Vanessa: We already learned from Carlo why you took part in the SEF award, how very well organized the selection process was and how he experienced the pitch. What we haven’t yet really talked about, is the event itself. How did you like it?
Jonathan: Incredibly well. How outstandingly professional the event was organized has been emphasized several times. What additionally inspired me was the great atmosphere and the exchange with many amazing people. I made many new contacts, learned a lot and was perfectly well entertained.
Vanessa: Who did you meet? Certainly you had the chance to get to know the other finalists a little better?
Jonathan: Yes, it was nice to see that there weren’t any rivalries between the finalists and that we could be glad about each other's success. At the gala dinner Thursday evening, held as a final get together, also Alain Frei from Amorana and Ertan Wittwer from Bestsmile were sitting at the table with us. We had a lot of fun with these two.
Vanessa: I believe that instantly. And the very big guests? Did you see for example François Hollande or Bear Grylls somewhere in the crowd?
Jonathan: Unfortunately not. Because of the actual situation the networking has been divided into sectors. Mostly we were together with other entrepreneurs, last year's finalists, etc. This had a great attraction for me. This way, you meet like-minded people faced with similar challenges and you could therefore talk about all kinds of topics.
Vanessa: Interesting. Do you like to share some examples? With whom did you talk?
Jonathan: There were a lot of exciting people. It’s not easy to point out one single person. I talked a little longer with Olivier Chuard and Yves Kilchenmann. They today manage the corporations Livesystems Holding and Nau media and turned the original publicity company into a media company - an exciting advancement. Also we got to know the founder of Chopfab, Jörg Schönberg. It’s a success story of how they could establish themselves on the market. Or Martin Hoffmann, CFO of On AG. I could go on forever...
Vanessa: I can imagine. I guess we’ll leave it at this for now (laughs). We didn’t yet talk about the speakers. If you needed to highlight one speech or one statement which one would it be?
Jonathan: That’s a difficult question. Daniel Grieder, CEO of Hugo Boss, talked about his vision of the suit of the future. Primarily, it will be comfortable. The pandemic, and with it the time we spent doing home office, reinforced the demand for uncomplicated clothing. A classic suit, pinching and wrinkling all the time is less wanted. This approach corresponds to me very much. How am I glad that we don’t know any clothing regulations at Zippsafe (laughs).
Vanessa: But for the SEF next year, you would take the suit out of your closet again, right?
Jonathan: Certainly. And I’m already looking forward to it. That we are now part of the SEF-alumni-network and can benefit from their offer in the future, is unbeatable. I’m convinced that we can make some connections profitable for us also later on. And I don’t even mean selling our lockers at the event. But I can imagine that more potential will be unfolding, like possible corporations, strengthening our own personal network and driving our personal development.
Vanessa: I think so too. Do you like to describe what direct partnerships resulted for Zippsafe from the participation at the SEF?
Jonathan: Absolutely. Since recently we are in the SwissEF UpScaler program. The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation got interested in us because of our participation at the SEF and included us in the Startup-growth program. The first workshop took part already. The exchange with the experts and entrepreneurs around Peter Stähli is priceless. It’s really fun to profit from their knowledge and experience and discuss ideas for Zippsafe.
Vanessa: That really sounds like a jackpot. With that my last question, if you would take part in the SEF again, is clearly answered as well.
Jonathan: True! Anytime again! Thank you for the engaging questions and until next time.
Vanessa: The thanks can I only give back. See you soon!