love sharing and discussing with smart minds of all ages and cultures.

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