4. Silicon Valley
Meets Switzerland

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The Silicon Valley meets Switzerland event masterfully combines the talent and expertise of entrepreneurs and business managers from Silicon Valley and Switzerland.

Leading Silicon Valley startups present latest IT trends and its impact on businesses and consumers. From Switzerland the most promising IT startups and internationally successful IT companies and entrepreneurs will be present.

In panel discussions and live interviews chaIlenges in IT innovation, investments and international expansion will be addressed.

The event is an ideal platform to share ideas and build strategic alliances and collaboration between individuals and organisations alike.

Get amazed and engaged!

More details about this exciting event to come soon.

For more information and interest in becoming a partner/supporter/sponsor for this event,
please contact us at: info@hightechconnect.ch

March 21, 2018

Opens: 01.00 p.m.Begins: 01:30 p.m.

University of Zürich


This event is organized by

Program (Preliminary)

Welcome Notes

Self-driving Cars

Moderator: Siddhartha Arora, IT Solution Architect, IBM Innovation Center

Companies: Renovo, Velodyne

The heart of the self-driving car development seems to be in Silicon Valley now: as of November 16, 2017 the California state has issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits to nearly 50 companies many of them also the tradition car manufacturers (VW, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, Ford, Honda…) and suppliers, the Internet powerhouses Google, Apple, Uber etc. plus many new startups.

Interactive "Future Business Model" Workshop

Moderator: Alexander Osterwalder (Strategyzer)


Networking break



  • Heinrich Zetlmayer, Active Investor & Board Member, ESL
  • Vinzenz Kögler & Nicolas Pidancet, Swiss e-Sports Federation

We will explain and live demonstrate the e-sport phenomena, showcase the current and future trends and the advertisement markets for e-sports.
There are ambitions to have a mega-sport event also in Switzerland soon and fill in Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva a whole sports arena with tens of thousands of e-sport enthusiasts.

Networking break


Moderator: Prof. Dr. Ralph Eichler, Professor, ETH Zürich

We focus on the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in e-healthcare by analysing the huge amount of data in medical applications. The idea is not so much to replace the doctor but to enhance the doctor’s medical expertise.
For patients that means that they have access to not just one doctor but to the brainpower of hundreds of thousands.
Also it will be available to just about anybody in the most remote areas as well.

Panel: Future Hightech Jobs in Switzerland vs Silicon Valley

Moderator: Philipp Löpfe, Economics Journalist, Watson.ch


Networking & Exhibition

VIP, Speaker and Sponsor Apero


Siddhartha Arora

Siddhartha Arora is presently working at the IBM Innovation Center in Zurich.

Siddhartha graduated from ETH Zurich’s Management, Economics and Technology MAS program where his final assignment was focused on understanding the commercial drone industry.

Siddhartha has an MSc in Information Security from Royal Holloway, University of London, as well as degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Massachusetts.

Heinrich Zetlmayer

Heinrich Zetlmayer is an active investor and board member of Lykke Corp., the global trading platform based on blockchain technology.

Besides Lykke, he is engaged in several growth companies in Fintech, Crowdtasking and other digital domains on board and operational level and as an investor.

He has acted as Co-Managing Director of Turtle Entertainment, the largest esports company globally and is also on its supervisory board.

He is also a partner of mas and focuses on the setup and execution of growth and performance programmes where boards or owners wish to accelerate the development of their company.

Formerly he was a member of IBM’s Executive Board in Switzerland and Vice President and Country Leader of IBM Global Business Services.

At IBM he held several senior positions within IBM Global Business Services, including leading IBM’s Supply Chain and Operations Services in EMEA.

Financial Services Industry was part of his responsibilities.

Prior to joining IBM, Heinrich was with the international management consultant Arthur D. Little for seven years as Global Head of Operations Management Practice and a member of its Global Management Committee.

He helped several major global and national companies in the US and Europe on revenue, cost and capital efficiency increases for competitive leadership and in turnaround situations.

He holds a Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing) in Industrial Engineering and a Diploma of Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University in Munich and has lived in several European countries and in the US.

Heinrich is a Swiss and German citizen, born in Munich, and speaks German, English, Italian, Norwegian and French.

Prof. Dr. Ralph Eichler

Ralph Eichler obtained his doctorate in Physics from ETH Zurich.

After being active as a researcher in the USA (Stanford University in California and LAMPF/Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility in Los Alamos/New Mexico) and Germany (DESY/German Electron Synchrotron, Hamburg), as well as at the Institute for Medium Energy Physics at ETH Zurich and as a project manager at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), he became a Professor of Physics at ETH Zurich in 1989. His scientific career then took him once again to DESY, this time as spokesman of the international collaboration H1, before he took on leading roles at PSI, firstly as Deputy Director from 1998 to 2002 and then as Director from 2002 to 2007.

From September 2007 to December 2014 Ralph Eichler has been President of ETH Zurich.

Ralph Eichler is member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and is Chairman of the Foundation 'Schweizer Jugend Forscht'. In addition, he is a member in the Board of Directors at Belenos Clean Power Holding Ltd. in Biel.

He is member of the Venture Foundation and the Oberwolfach Stiftung.

He is member of the Board of Councillors of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and member of the International Board of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).

Franz Grüter

Franz Grüter war von 2008 bis 2015 gleichzeitig CEO und Verwaltungsratspräsident der green.ch Gruppe.

