100 young entrepreneurs met up on 18 May 2016 to network with 13 organizations belonging to the Swiss startup ecosystem. The event, which usually takes place at “Dozentenfoyer”, the faculty restaurant of ETH Zurich, is one of the highlights of the CTI Business Concept Startup Courses. For a period of 12 weeks, aspiring startup founders hone their business ideas, present them as part of a STARTUP CAMPUS Connect poster exhibition, and develop their networks in the Swiss startup ecosystem.
The evening began with a welcome speech by Jacques Hefty, Co-Director of STARTUP CAMPUS. He greeted participants and introduced the special guest of the evening, Philip Kornmann, CFO of Advanon. Philip gave a powerful keynote speech which was received with great interest by the audience. The Zurich fintech startup, which manages to grow by 44% every month, has a platform for young entrepreneurs and SMEs that matches them with investors willing to pre-finance their invoices in a straightforward manner. The online platform enables them to improve their liquidity. With its service, Advanon has tapped a business segment that has so far been reserved for banks and invoice factoring companies. Since banks are usually not prepared to fund young enterprises and factoring companies charge hidden fees, Advanon may soon revolutionize the loan business. Philip advises young startups to focus first and foremost on their customers, to be agile and react quickly, and to be persistent. Advanon, for instance, took four months to make its first trade.
After Philip Kornmann’s keynote speech, the invited organizations introduced themselves. Each organization gave a short pitch presenting its products and services. Of particular interest and a great opportunity for young startup founders was the presence of four investor groups. Like for a silent rave, everything that was said was broadcast via headphones. Participants could listen to the speakers even while enjoying the spectacular view from the sunny terrace overlooking the old city center, and those who preferred to talk among themselves did not disturb anyone.