4. Silicon Valley
Meets Switzerland

We believe you can learn from every great high-tech nation.

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Inspiring high-tech ideas through international collaboration

The Silicon Valley meets Switzerland event masterfully combines the talent and expertise of entrepreneurs and business managers from Silicon Valley and Switzerland.

Leading Silicon Valley startups present latest IT trends and its impact on businesses and consumers. From Switzerland the most promising IT startups and internationally successful IT companies and entrepreneurs will be present.

In panel discussions and live interviews chaIlenges in IT innovation, investments and international expansion will be addressed.

The event is an ideal platform to share ideas and build strategic alliances and collaboration between individuals and organisations alike.

Get amazed and engaged!

For more information and interest in becoming a partner/supporter/sponsor for this event,
please contact us at: info@techmarketing.ch

March 21, 2018

Opens: 12:30 Begins: 13:00

University of Zürich


This event is organized by

Program (Preliminary)

Welcome Notes

E-Mobility, self-driving cars

Moderator: Siddhartha Arora

The heart of the E-Mobility, self-driving cars development seems to be in Silicon Valley now: as of November 16, 2017 the California state has issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits to nearly 50 companies many of them traditional car manufacturers (VW, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, Ford, Honda…) and suppliers, the Internet powerhouses Google, Apple, Uber etc. plus many start-ups.

E-Mobility, self-driving cars - Program Details

Interactive "Business Model Innovation" Workshop

Moderator: Dr. Alexander Osterwalder, Co-Founder, Strategyzer

In an interactive workshop we will learn why business models are so essential today and how one can test its own business to apply them. In fact people say that the battle is not about latest technologies but about using the right data-centric business models.

Interactive "Business Model Innovation" Workshop - Program Details

Networking break & High-Tech Exhibition



We will explain and live demonstrate the e-sport phenomena, showcase the current and future trends and the advertisement markets for e-sports.
There are ambitions to have a mega-sport event also in Switzerland soon and fill in Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva a whole sports arena with tens of thousands of e-sport enthusiasts.

E-Sports - Program Details

Networking break & High-Tech Exhibition


Moderator: Prof. Dr. Ernst Hafen, ETH Zürich, MIDATA

We focus on the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in e-healthcare by analysing the huge amount of data in medical applications. The idea is not so much to replace the doctor but to enhance the doctor’s medical expertise.
For patients that means that they have access to not just one doctor but to the brainpower of hundreds of thousands.
Also it will be available to just about anybody in the most remote areas as well.

E-Healthcare - Program Details

Networking break & High-Tech Exhibition

Exclusiv VIP, Speaker and Sponsor Apéro


Siddhartha Arora

Siddhartha Arora is presently working at the IBM Innovation Center in Zurich.

Siddhartha graduated from ETH Zurich’s Management, Economics and Technology MAS program where his final assignment was focused on understanding the commercial drone industry.

Siddhartha has an MSc in Information Security from Royal Holloway, University of London, as well as degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Massachusetts.

Heinrich Zetlmayer

Heinrich Zetlmayer is an active investor and board member of Lykke Corp., the global trading platform based on blockchain technology.

Besides Lykke, he is engaged in several growth companies in Fintech, Crowdtasking and other digital domains on board and operational level and as an investor.

He has acted as Co-Managing Director of Turtle Entertainment, the largest esports company globally and is also on its supervisory board.

He is also a partner of mas and focuses on the setup and execution of growth and performance programmes where boards or owners wish to accelerate the development of their company.

Formerly he was a member of IBM’s Executive Board in Switzerland and Vice President and Country Leader of IBM Global Business Services.

At IBM he held several senior positions within IBM Global Business Services, including leading IBM’s Supply Chain and Operations Services in EMEA.

Financial Services Industry was part of his responsibilities.

Prior to joining IBM, Heinrich was with the international management consultant Arthur D. Little for seven years as Global Head of Operations Management Practice and a member of its Global Management Committee.

