29.10.2016 For the 19th year in a row, the awards for the Swiss Entrepreneur Of The Year were bestowed in the categories “Trade/Services”, “Industry/High-Tech/Life Sciences”, “Emerging Entrepreneur” and “Family Business”. With Mindmaze and Amaris two young companies are among the winners.
Under the motto “chefs d’œuvre” (masterpiece), the gala event for the competitors was held yesterday in French-speaking Switzerland for the first time in the history of the Swiss Entrepreneur Of The Year competition. The internationally renowned Hotel Royal Savoy Lausanne offered a fitting setting for the celebration and its protagonists. Around 300 guests from the business, political and cultural arenas accepted the invitation to Lausanne to celebrate with the proud winners.
Winner in the category “Emerging Entrepreneur” is Tej Tadi, CEO and founder of Mindmaze (Picture). Based in Lausanne, Dr. Tadi heads a powerful young company with around 50 highly qualified employees. The first product created by his company, MindMaze SA, is a therapeutic device for impairments of the nervous system. It uses brain research findings, stimulates the healing process with sophisticated artificial maneuvers, and supports neuro-rehabilitation directly after an impairment occurs. MindMaze devices for domestic use also make it possible to do training exercises at home. Play-based elements provide incentives to practice, ensuring that patients remain motivated in the face of treatments that are often lengthy. Edouard Pfister, representing the jury, said that “MindMaze has created a widely respected brand in its field after only four years in business. Its founder also deserves credit for this.” Tej Tadi impressed the jury with his clear focus, strong ambition and unshakable confidence. He is convinced that MindMaze will improve the world. “Tej Tadi is simply the ideal candidate for the Emerging Entrepreneur category,”” said Pfister. The jury’s opinion is shared by the international investor community, which already values the company at over USD 1 billion.
Olivier Brourhant, co-founder, co-owner and CEO of AMARIS SA, from Geneva, received the Entrepreneur Of The Year award 2016 in the category “Trade/Services”. Brourhant built up the global AMARIS Group in only nine years. The group has made an outstanding name for itself internationally in the area of technology and business consulting. AMARIS is active worldwide in countries too small for the major competition, where it recruits young professionals on-site as suited to the problems at hand. This strategy, in combination with rigorous digitalization and globalization, has resulted in impressive growth since the group was founded. AMARIS now has offices at 70 locations and independent branches in over 45 countries. With more than 2,600 employees, it currently generates revenue of around CHF 150 million. “Olivier Brourhant is a dedicated, inspiring and electrifying entrepreneur, whose visions touch everyone who meets him,” said jury member Dr. Paul Hälg, describing his appreciation for the 42-year-old. This and his impressive business track record have earned him the well-deserved title of Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016.
The other two winners are Willi Miesch, co-owner and CEO of the Basel-based medical technology firm Medartis AG, and Hans-Rudolf Schurter, long-standing CEO and current Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Lucerne-based Schurter Group.
Entrepreneurs put to the test
From the time they apply until the final decision is made, the competitors have three obstacles to overcome. First, only those who meet the required criteria may be nominated to enter the competition. In an interview with EY, the nominated entrepreneurs and their companies are then subject to a full review. The jury uses the facts and assessments from this process to select the finalists. In 2016, 15 were chosen from a group of 49. Finally, the jury itself visits the potential winners and their premises to assesses the candidates’ and their companies’ accomplishments as entrepreneurs, their business performance, innovation, leadership, future capability, and overall contribution to society. The jury then reaches a joint decision on the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year award.
A global competition
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year competition is held around the world according to a standard set of criteria. Over 10,000 entrepreneurs in a total of 150 cities compete annually for the coveted title. This is the only competition of its kind. In early summer of the following year, an independent jury selects the World Entrepreneur Of The Year from among the national winners. Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, last year’s award winner in the “Emerging Entrepreneur” category, was the 2016 representative for Switzerland.