Startup Champions Seed Night

Co-organized by EPFL (EPFL Alumni and Startup Launchpad) & Venturelab, the Startup Champions Seed Night is an annual startup conference & pitch competition bringing together the most promising entrepreneurs from EPFL and the rest of Switzerland, angel investors, mentors, industry leaders and local researchers and student.

Startup Champion Seed Night 2023 and the winner VOLTIRIS (Nicolas Weber – CEO and Co-founder)

The Startup Champions Seed Night is an annual startup presentation event bringing together the most promising entrepreneurs from EPFL and beyond, angel investors, mentors, industry leaders and scientists for an audience of 300+ people. The objective of the event is to showcase fast-growing entrepreneurial projects to the community and educate the audience about seed investment.

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The 13th edition of the Startup Champions Seed Night, held on April 25, 2024, at the Rolex Forum in Lausanne, was a notable event celebrating innovation within the Swiss startup ecosystem. The event attracted over 900 attendees, both in-person at EPFL and online, including a mix of entrepreneurs, industry leaders, researchers, investors, and EPFL community members. It featured a competitive pitch competition where 20 startups presented their innovative ideas in rapid 90-second pitches. After four rounds of intense competition, the finalists emerged: Yohan Hadji (R2Home), Sébastien Le Fouest (PitchMe), Andrada Muntean (NovoViz), and Maël Fabien (

Key insights were shared by notable speakers including Ata Tuna Ciftlik and Diego Gabriel Dupouy, co-founders of Lunaphore, who discussed their entrepreneurial journey. A panel discussion featuring industry experts such as Nicolas Weber and Gaëtan Marti provided valuable perspectives on entrepreneurship.

The event concluded with and R2Home being announced as joint winners, highlighting the event’s success in fostering a vibrant atmosphere for showcasing and supporting innovative startups.

and previous editions…

On April 27th, 2023, more than 500 people attended the Startup Champions Seed Night at EPFL’s Rolex Learning Center Forum and online.

From cleantech to medtech, fintech, ICT or watchmaking, the audience discovered the best of the early stage startups from EPFL and beyond. After a thrilling competition during which the 20 startups pitching had only 90 seconds to present their technology, Voltiris won the contest!

The Isabelle Musy prize supporting women entrepreneurs in the field of science and technology was awarded jointly to Angela Madurga Alonso and Shanaz Diessler. And the keynote was given by EPFL alumnus Michael Friedrich, CEO of Distalmotion.

Watch the entire event here.

The 2022 Startup Champions Seed Night took place on 5 May 2022 at the Forum Rolex Learning Center. Bloom Biorenewables won the event in front of an audience of over 500 people on site and online. The startups attending: autonomyo, Bearmind, Bloom Biorenewables, CodeDepot, Composite Recycling, DAAV, Green Future Logistics, KimboCare, MATIS, Mirrakoi, Neurosoft Bioelectronics, Oniri, PEROVSKIA SOLAR AG, Qaptis, RAAAM Memory Technologies, Resilio, SwissInspect, TWIICE, Virtuosis.

Our keynote speakers were Raquel Urtasun, founder and CEO of Waabi and Jurgi Camblong, co-founder and CEO of SOPHiA GENETICS

You can watch the 2022 edition here.

The 10th edition of the Startup Champions Seed Night took place on 29 April 2021 online!
wo keynotes joined the evening: Kamila Markram, Co-founder & CEO of Frontiers as well as Alexandre Gonthier, Founder & CEO of Trustly and 20 startups could pitch online!

You can watch the 2021 edition here.

On 11 April 2019, you were invited to the new Startup Champions Seed Night @EPFL at Forum Rolex to listen and exchange with Madiha Derouazi, Founder & CEO of Amal Therapeutics and Steve Anavi, Cofounder et President of Qonto, as well as 20 world-class startups selected for a unique pitch competition, including the 10 Venture Leaders Life Sciences and the next generation of EPFL entrepreneurs. 

On Nov 13, 2018, we invited you to the Fall 2018 edition of Startup Champions @ EPFL at Forum Rolex at 5pm to listen to and discuss with

  • Felix Mayer, co-founder of Zurich-based Sensirion and
  • Gabriel Clerc, former head of EPFL Technology Transfer Office. 

On 25 October 2017, we invited you to the Fall 2017 edition of Startup Champions @EPFL at Forum Rolex at 17h30 to listen to and discuss with Didier Guzzoni, former chief scientist of Siri (Apple) and Szymon Kostrzewski, founder of KB Medical (Globus Medical). Furthermore we will present you at noon the new initiatives for bachelor and master students (xgrant, enable) with Yannick Bloem (Infinight, Bachelor EPFL) and Aurélien Soccard (Apety, Master EPFL).

On 26 April 2017, more than 400 people gathered for the Spring 2017 edition of the Startup Champions @EPFL at the Forum Rolex to listen to and discuss with Tej Tadi, founder & CEO of Mindmaze.We had also invited the young entrepreneurs of VentureLeaders China & LifeSciences.

