Energy storage solution wins the Boldbrain Startup Challenge 2020

Aldo Grech, founder of voltWALL and first prize winner of Boldbrain 2020, during the finals
Aldo Grech, founder of voltWALL and first prize winner of Boldbrain 2020, during the finals
Aldo Grech, founder of voltWALL and first prize winner of Boldbrain 2020, during the finals
Aldo Grech, founder of voltWALL and first prize winner of Boldbrain 2020, during the finals

Institutional Communication Service

4 December 2020

voltWALL wins the 2020 Boldbrain Startup Challenge first prize of 40.000 Swiss francs; the audience award of 10.000 CHF goes to UNIVERSUS-OS.

At the final event of Boldbrain Startup Challenge, held on December 3 in Manno in live streaming mode due to the public health restrictions, the National jury of Boldbrain, chaired by Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier, carefully examined the 10 finalists and chose and ranked the 5 entrepreneurial projects deemed most promising, awarding cash prizes for total value of 120.000 Swiss francs, as well as in-kind prizes that will help the winners to continue with the development of their project. The participating audience, through electronic vote, awarded the sixth cash prize worth 10.000 francs. 

The first prize winner is voltWALL, a cleantech startup from Lugano with a presence in Australia, New York, Rome, Sydney and Tel Aviv. The company developed xBlade, a modular energy storage system which can be used for a broad range of applications from charging electric cars in the garage to industrial implementations and solar farms. The lithium cell-based energy storage system offers lightweight and easy maintenance and allows customers to increase kWh according to their needs. The company convinced the jury of the Boldbrain challenge not least because it will create jobs in the canton, winning itself the first prize of CHF 40.000 and a full scholarship worth 52.000 Swiss francs granted by USI Executive MBA.


Runner Ups

Finar Module Tech and 4Devices Medical won CHF 30.000 and CHF 20.000, respectively. Finar Module Tech developed a new LED lamp that saves about 20% energy compared to current LEDs. Designed for public lighting in the USA, EU and China, the technology is being tested by the industry leaders, OSRAM and Henkel. 4Devices Medical uses 3D printing technology to develop tiny medical devices to tackle life-threatening conditions. Its first device, a stent aims to improve the surgical treatment in children suffering from hydrocephaly. WYTH and UNIVERSUS-OS each received CHF 10.000 in the fourth and fifth places.


Special prizes and Audience award

The winners of Boldbrain also secured access to both the Swiss Economic Award and MassChallenge Switzerland, two programs for the development of startups in the advanced stage. All finalists also received voucher provided by the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property to perform an initial patent search. 
Boldbrain sponsor Hemargroup awarded its special prizes to Smart Power Center and voltWALL, providing them with the opportunity to start developing their project prototype. UNIVERSUS-OS also won the audience award, receiving an additional CHF 10.000.



Boldbrain Startup Challenge is the accelerator in Ticino for early-stage innovative ideas, co-organised by the Agire Foundation and CP Start-up USI. Boldbrain is the evolution of the previous StartCup Ticino competition, a three-month accelerator program for 20 projects to realise their idea and to continue their entrepreneurial activity. Boldbrain, which is supported by the Department of Finances and Economy of the Canton of Ticino, with the important contribution of BancaStato, kicks off in September and ends with the final event in early December, where the winners are announced. The prize money totals 120.000 Swiss francs and many other in-kind prizes and services worth over 70.000 CHF.