He helped several major global and national companies in the US and Europe on revenue, cost and capital efficiency increases for competitive leadership and in turnaround situations.

He holds a Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing) in Industrial Engineering and a Diploma of Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University in Munich and has lived in several European countries and in the US.

Heinrich is a Swiss and German citizen, born in Munich, and speaks German, English, Italian, Norwegian and French.

Franz Grüter

Franz Grüter war von 2008 bis 2015 gleichzeitig CEO und Verwaltungsratspräsident der green.ch Gruppe.

Per 1. Januar 2016 übergab er sein Amt als Geschäftsführer an einen Nachfolger, um mehr Zeit für sein Nationalratsmandat zu gewinnen.

Er verantwortet aber weiterhin als Verwaltungsratspräsident die strategische Ausrichtung des Providers und Rechenzentrumsanbieters.

Jane Royston

Jane graduated in Pure Mathematics from the London School of Economics. She then worked in IT and became the head of IT for DuPont France.

Jane left DuPont to create her own company, NatSoft, at the age of 27.

NatSoft grew to 120 people, and was sold ten years later to the NASDAQ quoted company, Cambridge Technology Partners.

After serving as VP for Southern Europe for CTP, she then became the Branco Weiss chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the EPFL, the first professor of entrepreneurship & innovation in Switzerland, and the first named chair at the EPFL.

Today Jane serves on the board of a number of high-tech companies and charitable foundations, and is a member of the Swiss Science Council.

Philipp Löpfe

Philipp Löpfe was named Swiss Economic Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2015.

He works for the online news portal «Watson». He has a Masters degree in Arts (University of Zürich) and an MBA (Universitiy of St. Gallen).

In his long career Mr. Löpfe was editor-in-chief of «Tages-Anzeiger» and «SonntagsBlick».

He has written several books, the most recent one, together with Oliver Fiecheter, is called «Aufstieg der digitalen Stammesgesellschaft» (Ascent of the digital tribal society).

Philipp Löpfe is married and lives in Zürich.


We've set out to build a completely new user experience in the area of news and entertainment on mobile devices.

Our first focus will be Switzerland, especially the German speaking part.

Shomit Ghose

Shomit’s data-centric vision of the future has helped lead ONSET’s investments in software.

Prior to entering venture capital, he was a startup software entrepreneur with a career of operating excellence spanning 19 years.

Shomit’s startup roles included three highly successful IPOs as SVP of Operations at Tumbleweed Communications; VP of Worldwide Services at BroadVision; and software engineer at Sun Microsystems.

He was also CEO and board member of ONSET portfolio company, Truviso, for two years leading to its acquisition by Cisco Systems.

At ONSET since 2001, Shomit has represented ONSET on the boards of Adara, HyperGrid, Imanis Data, Pancetera (acquired by Quantum), Polymorph, Truviso, Vidder and Vindicia (acquired by Amdocs.) In his private life he has been committed to coaching girls’ sports for many years in softball, high-level club soccer, and club and high school varsity and junior varsity lacrosse.

At the age of 15, Shomit was awarded two academic scholarships to the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with a degree in Computer Science.

He serves on the advisory boards of UC Berkeley College of Engineering’s Sutardja Center, Innovation Center Denmark’s ScaleIT program, and the Lundbeck Foundation Clinical Research Fellowship Program.

Nick Triantos

Nick Triantos is a Venture Partner at Ignition Partners.

He has previously worked in venture capital at numerous firms, as well as an entrepreneur (x2) and startup guy (x6).

Nick was one of the first software engineers at NVIDIA, as the guy who created their OpenGL software.

He became chief software architect there, and led teams working on 3D software, embedded software, Linux drivers, and compilers and tools for programming GPUs.

Most recently, Nick was a managing director in the ventures team at SRI International, a world-class research firm where inventions ranging from the computer mouse and the ARPANET to Siri were birthed.

