On center-stage: Some inspiring women entrepreneurs from Switzerland
Switzerland is one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, and has many credits added to its name. Firstly, it ranks third in the OECD in terms of GDP per capita; then, it is consistently ranked among the best countries in terms of ‘quality of life’. Switzerland prominently promotes equality at home and in the workplace, and has been ranked the best country for women’s rights, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Over the past few decades, women have joined the Swiss workforce in large numbers. Swiss women are playing a key role in their country’s development journey. Women leaders and entrepreneurs in Switzerland are pulling out all stops – to serve their nation by growing their businesses. Additionally, gender diversity on Swiss boards has increased by 55% in the last decade. Switzerland climbed back into the ‘top ten’ countries in the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, and what stood out was the fact that it showed the narrowest gender gap score in its history.
Presenting some inspiring women entrepreneurs from Switzerland.
> Selina Capol, Martina Hotz & Aleksandra Lakusheva, Co-founders of 5 am Games GmbH
Selina Capol, Martina Hotz & Aleksandra Lakusheva, Co-founders of 5 am Games GmbH, which was founded in 2018 aiming to create unique games with expressive visuals, innovative mechanics and relatable stories. The game-makers’ first product, represented a multilinear coming-of-age story told through pen pal letters, which encouraged players to (re)discover fun with words, which is – a written adventure – www.letters-game.com.
> Olga Dubey, Founder & CEO, AgroSustain SA
Venture Leader China Olga Dubey founded AgroSustain, a foodtech startup that develops a biological fungicide that protects crops and extends their freshness by more than 20 days, thereby reducing food waste and greenhouse gases while promoting an environment-friendly supply chain.
She feels that the entrepreneurial environment in Switzerland is extremely open and friendly. This entrepreneur’s vision led her to be included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Europe.
> Madiha Derouazi, CEO & Founder, Amal Therapeutics SA
Madiha Derouazi, CEO & Founder, Amal Therapeutics SA is the developer of a colorectal-cancer vaccine. About the vaccines, what is unique is that they are designed to carry out a crucial function – they stimulate the body’s own immune system to kill cancerous cells, and is a result from over 13 years of research by Derouazi.
> Lea von Bidder, COO & Co-founder, Ava AG
Ava AG is a Zurich, San Francisco and Belgrade-based company, co-founded by Lea von Bidder, which developed a wristband to accurately track and recognize fertile days. It raised $30 million in 2018. Von Bidder, leads Ava’s U.S. business too.
> Anne Mellano, Co-founder of Bestmile SA
Anne Mellano, co-founded Bestmile SA, which is a maker of software that is designed to manage fleets of vehicles driven by machines or humans. Bestmile ensures that it can deliver an optimal vehicle-agnostic transportation solution to every logistics problem, be it a taxicab company or a delivery service; thus, the firm provides a glimpse into the future of traffic itself. It won acceptance for driverless buses among the Swiss public through its 2016 pilot with the country’s biggest bus company.
> Cristina Rossi, CEO & Co-founder of b-rayZ
The imaging specialist is working with radiologists at the University Hospital of Zurich to develop artificial intelligence (AI) to make it easier and cheaper to detect abnormalities in breast tissue. b-rayZ’s AI actually revolutionizes radiological diagnostics supporting millions of women worldwide. Cristina Rossi, CEO & Co-founder of b-rayZ feels that AI technology helps to significantly improve the quality of breast cancer diagnostics by analyzing mammographies in real-time.