The start-ups of the EPF Lausanne have already raised CHF 397 million and the counters of the year 2016 are still running. This is 50% better than in 2014 when they had raked 242 million, according to an EPFL statement.
The funds were raised by spin-offs created as a result of technology developed in an EPFL lab or created by a campus researcher, as well as companies located within EPFL’s Innovation Park, a tech community on the EPFL campus that hosts over 120 start-ups and 23 large companies including Intel, Logitech and Siemens.
EPFL spin-off Mindmaze raised 100 million francs; it specializes in rehabilitation for brain injury survivors through virtual reality. AC Immune, a start-up that has developed a vaccine for Alzheimer’s, was the second biggest fundraiser, attracting 42.7 million francs.
The institute, added in the note, sees the clear sign of the solid health of EPFL’s business ecosystem.
“While total funds didn’t surpass 50 million francs before 2010, they have regularly exceeded 100 million francs ever since,” said Hervé Lebret, head of a fund that helps EPFL companies get off the ground.
Biotech (CHF 121.05 million), IT (62.4) and medtech (49.7) are the three domains that have reaped the most part in 2016. But 163.85 million francs have also been raised in other areas. "The EPFL's advantage for the future is to be well diversified," stresses Herve Lebret, the manager of the Innogrants.
However, the dynamism of the EPFL and its startups is not based solely on financial operations: the 37 million francs which supplement the sums already mentioned to arrive at the 397 million of the provisional total have been lifted by 16 different startups, on the occasion of first or second rounds of fundraising.
In the past three years half of funded startups found their funding in Switzerland, a quarter in Europe and the rest from the US and Asia. Established in its current form in 1968, EPFL is the sister school to Switzerland’s other technology institute, ETH Zurich.
Both are regarded as among the leading technology universities in the world. Earlier this year EPFL was declared the fourth most innovative university in Europe in a global ranking by Reuters, with ETH Zurich coming in at number ten.
In August Switzerland was once again declared the most innovative country in the world in a ranking backed by UN agency the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
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