Zurich – An initiative called Venture Kick has awarded a prize of 130,000 Swiss francs to two winners of the Venture-Kick final. Start-ups Microcaps and OxyPrem manufacture microcapsules and oxygen monitors for premature babies respectively. Both are headquartered in the Greater Zurich Area.

Venture Kick supports entrepreneurs in founding start-ups and accelerates their further development by providing capital and introducing them to industry contacts. The companies involved take part in a multi-tiered program. Now, as revealed by a press release issued by Venture Kick, both winners of the final have been chosen, with two start-ups from the Greater Zurich Area, Microcaps AG and OxyPrem AG, receiving a prize of 130,000 francs each.

Microcaps, a spin-off affiliated to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), has developed technology to aid the manufacturing of microcapsules. The capsules are used to administer medication as well as in the food industry and fragrances. The technology developed by Microcaps brings to an end the necessity to compromise between speed and precision in the manufacturing process. The Venture Kick press release states that the start-up’s device enables “microscopic connections to be coated 1,000x times faster than technology has previously been able to manage”. Moreover, this facilitates huge flexibility in the materials used and size of the microcapsules.

OxyPrem AG is based at the Clinic for Neonatology at the University of Zurich (UZH). The start-up has developed a non-invasive device to continually measure the level of oxygen supply to the brain in premature babies. Should any deviation from the expected, normal values be detected, an alarm is sounded to alert the doctors and nurses. The company founders have applied for four patents for the device, which “measures oxygen supply to the brain more reliably than other technologies”.

The Venture Kick funding initiative supports start-ups from the initial idea right through to founding. The Venture Kick Foundation has assigned responsibility for implementing the initiative to the IFJ – an institute for start-ups that is based in Schlieren, St.Gallen and Lausanne.

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