Switzerland

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Revolutionizing the world of food traceability, SwissDeCode’s DNA technology allows anyone to test for contaminants and provide certifications in minutes, automatically or offline.   

UBS is a Switzerland-based financial institution providing banking, wealth management, and securities services. Originally established in 1862 as the Bank in Winterthur, it is the largest Swiss banking institution. UBS engages in venture capital activities as part of its investment banking services. In 2020, UBS began a partnership with venture capital firm Anthemis to launch UBS Next, a $200m fund that will invest in fintech and other tech startups.

Asabys Partners is a VC firm based in Barcelona and invests mainly in the healthtech and biopharma industries. Backed by Sabadell Bank, the VC now has offices in Spain, UK, Switzerland and Israel. Asabys Partners aims to accelerate technology breakthroughs in the fields of science and medicine by supporting a network of industry experts and talent.Asabys started operations in 2019 and is currently fundraising its first fund, Sabadell Asabys Health Innovation Investments, with a target size of €70m and Banc Sabadell as anchor investor. Main areas of investment include Biopharma, MedTech and Digital Therapeutics.

Philippe Gelis is a co-founder and CEO of Kantox, a foreign currency exchange management platform. Born in Narbonne, France, in 1979, he now lives in Barcelona where the company's main offices are located. Prior to setting up Kantox in 2011, Gelis worked as a strategy and management consultant at Deloitte and as a financial consultant at Axis Corporate. His first job was as financial controller at Renault, Switzerland. Gelis holds a master's in Business Strategy and an MBA in Corporate Finance, both from Toulouse Business School, France. 

Christophe de Kalbermatten is the Swiss-born co-founder of Tonic App for medical doctors, which he co-founded in 2016 after meeting the co-founding team on an MBA course at IE Business School in Madrid. He has worked at Credit Suisse for more than 12 years in various capacities related to foreign exchange and is currently the head of its Geneva Trading Floor. Prior to starting work, he gained a BSc at the University of Lausanne's Faculty of Business and Economics in Switzerland. 

An electronic and communications engineer who's worked in Spain and Switzerland, Javier Escalante is a graduate of the University Polytechnic of Catalonia (UPC). He has a master's in Industrial Engineering (UPC) and a master's in B2B Sales from ESADE. After working eight years as a maintenance manager and automation engineer at corporates including Fuchs Oil, Oerlikon, Holcim and Tel Solar, Escalante returned to Spain in 2015 to start his own company BeWireless, specializing in Wi-Fi systems. From 2017, the company pivoted to focus on IoT products and services as B'Smart.

Guillermo Lamelas Nogueira is a telecommunications engineer who is the co-founder of Alén Space and of which he has been CEO since 2018. His previous experience in the telecommunications sector and in international startup acceleration include HTI & Berren AG in Switzerland and Karlenkaski, OY in Finland. Lamelas has also held various managerial positions at Telefónica de España S.A.U. from 2000 to 2015 and had established Impact before joining Alén Space. Guillermo studied at Spain's Vigo University and graduated with an MBA from INSEAD in 2006. He has also participated in two expert programs on cooperation and development and the Internet.

Hoffman is the COO and co-founder of Spanish AI-enhanced insurtech SingularCover, where he has worked since 2018. He previously worked as COO for Spain-based gaming startup Playtomic and in Indonesia as the CEO and founder of e-commerce startup eTailwind, a partner of Lazada Group. Previously, he worked in Indonesia as the Vice-President of Strategy at Alibaba Group and in management positions covering southern Europe for Berlin-based Zalando, Europe’s leading online fashion platform.Hoffman holds a master’s degree from Madrid’s Carlos III University in International Business Management, with exchange program participation in Switzerland and Brazil.  

Established in 1958, VERSO Capital is a boutique merchant banking and financial services firm based in Luxembourg. It also has offices in Geneva, Fribourg, Vaduz, Dubai, Singapore and BVI. VERSO specializes in sectors like education, food and renewables. Since 2011, the firm has invested over $700bn in venture capital in the global startup ecosystem. Funds worth over $245m were pumped into climatech, foodtech and biotech sectors since 2017. In February 2021, it merged with Swiss alternative asset manager ALDINI Capital that was also founded in 1958 and based in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. VERSO will leverage the expertise of ALDINI in hedge funds, private equity and real estate.

Chris Winston graduated from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland in 2013, with a diploma in Hospitality Management. His work experience included two months at the Ritz Carlton and four months at Eleven Madison Park. On returning home, he became the head chef of Winston Manusama Hospitality Group for eight months in Jakarta in 2014. He was also a consultant for Il Cielo restaurant in Bali for seven months. Chris met Votinc co-founders Markus Liman Rahardja and Alvin Evander Subagyo while working at a dining event. The three later co-founded an automated job matchmaking platform Zelos.

Brij Sahi is CEO and co-founder at Swiss biotech SwissDeCode, which applies DNA testing to food traceability, He has worked there full-time since April 2016. Since 2011, Sahi has also been an adjunct professor at Webster University in Geneva, teaching Business Policy, Strategic Management and Leadership. He is also a Swiss-based private investor in unnamed companies.From 2000–2008, Sahi worked at airline IT and telecommunications company SITA in both Singapore and Switzerland, where he reached the role of VP working in sales and marketing. He previously worked for two-and-a-half years in the area of sales and marketing at GAMECO, an aircraft maintenance and services company in China. Sahi started his corporate career at British Airways, where he spent over 11 years in marketing and business development.  Sahi holds an MBA from Cass Business School in London and a first degree in air transport engineering from City University, London. 

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