Lately, there has been quite some buzz as the Greater Zurich Area is working on branding itself as the Silicon Valley of Europe. The entrepreneurs behind some of the most innovative start-up firms are young, dynamic and visionary. What they have in common is that they want to make people's lives easier - one way or another.
Despite its size, Switzerland has a very start-up friendly environment as no less than 10 to 20 world-class firms are established every year! Here are seven of my favorite web startups based in Zürich:
Hailing a cab is a thing of the past thanks to this new mobile service! With just a few clicks, the nearest available taxi can be located and booked. A few minutes before pick-up, a text message will alert you to finish your grande latte and meet your driver outside. On top of this, online invoicing allows you to get out of the cab at once without having to look for change... (Visit Cabtus)
All the ingredients to impress that special someone are included in the so-called “cookits”. Easy to follow recipes, such as Rind riz-vert, from renowned chefs can be prepared by anyone who can tell apart a spoon from a fork! Not only are the ingredients fair-trade, local and organic, but the cookits are delivered by bicycle courier in major cities. (Visit Cookits)
This innovative reservation service connects restaurants with hungry diners. An iPad app allows for restaurants to quickly highlight available seats which in turn can be reserved through major restaurant platforms such as zuri.net or menu2. (Visit Localina)
As traditional newspapers are dying, this web startup offers a social approach to news media. Around the world, users are curating and selecting meaningful content which can then be published in personalized "paper.lis". To start, subscribe to Newly Swissed Daily on paper.li!
Registering and thus legalizing regular household helpers, babysitters and tutors with applicable government offices is a requirement in Switzerland. This online service makes the legal process a breeze and does not require a law degree, either! (Visit Quitt.ch)
Some activities are more fun when someone else is around, such as playing table tennis. An iPhone app allows users to post what they are up to, which in turn is shared with other users nearby who might be interested in joining. Spontacts is bringing the concept of "friending" to real life. (Visit Spontacts)
A symptom of our busy (electronic) lives is that addresses may be stored on different devices and in a number of online portals. Connex.io aggregates contact information from all of these sources and presents them in a cleaned and always up-to-date fashion. (Visit connex.io)
Which startup is your favorite? If you cannot make up your mind, read about the Top 100 Swiss Startups in 2011!