On November 17, at 5pm, you were invited to the Fall 2016 edition of Startup Champions @ EPFL at the Forum Rolex to listen and discuss with

  • George Koukis, the founder and former CEO of Temenos.

You may not know Temenos, so please visit Wikipedia. George Koukis is an exceptional personality, who spent more than 40 years in the software industry. George Koukis is a staunch proponent of Ethical Leadership and Sustainable Management. He is known for funding charity programs for hospitals and is also passionate about opera.

In addition, we invited three young entrepreneurs:

  • Sebastien Thevenaz, Co-Founder and CTO of InvestGlass;
  • Stijn Pieper, Co-Founder and CTO of Advanon;
  • Francois Briod, Co-Founder and CEO of Monito.

On 21st April 2016, you were invited to to listen and discuss with

  • Dennis Just, co-founder & CEO of Knip and
  • Christophe Maire co-founder & CEO of Atlantic Labs,

as well as the 20 laureates of the VentureLeaders 2016 Tech New York and Life Sciences Boston.

On 24 February 2016, we invited in the Forum Rolex

  • Michael Baum, Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, founder & CEO of, founder of Splunk (IPO), founder of 5 other startups (5 exits). The program was cancelled and will be hopefully orgainzed again in the near future.

On 25 November 2015, in the EPFL Rolex Learning Center, the Fall 2015 Start-up Champions invited you to listen to:

  • Marcel Salathe (EPFL professor and entrepreneur),
  • Ariel Luedi (busines angel and former CEO of Hybris – sold to SAP),
  • David Brown (founder of & angel investor – Jilion, lemoptix) replacing Pierre Chappaz (serial entrepreneur – Teads, Kelkoo sold to Yahoo).

On April 22, at the EPFL Rolex Learning Center, the Spring 2015 Start-up Champions invites you to listen to:

  • Jurgi Camblong (co-founder and CEO of Sophia Genetics) and
  • Nicolas Abelé (co-founder and CTO of Lemoptix – acquired by Intel), as well as the 20 winners of the VentureLeaders 2015.

On 6 November 2014 the Fall 2014 venture ideas invites:

  • Christoph Strecha (Founder & CEO of Pix4D),
  • Jean-Christophe Zufferey (Co-founder & CEO of Sensefly) and
  • Henri Seydoux (Founder & CEO of Parrot). Watch again the videos of the speakers.

On April 16, the Spring 2014 ventureideas invited the following guest speakers:

  • Mehdi Aminian, serial entrepeneur, co-foudner of Jilion.
  • Stephan Würmlin, co-founder of LiberoVision
  • Alain Nicod, managing partner of Venture Incubator

Valérie Peyre and Pierre Maget, cofounders of Tekoe shared their experience on 12 November 12 in the RLC forum from 6pm to 7pm

The movie Startup Kids was screened at 7pm

On 20 September our guest speaker was Alexandre Gonthier, serial entrepeneur in the USA and EPFL alumni.

The Spring 2013 venture ideas conference took place on April 30th, from 1:30pm at the Forum – Rolex Learning Center EPFL with

  • Mathieu Fivaz (co-founder Urturn/Webdocs)
  • Johannes Reck (co-founder getYourGuide)
  • the 20 winners of ventureleaders
  • the laureate of the Helbling Innogrant 2013.

The Fall 2012 venture ideas took place on November 13th 2012 at the Forum – Rolex Learning Center at EPFL from noon to 1:30pm with

  • Edouard Bugnion (founder of VMWare and Nuova),
  • Sacha Labourey (founder CloudBees, and before at Jboss)

The 15th edition of venture ideas was divided in 3 parts:
– on May 8th, 2012 in CM 1 121 at 10am, a presentation by Craig Barratt – President Atheros, sold to Qualcomm for $3B. (Event was cancelled)

On May 15, 2012 in the forum of RLC at 2pm with

  • Amin Shokrollahi (Kandou),
  • Pascal Meyer (QoQa) and
  • Arnaud Bertrand (Housetrip)

as well as the laureates of Venture Leaders 2012 and of the Helbling Innogrant Award. Followed at 6pm with Something Ventured.

The Fall 2011 venture ideas took place on November 4th 2011 in the Forum of Rolex Learning Center from 1:30pm to 4pm with

  • Franck Riboud (CEO of Danone),
  • Martin Odersky (chairman and co-founder of typeSafe/Scala), and
  • Kamel Besseghir (CEO of Debiopharm) as guest speakers.

The Spring 2011 venture ideas took place on April, 21 2011 in the Forum of the Rolex Learning Center from 1:15pm to 4:30pm with

  • Elmar Mock (co-inventor of the Swatch and founder of Créaholic),
  • Nader Donzel (founder of Biocartis),
  • Edouard Lambelet (founder of

and the swissnational start-up team.

Fall 2010, with

VentureIdeas @EPFL – November 4th, 2009 with

  • Yahoo
  • Doodle

VentureIdeas @ EPFL – May 15, 2009: Web 2.1.2

  • Neil Rimer (Index Ventures),
  • Poken,
  • Minsh,
  • Basisnote

VentureIdeas @ EPFL – December 5, 2008:

  • Daniel Rossellat – Founder and Président of Paleo.