Boldbrain Startup Challenge 2020 - the 20 selected projects

The selected startups and coaches, at the USI Lugano campus
The selected startups and coaches, at the USI Lugano campus
The group of Boldbrain coaches, at USI Lugano
The group of Boldbrain coaches, at USI Lugano

Institutional Communication Service

7 September 2020

Boldbrain Startup Challenge 2020 has selected the 20 projects, out of the almost 70 valid applications received, that will take part in the only accelerator program in Ticino. Innovative ideas for consumer and lifestyle products stand out. 


Selection of the 20 Startups

The application window for Boldbrain Startup Challenge 2020 was opened from May 27 to July 20. A total of 148 applications were registered, of which 66 were complete and 62 were suitable according to the Regulations. All valid applications were carefully examined by an evaluation committee formed by experts hailing from the business world, academia, and the entrepreneurial context.  The evaluators selected the applications taking into account various criteria, including the value of the ideas and their scalability, the possible economic impact in the region, the level of innovation, the business model and the quality of the team.

The 20 selected projects are very diversified and represent the main innovative sectors, among which ICTs, consumer products and services, and the renewable and cleantech energy sectors, but also a number of ideas stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. This variety confirms Boldbrain's positioning as a horizontal accelerator that does not focus on a single business sector but on innovation and project scalability. Among the selected business ideas, 10 are currently incubated at the CP Start-up USI and, compared to previous years, there has been an increase in the number of projects that come with a registered company. 

On September 4, at the Lugano campus Auditorium of USI Università della Svizzera italiana, the 20 selected projects were invited for the official kick-off event of the only accelerator in Ticino, a three-month program where the budding entrepreneurs will be coached by experts and supported in developing the skills they will acquire during the planned workshops, in particular on the topics of value proposition, financial and intellectual property issues, and on communication – and, as of this year, on the increasingly important legal aspects of entrepreneurship.  


The 20 startups selected for Boldrain Startup Challenge 2020 are, in alphabetical order and with indication of the business sector:

  1. 4Devices (medtech) – Aargau (AG)
  2. Excede (fintech/insurance tech) – Zurich (ZH)
  3. F-Helix (electronic and mechanical engineering) – Ticino (TI)
  4. Finar Module Tech (electronic and mechanical engineering) – Ticino (TI)
  5. Lighthouse (medtech) – Ticino (TI)
  6. NATIVE (sport/leisure/tourism/lifestyle) – Ticino (TI)
  7. Proxying (consulting and services) – Ticino (TI)
  8. QM_Project (life sciences, IT diagnostics, data) - Italy
  9. Secondo (consumer products and services) – Ticino (TI)
  10. Smart Power Center (energy, cleantech) – Russia
  11. SwicketLive (ICT, software & data engineering) – Ticino (TI)
  12. TeachRemote (social entrepreurship, education) – Zurich (ZH)
  13. Trading Stratagem (fintech, insurance tech) – Ticino (TI)
  14. TurboGas-5.0 (electronic and mechanical engineering) – Ticino (TI)
  15. UNIVERSUS-OS (ICT, software & data engineering) – Italy
  16. VMall (consumer products and services) – Ticino (TI)
  17. voltWALL (energy, cleantech) – Ticino (TI)
  18. WeSaidYes (sport/leisure/tourism/lifestyle) – Ticino (TI)
  19. WYTHTM (design, art, architecture, gaming) – Ticino (TI)
  20. YSI (consumer products and services) – Italy


Boldbrain Startup Challenge is the accelerator in Ticino for early-stage innovative startups, organised by the Agire Foundation with the support of the CP Start-up USI. Boldbrain is the evolution of the previous StartCup Ticino competition, offering 20 new start-ups a three-month coaching program that helps them to take on an identity and to continue their entrepreneurial activity in a solid way. Sought and supported by the Department of Economy and Finances of the Canton of Ticino, with the important contribution of BancaStato, the program kicks off in September  and ends with the award ceremony in early December, where the winners will be declared. The prize money totals 120.000 Swiss francs and many other in-kind prizes and services worth over 70.000 CHF.