Let’s be open to the world!

InnoPeaks is spending more time on the road

InnoPeaks is a unique platform located in the heart of the Alps in canton Valais. Those who know InnoPeaks, also know that it has a unique spirit, energy and location.

How about those of you who haven’t had time to visit? Easy! If you don’t go to InnoPeaks, InnoPeaks will come to you!

An innovation platform exists through its visibility and links with the outside world. In this context, InnoPeaks conducted four one-day roadshows in January 2019 to create opportunities for meetings, discussions and networking with potential partners, including investors, customers, talents, prospects and media. Where? In Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich and Valais, in locations such as the EPFL, Google and Hôpital du Valais.


Startups must make themselves known

Startups must make themselves known to the outside world, while having the opportunity to find out more about the Swiss business environment, meet local players and build networking opportunities.

This is the particular focus of InnoPeaks’ second edition (October 2019 – March2020) during which startups will be able to introduce themselves. For those who can’t make it to Valais, the roadshows will be the opportunity for partners and investors to meet the startups in Lausanne (EPFL) or in Zurich (with Swiss Healthcare Startups), for example.

Another aim of InnoPeaks is to coach entrepreneurs to deliver a convincing pitch: strengthen how they promote their startup and business model. This requires practice, which is acquired through getting out there and networking with representatives of larger companies that could become potential customers. Or through meeting other innovation players, such as talents whom can contribute to the startup’s success (whether as recruits or advisors). Not to mention potential investors…


National ambitions

From the very first edition of InnoPeaks, ambitions were nationwide. This meant reaching out to the cantons of Vaud, Geneva, Zurich and Valais. In Valais, InnoPeaks met with the Hôpital du Valais, where the startups were in direct contact with health professionals.

Thanks to the roadshows, InnoPeaks will be able to increase its visibility as a potential partner in the medical and health system and in the Swiss market for health technology and innovation. This is contagious: in turn, people are encouraged to share their expertise and experience such as by becoming mentors of the platform and by supporting entrepreneurs in the next edition.

For InnoPeaks’ second edition, one of the main objectives will be to target potential investors and customers during roadshows, whether in business or academic circles. The aim is also to meet pharma groups, laboratories and specialised investment funds.

Contact us if you want to find out more!


The secret? Be known and get to know others.

For businesspersons and startup entrepreneurs, roadshows provide an opportunity to gain insight into the Swiss market and to get to know the key players in health and innovation at both federal and cantonal level. Roadshows help create useful connections for success, are a great way to see what has been put into place during the program and help them realise that they have become innovative entrepreneurs who are able to showcase their achievements in the best possible way.

For Groupe Mutuel, roadshows show that it is committed to innovation, by drawing inspiration from the outside world and making connections with external players. This, ultimately, to create better conditions for insured persons and patients, and to enhance the efficiency of its services. The message conveyed by the roadshows?  Let’s be open to the world!

TechTrain, a ride to the summit

InnoPeaks is… a community and a platform for interaction between different stakeholders, including mentors, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation community members and representatives of Idiap, Fusion and Groupe Mutuel.

But InnoPeaks is also… a series of events that take place over several weeks and months, as part of a programme designed to stimulate the interest of participants.


An idea that was born in the mountains

During the first edition of InnoPeaks, the following question was raised: what other event could we plan, that is unusual and different and likely to arouse the interest and curiosity of participants and intensify their exchanges?

Sometimes, ideas are planned but this one came up spontaneously: why not use our environment to foster interactions? We are surrounded by mountains. InnoPeaks stands for Innovation and Peaks… Why not be true to our branding?

The idea was to spend one day on the Mont-Blanc Express, a little red train that runs from Martigny to Chamonix. This would bring InnoPeaks’ participants together on a journey to the top of the mountains. Innovation on its way to the summit… in the same way that InnoPeaks supports Groupe Mutuel in finding new solutions for its insured persons!


Let’s do it!

On Wednesday 16 January at 14:46, around 60 persons boarded the Mont-Blanc Express in Martigny, Valais. An entire carriage of the TechTrain was reserved for InnoPeaks.

The startup founders of the first edition of InnoPeaks, as well as partners, mentors, investors, media representatives and communities, all interested in innovation in health and insurance, took a return ticket from Martigny to Vallorcine. The day ended with an apéritif and dinner in the charming Café Comptoir of Vallorcines, and with a walk in the snow, in the invigorating cold of the mountains and under the rising moon.


TechTrain, a meeting place

We found ourselves in a confined space, but the idea was not to take ourselves too seriously. We could have been in a pub. We were sitting in a reserved carriage and were able to switch places in order to get to talk to everyone.

It was a friendly moment. People interacted in small groups of four, with entrepreneurs meeting investors and mentors, as well as representatives of the media, the Idiap research institute and Groupe Mutuel. It was a friendly albeit efficient atmosphere.

After several hours on the train, sharing a meal and talking a walk in the snow, a spirit of comradeship and strong ties developed between the participants. Every one enjoyed this rather unique moment, which is usually shared with family or friends, but less often in a professional context.