Nick has a BS in Computer Science from SUNY Buffalo, and MBA degrees from Columbia University and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

Ignition Partners

Ignition is a venture capital firm dedicated to helping the best entrepreneurs seize opportunity. With over $2B under management, Ignition invests in emerging and future leaders in enterprise software.

Ignition brings together an unparalleled combination of domain focus, technical expertise, and global operational experience. Ignition's partners are proven business leaders who have built some of the world's most successful businesses of the last two decades, including Microsoft Windows and Office, McCaw Cellular Communications, AT&T Wireless and Starbucks.

Ignition helps entrepreneurs by turning their early idea into a business, to hiring the right team, providing the right industry and functional insight and connections, to growing the business strategically, globally, financially, to realizing the best ultimate outcome, Ignition is ready to go the distance.

Vinzenz Kögler

I am an Austrian citizen, born April 2nd 1986 in Bregenz, Austria. In 2005 I moved to Zurich to study at ETH Zurich, and afterwards stayed for love – and married in July 2017.

From ETH Zurich I have acquired a BSc in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology as well as a MSc in Biomedical Engineering. For my Master theses I attended Harvard University as Student Researcher.

Having been passionate about videogame’s competitive nature, i.e. e-Sports, ever since being a kid, I was not actively involved in the Swiss scene until 2011, which was when I started organizing viewing parties for major international e-Sports Tournaments.

From there I came around the Swiss Scene very quickly. I joined the Swiss e-Sports Federation in 2012, became President in 2013 and remained in this position ever since.

Having built a great international network as President of the SeSF, I was offered the privilege to become a member of the Board of the International e-Sports Federation in December 2016.

Nicolas Pidancet

After a Bachelor Degree in Socioeconomics, Nicolas Pidancet started off as a freelance event organiser for sports and cultural events.

In 2014, hyped by the fast development of e-sports in the rest of the world, he started organising small e-sports competitions in Geneva and cofounded the first cantonal federation, Geneva E-Sport. After two years of discussion, Geneva E-Sport got recognised by the authorities and since then, they have been working closely together to develop a healthy amateur practice of e-sports.

In 2016 and 2017, Nicolas presided over a collective of associations that created the biggest video game fair in French speaking Switzerland: the Geneva Gaming Convention. Taking place at Palexpo, it has reached over 17'000 visitors in two years (check the aftermovie).

Today, he's leading the Swiss e-Sports Federation's Commission for the Recognition of e-sports in Switzerland, through the application to become a member of Swiss Olympics.

Prof. Dr. Anton Gunzinger

Prof. Dr. Anton Gunzinger astonished the international IT world of the 90s with his revolutionary supercomputer.

He has been awarded a host of different honours and was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 top leaders of the twenty-first century.

In 1993, Anton Gunzinger founded the company Supercomputing Systems AG, aimed at developing and marketing supercomputers.

Today, with around 90 staff members, the enterprise develops bespoke products in various fields of application for international clients.

Anton Gunzinger remains a source of inspiration for the enterprise.

He encourages, stimulates and sees through development processes.

As an out-of-the-box thinker he often clears the way for innovative projects, being able to point out new development potential and enthuse clients.

He teaches computer architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich.

Chris Heiser

Chris Heiser is the co-founder and CEO of Renovo, leading the company’s development of software platforms to accelerate the innovation and adoption of automated mobility on-demand (AMoD) systems.

In addition to serving as a founding advisor of San Francisco’s Self Racing Cars Series, Chris is a die-hard gearhead with a passion for motorsports, engineering and technology.

He was previously the Director of Product Management at LightSurf—pioneer of the camera phone—before the company was acquired by Verisign.

Heiser graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Alexander Osterwalder

Alex is entrepreneur, speaker and business model innovator. He is co-founder of Strategyzer, a SaaS company that helps organizations develop new growth engines, better value propositions and powerful business models via online applications and facilitated online courses.