Per 1. Januar 2016 übergab er sein Amt als Geschäftsführer an einen Nachfolger, um mehr Zeit für sein Nationalratsmandat zu gewinnen.

Er verantwortet aber weiterhin als Verwaltungsratspräsident die strategische Ausrichtung des Providers und Rechenzentrumsanbieters.

Jane Royston

Jane graduated in Pure Mathematics from the London School of Economics. She then worked in IT and became the head of IT for DuPont France.

Jane left DuPont to create her own company, NatSoft, at the age of 27.

NatSoft grew to 120 people, and was sold ten years later to the NASDAQ quoted company, Cambridge Technology Partners.

After serving as VP for Southern Europe for CTP, she then became the Branco Weiss chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the EPFL, the first professor of entrepreneurship & innovation in Switzerland, and the first named chair at the EPFL.

Today Jane serves on the board of a number of high-tech companies and charitable foundations, and is a member of the Swiss Science Council.

Philipp Löpfe

Philipp Löpfe, 63, in 2012 and 2015 was named Swiss Economic Journalist of the Year.

He works for the online news portal «Watson». He has a Masters degree in Arts (University of Zürich) and an MBA (Universitiy of St. Gallen).

In his long career Mr. Löpfe was editor-in-chief of «Tages-Anzeiger» and «SonntagsBlick».

He has written several books, the most recent one, together with Oliver Fiecheter, is called «Aufstieg der digitalen Stammesgesellschaft» (Ascent of the digital tribal society).

Philipp Löpfe is married and lives in Zürich.


We've set out to build a completely new user experience in the area of news and entertainment on mobile devices.

Our first focus will be Switzerland, especially the German speaking part.

Shomit Gohse

Shomit’s data-centric vision of the future has helped lead ONSET’s investments in software.

Prior to entering venture capital, he was a startup software entrepreneur with a career of operating excellence spanning 19 years.

Shomit’s startup roles included three highly successful IPOs as SVP of Operations at Tumbleweed Communications, VP of Worldwide Services at BroadVision, and software engineer at Sun Microsystems.

He was also CEO and board member of ONSET portfolio company, Truviso, for two years leading to its acquisition by Cisco Systems.

At ONSET since 2001, Shomit has represented ONSET on the boards of Adara, HyperGrid, Imanis Data, Pancetera (acquired by Quantum), Polymorph, Truviso, Vidder and Vindicia (acquired by Amdocs.) In his private life he has been committed to coaching girls’ sports for many years in softball, high-level club soccer, and club and high school varsity and junior varsity lacrosse.

At the age of 15, Shomit was awarded two academic scholarships to the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with a degree in Computer Science.

He serves on the advisory boards of UC Berkeley College of Engineering’s Sutardja Center, Innovation Center Denmark’s ScaleIT program, and the Lundbeck Foundation Clinical Research Fellowship Program.

Nick Triantos

Nick Triantos is a Venture Partner at Ignition Partners.

He has previously worked in venture capital at numerous firms, as well as an entrepreneur (x2) and startup guy (x6).

Nick was one of the first software engineers at NVIDIA, as the guy who created their OpenGL software.

He became chief software architect there, and led teams working on 3D software, embedded software, Linux drivers, and compilers and tools for programming GPUs.

Most recently, Nick was a managing director in the ventures team at SRI International, a world-class research firm where inventions ranging from the computer mouse and the ARPANET to Siri were birthed.

Nick has a BS in Computer Science from SUNY Buffalo, and MBA degrees from Columbia University and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

Ignition Partners

Ignition is a venture capital firm dedicated to helping the best entrepreneurs seize opportunity. With over $2B under management, Ignition invests in emerging and future leaders in enterprise software.

Ignition brings together an unparalleled combination of domain focus, technical expertise, and global operational experience. Ignition's partners are proven business leaders who have built some of the world's most successful businesses of the last two decades, including Microsoft Windows and Office, McCaw Cellular Communications, AT&T Wireless and Starbucks.

Ignition helps entrepreneurs by turning their early idea into a business, to hiring the right team, providing the right industry and functional insight and connections, to growing the business strategically, globally, financially, to realizing the best ultimate outcome, Ignition is ready to go the distance.

Ralf Haller

Ralf Haller's 20 year IT career has spanned various marketing and business development roles, based on his training as an electrical engineer and masters in Telecommunication Systems (Karlsruhe Technology Institute).

His career started while at university, when he took an assistant role in the USA. Later, he excelled as an IT project manager for large key account clients at CompuNet in Munich and also worked in Hong Kong supporting the Asian region.

This prompted his move to Silicon Valley where he lived for many years, working as a Product Manager for successful startups building datacommunication equipment.

Since 2001, Ralf provides product marketing support and has organised specialist IT events in Switzerland that explore current IT trends and introduce the Swiss market to new and pioneering technologies from Silicon Valley.

Owing to his strong links with Silicon Valley, the Swiss cantons rely on him as a valued advisor for fresh and exciting startup activities emerging from there.

Ralf is also the organizer of international high-tech, innovation, entrepreneurship and business events in Switzerland, among them:

He is also founder of the first High-Tech Connect Suisse association encouraging high-tech business development.

Ralf teaches at the Swiss-American university in Lugano the course Global Innovation Ecosystems.

In his free time he loves spending high-quality time with his family, and doing fitness sports and intelligence training to keep fit physically and mentally. He is eager and open to always try out new things.