Paul’s report from the Venture Leaders 2009 jury:
Last year, I had the privilege of being one of Switzerland’s twenty Venture Leaders. Here’s what I had to say at the end of the program: “I was worried that we would waste time on chitchatting and sipping cocktails. As it turned out, «venture leaders» is an intense business-training program that will help me much better face various challenges that still lie ahead for our company.”
Last Thursday (in Lausanne) and Friday (in Zurich), I was asked to serve on the jury to pick the next 20 Venture Leaders. Looking at Switzerland’s start-up scene, it’s hard to believe that the economy is not doing too well right now. Thirty-eight company founders or project members (when a university project has not resulted in a spin-off yet) pitched their case by giving a 10-minute talk followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. Biotech and medtech always sound like rocket science to me. But I was also in awe of several software engineers.
My fellow jurors and I had a very hard time limiting the number of entrepreneurs to take part in this year’s Venture Leaders program to twenty when at least twenty-five contestants would have deserved it. Here they are: Venture Leaders 2009. Congratulations!