TechTrain provides visibility

Boarding the TechTrain provides visibility to startups and their initiatives. Once everything was over, the idea and memory of an exceptional day remained. The TechTrain? Yes, I was there and so was this or that startup. Such and such startup was interesting; I could get in touch with them; wasn’t it on the InnoPeaks TechTrain? This is interesting and useful since information can be provided to those who couldn’t make it that day.

Human Energy, with Jérôme Vasamillet, Head of the InnoPeaks Team – ACT I

Human Energy, with Jérôme Vasamillet, Head of the InnoPeaks Team – ACT I

Accelerating start-ups, canvassing clients and investors… In addition to the main stages of the InnoPeaks programme, one unique dimension sets the Groupe Mutuel laboratory apart from its competitors: Human Energy. This concept involves strengthening the mind and body through meetings, team-building sessions, mountain walks, ski outings, mountain bike rides as well as meditation and yoga. Jérôme Vasamillet, Head of the InnoPeaks Team, tells us more in a series of three interviews.

Start-uppers are spending time here, in a rather unusual place, in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Human Energy… What is the idea?

The idea behind the Human Energy dimension is to shape entrepreneurs and their start-up teams into people with increased mental and physical energy. This in order to be able to cope with the stress, workload and difficult decisions to make, which have strong tangible impacts on the start-up and on the entrepreneur’s personal life, friendships and family.

So, by helping entrepreneurs and teams to increase their mental and physical energy, you are also aiming for that energy to be passed on to their start-ups and to those around them?

Yes, to their team, their projects and their families. As we know, work overload can quickly result in burnout. In start-ups, people often work 10 to 16 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, which of course requires considerable physical and mental energy. Within the Human Energy concept, we organise activities intended for the well-being of start-uppers and provide them with practical tips and advice on a daily basis.

Can you give us an example?

On Tuesdays, for example, we go for a run. We start with small outings of 3, 4 or 5 kilometres. There are also more intensive activities, on a one-to-one basis such as biking up 1’000m D+ getting up at 5am. Events always take place first thing in the morning, so that afterwards, you already have a feeling of achievement for the day. We feel that we have achieved something physically and mentally and cleared our minds to focus on the coming day. Thursdays are dedicated to activities such as meditation or yoga, also in the morning before starting work.

InnoPeaks: the first edition is in full swing!

InnoPeaks: the first edition is in full swing!

Groupe Mutuel, a leading insurance company in Switzerland, has launched an open innovation platform entirely dedicated to developing start-ups with a focus on Healthtech, Fintech and Insurtech: InnoPeaks – Innovation Lab by Groupe Mutuel. Since 8 October, 11 start-ups from all over the world have taken up residence in the heart of the Swiss Alps where they will stay for three months. Plenty of excitement in store around the accelerator experience!

A business incubator in line with the reality of the market

In Martigny, the start-ups chosen by InnoPeaks can take advantage of high-level coaching and the necessary infrastructure for their development. With a focus on essential topics such as Healthtech and Insurtech, the platform provides start-ups with the opportunity to help rethink the health and insurance ecosystem. InnoPeaks also provides concrete support:

  • access to the Swiss market, one of the most mature and innovative in the world
  • the possibility to work with health insurance experts in Switzerland
  • proximity to the best international researchers in artificial intelligence (Idiap Research Institute)
  • use of data from the Swiss market
  • coaching from experienced and visionary mentors
  • a Swiss funding ecosystem provided by Fusion, and backing from IBM Watson, Amazon AWS and Google.

An extensive programme to ensure successful growth

Eleven start-ups from across the world (Russia, the United States and Europe) passed the selection hurdle allowing them to take up residence in Valais, in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Ten start-ups were chosen among the 100 applications submitted to Groupe Mutuel by Fusion.

 An eleventh start-up joined the ranks after having won an award at the International Create Challenge 3-weeks hackathon that was organised summer 2018 by Idiap.

At the end of the accelerator process, on March 14th 2019, the start-ups will present their work during a Demo Day.

The start-ups selected for the 2018/2019 edition

advAIsor (Switzerland) – reading the meaning and emotional context of emails, in order to inform users if they convey a positive or negative tone.

AQrion Medical (Switzerland) – an advanced navigation system and pre-operative planning tool for spine surgeons (NaviSpine).

Czam (France) – digital assets and tokens with blockchain technology.

Emotion Research Lab (Spain) – recognition of facial emotions and eye tracking to better understand human behaviour.

Helpper (Belgium) – connecting persons who would like a home help with available residents in the neighbourhood. 

Medicus (Austria) – converting health data into a visual experience, with user-friendly information and personalised recommendations.

Mendability (United States) – affordable access to specific needs and treatments for families of children with development disabilities.

Popit (Finland) – pills connected through a small device and mobile application. The solution provides real-time data on pill consumption.

Qapsula (Russia) – a virtual personal assistant to help you manage your health. Access to highly qualified physicians, an extensive knowledge base and a system to prevent illnesses.

Swiss Vault Systems (Switzerland) – a patented solution for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and insurers. This solution makes it easier to manage large amounts of health-related data, at a lower overall cost and with a reduced carbon footprint.

Tribe Wearables (Greece) – “Wearables” technology platform for sportswear brands to provide a better fitness experience and improve customer loyalty and sales.

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