The best Swiss start-up 2023 can treat heart failure

Top 100 Swiss Startup Award 2023

HAYA Therapeutics takes the crown in the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Ranking 2023, making it the most potential young deeptech company in Switzerland’s start-up ecosystem.


Start-ups remain true drivers of innovation in Switzerland. They contribute both directly and indirectly to the present and future prosperity. In the past 13 years almost 18,000 new jobs have been created by deeptech startups within Switzerland.

A biotech company at the top

Every year, a ranking of the most promising young Swiss entrepreneurial endeavours offers an insight into the current state of the start-up community. HAYA Therapeutics took the crown as the winner of this year’s TOP 100 Swiss Startup Ranking and received the prestigious award during show on Wednesday, 6 September 2023 in Zurich. The Lausanne-based biotech company is developing a drug to treat cardiac fibrosis caused by cardiovascular diseases, which is currently incurable.

Curing heart failures with a new RNA molecule

In fibrosis, the fibrotic tissue, which is responsible for wound healing, multiplies rapidly. In cardiac fibrosis, the heart wall thickens and its performance decreases, which can lead to heart failure. Apart from heart transplantation, there are currently hardly any effective treatment alternatives. Haya Therapeutics is one of the first companies in the world to get things moving: in 2017, the team led by molecular biologist Samir Ounzain identified the trigger for cardiac fibrosis at the University Hospital of Lausanne. It is a long, non-coding RNA molecule (IncRNA) called Wisper. Based on these findings, they developed a tailor-made drug, which is currently in the preclinical phase.

Runners-up with a long track history

Second place in this year's start-up ranking went to Planted Foods (see article). The ETH spin-off produces plant-based meat that is being used by more and more retailers, canteens, restaurants and takeaways. Third place went to the platform Yokoy (see our exclusive interview), which facilitates many accounting processes for companies, such as expense reporting processes or the administration of employees' credit cards.

How to become a start-up in the top 100 ranking

Since 2011, every year one hundred investors and startup experts have selected the TOP 100 Swiss Startups. Each jury member chooses 10 startups that were incorporated in the last five years in Switzerland and show the greatest commercial potential. All jurors then rate their selection from one to 10: ten points for first place and one point for 10th place. The 100 startups with the most points make it into the startup ranking, where they are listed according to their total number of points.