About AIT

The AIT is an initiative by the Leading House for the Latin American Region, Startup@HSG, and swissnex Brazil to help Swiss startup talents innovate and develop their entrepreneurial and business skills. The AIT consists of two phases: a training camp in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and a second training camp in Switzerland. The AIT aims to transform high-level applied research into market applications. The main objectives of the program are to help participants advance business plans, establish contacts with the industry, clarify intellectual property issues, network at an international level, and foster new partnerships and collaborations.

Download AIT Call


10 startups are chosen in Switzerland to help them enter the Brazilian market and 10 startups are chosen in Brazil to help them enter the Swiss market. The most promising Swiss project/startup will receive an Innovation Grant of CHF 10,000 to support market application and internationalization. Click on the button below to learn about the Swiss and Brazilian researchers selected for the 5th edition of the Academia-Industry Training. All 20 sciencepreneurs will take part in the program that will take place in November 2018 in Brazil and in April 2019 in Switzerland.

The Winners 2019

The AIT Final Pitch Competition took place on April 5, 2019 in the Photobastei 2.0 in Zürich, Switzerland.

The winners from the Swiss startups are:
1st Prize: Florent Héroguel from Bloom Biorenewables
2nd Prize: Etienne Jeoffroy and Enrico Scoccimarro from FenX
3rd Prize (tie): Jonathan Fiorentini from hiLyte and Florian Guignard from AgroSustain SA

The winners from the Brazilian startups are:
1st Prize: Marcos Valadares from PluriCell Biotech
2nd Prize: Ana Carolina Clivatti Ferronato from NetWord Agro
3rd Prize: Fabiana Noronha Dornelles from TechPain

Meet the 10 Swiss AIT Startups 2018/2019

10 high-level sciencepreneurs of leading Swiss universities convinced the AIT jury that their startup idea is worth being accelerated into the emerging market of Brazil. The selected startups cover various industries such as AgriTech, Big Data, Construction, Education, FinTech, Foodtech, MedTech, SaaS and consist of Master, PhD and PostDoc students. In the first of two phases, the participants will fly to an intense one-week training camp in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (Nov. 2018), where they will meet the 10 Brazilian startups selected by swissnex Brazil. A comprehensive program in Switzerland (Apr. 2019) with all 20 startups will follow. Both programs are filled with industry visits, investor meetings and coaching sessions with experts from the Brazilian and Swiss entrepreneurial ecosystems as well as the possibility of exchanging knowledge between peers and networking at an international level.

Isabelle Zheng and Carlos VargasUniversity of Zurich (UZH)Investimentos Verdes

Sustainable investments for everyone, at the touch of your fingertips.

Noémie Widmer and Christopher DouilletUniversity of St.Gallen (HSG)EarthAid Solutions

EarthAid Solutions provides sustainable bamboo fibre and fights deforestation through social bamboo plantations and the transformation of the generated raw materials.

Jean-Pascal AribotÉcole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL)AgroSustain, Agroscope

AgroSustain develops effective plant-based treatments that prevent the development of fungal pathogens on fruits & vegetables, thus reducing post-harvest food waste.


Florent HéroguelETH ZürichBloom Biorenewables

Bloom Biorenewables valorises plants wastes to high value chemicals, solving the problem of agricultural wastes accumulation and providing a renewable alternative to fossil fuels.


Jonas PollardUniversity of Fribourg (UNIFR)Hemolytics

Hemolytics develops a highly sensitive point-of-care malaria diagnostic based on a patented chemical amplification enabling malaria eradication campaigns.


Etienne JeoffroyETH ZürichFenX

FenX provides non-flammable insulation foam panels made from widely available mineral waste such as fly ash for the building market.

Jonathan FiorentiniÉcole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL)hiLyte

hiLyte develops clean energy solutions for developing countries and promotes education on energy through the development of state-of-the-art educational kits. Their main product is a clean iron-based battery.


André DahlingerUniversity of St.Gallen (HSG)Avertu

Avertu detects dangerous locations on the road using historic accident data and predicts these hotspots with crowd-sourced data from driving cars.


Gnanli LandrouETH ZürichOxara

Oxara develops a cement-free concrete technology that helps construction, recycling companies and architects to produce and to build affordable housing at lower cost and low CO2 using buildings rubbles and excavation materials.

Caio BraguineUniversity of Zurich (UZH) / UnifranMyOwnDeveloper

Software prototype development for AI-based identification of neglected tropical diseases – enabling fast and qualitative app-structure service to labs and clinics all over Brazil.


AIT Startups Contact Persons

Dr. Rocío Robinson
Program Leader AIT Startups – Leading House for the Latin American Region
Academic Program Manager – Swiss School of Latin American Studies (SSLAS)
Universität St.Gallen (HSG) | Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 8 | CH-9000 St.Gallen
Office: +41 71 224 25 67 | Mobile: +41 78 829 4784

Eduard Müller
Research Associate and Program Manager of AIT Startups
Institute of Technology Management | Chair for Entrepreneurship
University St. Gallen (HSG) | Dufourstrasse 40a | CH-9000 St.Gallen
Tel.: +41 (0)71 224 72 14
eduard.mueller@unisg.ch | www.item.unisg.ch

Follow us on Social Media

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter to not miss any news about the AIT project.
From now on, we will present a new AIT startup on our social media channels every week.


startups have the chance to take part


for the most promising project

12 days

of activities in Brazil and in Switzerland


participation costs


“I had a great experience in Brazil where I was able to increase my business network. The most important takeaway message was that the first minutes we have with investors/clients are the most important and will define how the collaboration will evolve. We learned how to pitch well and how to grasp the attention of the public and make them interested in knowing more about our idea.”
Ana Martins, EPFL PhD student

“The AIT program was a great opportunity to meet potential partners and customers on the spot. The contacts made by swissnex Brazil proved to be very valuable and gave our company a unique chance to enter the Brazilian market.”
Noris Gallandat: Winner of the AIT innovation Grant 2018

Important Dates

November 02, 2018

Kick-Off Day

November 2018

Brazil Camp

April 2019

Swiss Camp


Let's get in touch

Contact us