In 2015 Alex won the strategy award by Thinkers50, called the “Oscars of Management Thinking” by the FT, and ranks #15 among the leading business thinkers of the world. In 2013 he won the inaugural Innovation Luminary Award by the European Union.

Alex is lead author of Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design, which sold over a million copies in 37 languages. USA Today named Business Model Generation among the 12 best business books of all times. The German edition was named Management Book of the Year 2011. Fast Company Magazine named it one of the Best Books for Business Owners in 2010.

He crafted the first book with his long-time co-author and former PhD supervisor Professor Yves Pigneur and 470 collaborators from 45 countries. It was initially self-published in 2009 with an innovative crowd-funded business model.

Alex invented the Business Model Canvas, a strategic management tool to visualize, challenge and (re-) invent business models. Leading organizations and start-ups around the world use it. He is a frequent keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies and has held guest lectures in top universities around the world, including Wharton, Stanford, Berkeley, IESE, MIT, KAUST and IMD.

Previous start-ups include netfinance.ch and Arvetica. Alexander holds a PhD from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland, and he is a founding member of The Constellation, a global not-for-profit organization aiming to make HIV/AIDS and Malaria history.

Philip van Hövell

Academic Background

  • qualified actuary (SAV) (statistics), ETH Zurich
  • MSc in mathematical finance, University of Konstanz

Professional background

Philip is a Senior Manager in the Risk & Modelling team and joined PwC Switzerland in April 2011. In his first years at PwC, Philip gained practical experience on the use & implementation of mathematical models in the insurance and banking industry. This allowed him to link academic precision with business usage and limited budget. For some time now, Philip is managing teams on large scale quant projects running business-as-usual.

Since >2 years now, Philip has developed a bio-statistical team at PwC and manages quant projects within the Pharma & Life Science industry. Primarily focusing on multiple sclerosis, Philip designed and managed the project on building an innovative tool to predict therapies for individual patients (PHREND). As part of this on-going collaboration, Philip developed an innovative data-driven business model to monetize the value created.

Project experience / Relevant work experience

  • 7+ years of experience for advanced analytics
  • Member of Risk & Modeling Team (as part of Data & Analytics)
  • allrounder" -> academic experience within a large set of methods
  • Experience (since 2011): Qualified Actuary -> actuarial modeling experience -> managed model validations within large reinsurers/insurers/banks
  • Experience (since 2+ years): Digitization of neurology physicians - designing a tool & business model that supports doctors in therapy decision making for MS patients (personalised medicine) - managing project and all stakeholders -> long term cooperation
  • lead for a number of RWE related projects within pharma for MS

    Leading a team of (bio)-statisticians

Prof. Dr. Ernst Hafen

Ernst Hafen obtained his PhD from the Biocenter at the University of Basel in 1983. From 1984 to 1986 he worked at the University of California in Berkeley as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the University of Zurich as an assistant professor in 1987. He was promoted to full professor in 1997. From 2005 to 2006 he served as president of ETH Zurich. Since 2005 he holds a professorship at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zurich.

Ernst Hafen has made several seminal contributions to the field of developmental biology and cell biology including the characterization of genes and the corresponding signaling pathways involved in cell fate specification and in the control of cell and body size. He has received several prizes and has served on the Editorial Boards of various journals and scientific committees. He is a co-founder of evalueSCIENCE, a privately held consulting company that offers reviews and second opinions on R&D projects by a standardized peer review process to life science companies, academic institutions and investors.

In 2008 he initiated the multidisciplinary systems biology project WingX - The Systems Biology of the Drosophila Wing. This project is funded by the Systems Biology Initiative SystemsX.ch. Researcher from biology, physics, engineering and computer science form ETH, EPFL, and the Universities of Zürich, Basel and Lausanne collaborate towards a predictive computer model of the development of the Drosophila wing, an simple and well understood structure.

