Credit: Swissnex in Boston and New York

Fostering Climatech Collaboration Between Switzerland and the US

Zero-emission high-speed boats. Solar modules for self-sufficient greenhouses. Converting agricultural waste into valuable chemicals, foods, and fuel. These are some of the technologies that Swiss startups are betting on to solve the climate crisis. But taking on a global challenge requires a global perspective – that’s why Swissnex in Boston and New York, in partnership with Innosuisse, launched Climate Collider, a Swiss-US startup exchange program that brings together climatetech innovators to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and spark new approaches. The inaugural edition brought five Swiss startups to the US in fall 2023 to team up with five American startups in the fight against climate change.

The month-long program began in New York, where the startups took part in Climate Week NYC, the largest annual climate event of its kind, that attracts business leaders, political change makers, local decision takers, and civil society representatives from around the world. After a two-week virtual tour of climatetech ecosystems around the global Swissnex network, the startups reconvened in Boston, where they spent a week exploring the emerging climate innovation scene in Massachusetts. Along the way, the participants created connections and learned from each other’s knowledge and experience. “Climate Collider brought together a competitive and impressive cohort of companies that I know I can lean on to share experiences and learn from, and that can push me towards greater excellence,” said Juan Guzman, founder and CEO of Capro-X, a Ithaca-based company upcycling agricultural waste into sustainable biochemicals.” “It was an excellent opportunity for young entrepreneurs to collide with each other and broaden our horizons,” said Panagiotis Martakis, founder and CEO of Irmos, a Zurich-based company that offers a vibration-based sensing system to monitor and maximize the safe life of buildings and infrastructure. “This program pushes us to think much bigger.”

Two further editions of Climate Collider are taking place in 2024. The spring edition is bringing a cohort of Swiss energy startups to Boston and Houston, two hubs of energy innovation in the US, and the fall edition will return to the east coast for Climate Week NYC 2024 and a peer-learning program in Boston.