Swiss Residency Week 2024


PDF: Final Program Swiss Residency Week 2024

Day 1 of the AIT Swiss Residency Week

After Kick-off at the Innovation Office and an introduction to living and working in Switzerland by PhD candidate in Law UZH Mr Godstime Nyeche the group enjoyed lunch at the Swiss TPH Cafeteria and moved to Novartis Campus in the afternoon. Warmly welcome by Akiko Keller and her team program participants did a marvelous job in presenting their businesses in a 60sec. pitch. The discussion following was lively and opening windows for exchange and possible collaboration. A tour through the top-notch Novartis Pavilion rounded the day.


Day 2 of the AIT Swiss Residency Week

The Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE/ IPI) hosted the AIT Swiss-Africa group already for the second time. Matthias Kaech (picture below), Senior Advisor at IPI, drew the group into the Intellectual Property topic with much passion, years of experience and many personal stories. The meeting on Tuesday morning finished with a lively debate on IP and the role that Universities assume in South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda and Switzerland. Group lunch followed in one of the finest restaurants for Ethiopian food in Bern, the Injera. Stephan Hofer, MLaw and Partner of GHR Law Firm, welcomed the group to the Impact Hub in Berne and set the stage for an insightful presentation of the Due Diligence topic. The group engaged in a role play at the end of the session executing the Due Diligence at the example of a fictitious company with real life challenges.


Day 3 of the AIT Swiss Residency Week

In the morning of the third day of the AIT program week, the group visited EMPA and the Urban Energy System Research Unit with Dr Binod Koirala‘s team hosting the group so graciously. Over noon, the AIT Swiss Residency group received the opportunity to visit the ETHZ Student Project House and talk to the Director of ETH4D, Dr Adina Rom. In the afternoon, the AIT Swiss Residency Group was welcomed by Prof. Simone Stürwald at FH OST. Group members were introduced to solar energy research, an innovative toilet research project and to the construction material department of Prof. Stürwald. Contributing also and with big thanks Prof. Christoph Biba and Prof. Dorothee Spuler.


Day 4 of the AIT Swiss Residency Week

Day 4 brought the AIT start-up group to the Swiss Start-up Days in Berne. Over 1‘500 participants offered an excellent platform for networking. Over noon, African and Mexican companies coming from a similar program (AIT Latin America) were pitching their business ideas in challenging 60 second slots. Investors were listening with interest, networking intensified. At the end of the day, all participating companies seemed satisfied with the many contacts made at the Swiss Start-up Days.

Day 5 of the AIT Swiss Residency Week

Day 5 of the AIT SABI Swiss Residency has been a busy day with several activities.
The biotech related start-ups visited the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) campus in Lausanne and were hosted by Prof. Florence Pojer, head of the Protein Production and Structure Core Facility and Dr Solomzi Makohliso, Essential Tech Centre at EPFL.
The edutech start-ups attended the Edufest at Le Rosey, Rolle which included keynote speaker Dr Robert Jenkins, Global Director, Education And Adolescent Development At UNICEF on The Future of Global Learning: Innovating to Transform Education for All .
Some of the start-ups also attended the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva. The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading action-oriented United Nations platform promoting AI to advance health, climate, gender, inclusive prosperity, sustainable infrastructure, and other global development priorities. AI for Good is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology – in partnership with 40 UN sister agencies and co-convened with the government of Switzerland.

Day 6 of the AIT Swiss Residency Week

Monday 3rd closed the 2024 AIT Swiss Residency Week with a visit to FHNW in Brugg. Dario Meyer (Research Associate, Institute of Management) and his colleagues hosted this morning by inviting two FHNW spin-offs for a pitch and inviting participants into an interactive session on challenges start-up companies have to address. Mcom Technologies and Sidefill shared their respective experiences of company building in Switzerland and abroad. A lively discussion followed with the companies from South Africa, Rwanda and Nigeria. In the afternoon, the 3 Edtech companies went for a meeting with FFHS Switzerland; the University of Applied Sciences for Distance Education. Prof. Egon Werlen graciously received the group giving an overview of the field of Adaptive Learning. Prof. Werlen is also an Associated Professor of the South African University of the Western Cape (UWC).


Last modified: 3. June 2024