As a trained geneticist he has a strong interest in human genetics and personalized medicine. He posits that an individual’s control over his or her personal health data will be a key asset for better and more effective health care. In 2012 he acted as a founding member of the Association Data and Health (DatenundGesundheit.ch) whose aim it is to discuss legal, ethical and societal issues about health data ownership and to find commercial models permitting owners not third parties to benefit from their personal data assets.

Ernst Hafen serves as the president of the Biotechnopark Zürich-Schlieren. He seeks and supports more efficient ways of translating scientific discoveries into products. In 2009 he initiated together with colleagues from the Leiden Medical Center and Oxford University the EU Regions of Knowledge Project Health Technology and Economic Success (HealthTIES). The aim of this project is to analyze and coordinate the innovation cycle from basic scientific discovery in biomedical research to products on the market via the technology transfer and industry partnering process. He participated in developing novel assessment instruments to measure productivity and efficiency of the different regions in Reasearch, Tochnology Transfer and Industry Output.

Terrence Schweizer

Terrence graduated in electrical engineering from ETH Zürich. After dismissing his childhood dream of being an astronaut, Terrence started his career building data networks.

Having earned the highest technical certification from Cisco, Terrence helped building and migrating worldwide networks, including the merger between Schweizerische Bankgesellschaft (SBG) and Schweizerischer Bankverein (SBV).

Later, Terrence joined a startup company based in San Francisco and Los Angeles developing software for network acceleration in low bandwidth, high delay networks. In his role he consulted providers like Sprint, British Telecom, China Mobile and of course Swisscom.

After enriching his background with a Masters in business engineering from HSG, Terrence today works as Chief Digital Officer for Bison IT Services, one of the biggest national system integrators. He is responsible for all transformative initiatives and is also consulting customers in the field of digital transformation.

Philipp Tholen

Philipp has a bachelor degree in mechanical and process engineering and a master’s degree in Management, Technology and Economics, both from ETH Zurich.

He started his career in the marketing department of Porsche AG in Stuttgart. Thereafter, he joined an international corporation active the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

After two years, Philipp took over responsibility of their newly created medical division. In 2011, Philipp became managing director of the company’s business in South Africa.

After three years in Johannesburg, Philipp joined the Ava team. He is currently responsible for product management and operations.

Jens Hilgers

Jens is a Founding Partner of BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, the worlds first and largest dedicated esports investment fund. He is also Co-founder and Chairman of Esports team G2 Esports as well as Co-Founder and CEO of the leading big data company in Esports DOJO Madness.

Widely considered one of the Godfathers of esports Jens launched his first esports online services in 1997 and founded ESL in 2000. As CEO for ten years, Jens grew ESL into the world's most prestigious esports brand and, along with it, paved the way for esports to go mainstream. In 2015, international entertainment company, MTG, acquired a majority stake in ESL, marking the first acquisition of an esports company by a traditional media organization. Since 2013, Jens has actively invested in startups with a visible focus on esports.

Ralf Haller

Ralf Haller's 20 year IT career has spanned various marketing and business development roles, based on his training as an electrical engineer and masters in Telecommunication Systems (Karlsruhe Technology Institute).

His career started while at university, when he took an assistant role in the USA. Later, he excelled 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 his move to Silicon Valley where he lived for many years, working as a Product Manager for successful startups building datacommunication equipment.

Since 2001, Ralf provides product marketing support and has organised specialist IT events in Switzerland that explore current IT trends and introduce the Swiss market to new and pioneering technologies from Silicon Valley.

Owing to his strong links with Silicon Valley, the Swiss cantons rely on him as a valued advisor for fresh and exciting startup activities emerging from there.

Ralf is also the organizer of international high-tech, innovation, entrepreneurship and business events in Switzerland, among them:

He is also founder of the first High-Tech Connect Suisse association encouraging high-tech business development.

Ralf teaches at the Swiss-American university in Lugano the course Global Innovation Ecosystems.

In his free time he loves spending high-quality time with his family, and doing fitness sports and intelligence training to keep fit physically and mentally. He is eager and open to always try out new things.