Interview with Gregory Inauen

Personal topics

1. Please share with us shortly your background.

I found my way into the startup scene through the ETH Entrepreneur Club, where I was a Member of the Board and President during my studies at ETH Zürich. Working for the ETH EC has exposed me to various important aspects of entrepreneurship, as well as the importance of tech transfer from academia to business. It also gave me the opportunity to work with many inspiring founders and peers.

I have an academic background in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from ETH Zürich.

Most recently, I co-founded the EuroTube Foundation, a research organization for high-speed vacuum transport where I lead the operations. EuroTube was founded at ETH Zürich and EPFL with the aim to accelerate the development of new modes of sustainable transport with a 3 km long test track and research center in Switzerland.

2. What is your biggest achievements from your perspective in your career by now?

So far the biggest challenge for me was when I had to manage and balance my full-time job, studies, and private life at once. Willing to deliver the best results on each level under a limited time schedule has taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses. Although it was a very intense phase, that I would not approach differently, I personally grew enormously from it and am very thankful for the experience.

3. By now, what is your involvement in the startup scene? (local or international)

I still support the ETH Entrepreneur Club and its members as advisor and sparring partner. I also support the management of Swiss Startup Invest in organizing the Startup Days. In the last years, I have increasingly been collaborating with investors from Switzerland, Germany, and the USA. Furthermore, I have also worked directly with various founders for strategic decisions, some of which I support as an advisor for a longer period of time. I’m very glad to now also support the SSA to unleash the full potential of the Swiss startup ecosystem.

You and SSA

4. Describe the current Swiss startup scene in 3 words.

Supportive, conscientious, just-getting-started. 

5. What is your motivation for supporting the SSA?

Switzerland has all it takes to create and host the world’s most innovative and successful companies that will positively shape our future. Entrepreneurship is at the core of the country’s prosperity for the past 200 years. To ensure Switzerland’s success and independence on a national level for the future, startups and entrepreneurship play a crucial role.

6. In which areas can you best support the SSA? What are your main skills that you bring to the table?

I like to think big and I am not afraid to criticize the status quo. I know what it takes to build technology companies in the software, hardware, and infrastructure space, as well as how to translate research into viable businesses. Due to my experience with the startup scenes in the US and Germany, I was able to gain an international perspective of how startups are built and startup ecosystems are working.

7. Your vision for the SSA in 5 years?

The SSA has 3’000 members that benefit directly from the support of the SSA.

Swiss startup scene and SSA-future outlook

8. How do you see the development of the local scene in 5 years?

Switzerland has enormously valuable know-how in fundamental research, in which billions are invested annually. The country must double down on leveraging those cutting-edge insights and give top researchers and engineers the opportunity to build the best companies in the world. We also need to ensure that founders and companies can recruit and curate the best talent from Switzerland and around the world.

9. What could the SSA bring that would allow Switzerland to be the Nr. 1 European Startup Hub?

Why not the Nr. 1 in the World? Seriously, during the current situation with the pandemic, Switzerland has the chance to become one of the new safe havens for startups and investors. Either way, Switzerland can position itself much better by leveraging its strengths. The quality of life, as well as political and social stability in Switzerland can provide a perfect breeding ground for top academic and entrepreneurial know-how from national and international talent. The SSA can help realize this potential by creating a start-up-friendly environment where talent, money, know-how, and partnerships can be efficiently combined.

10. Describe one of the next steps of the SSA.

Identifying the most pressing pain points of Swiss startups. Prioritizing those problems.

Finding solutions with our members, partners and politicians.

Execute. 

Repeat.

11. What is your advice for the execution team?

Work closely with all existing support organizations and startups in the ecosystem and listen to what they have to say. Remain skeptical and focus on the things that matter.


AUTHOR

Ioana Voicu Startup SSA

IOANA VOICU


CONTRIBUTOR

Max Bieri Startup SSA

MAX BIERI

Categories