The Swiss Startup in Silicon Valley

The Swiss Startup in Silicon Valley

Interview with trailblazer Lea von Bidder, co-founder Ava Science

Mention the phrase “Swiss Startup”, and Ava, the Internet of Things-enabled women’s fertility tracker co-founded by Lea Von Bidder inevitably enters the discussion.

In the footsteps of other successful Swiss predecessors of technology transfer, Ava manages to combine state-of-the-art patented technology with consumer goods manufacturing to deliver a health tech product that reflects the growing tendency for women to pursue their careers for longer prior to having children.

Ava has been a phenomenal success in startup land, raising US$42.3 million over three rounds of fundraising since 2014. The market potential is huge: according to Technavio’s latest report, the global fertility services market is expected to exceed US$21 billion by 2020.

Von Bidder has earned herself a permanent space on the startup scene and has now set up their US offices in San Francisco, where she resides.


Hear more about her journey from Zurich to Silicon Valley at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019.

Digital Health is a big growth area – will you stick to single device AVA? How do you keep innovating?

Yes, for now we are sticking to one device, our already very successful Ava bracelet. Our mission is to become the companion of every woman in her reproductive age. Until we are there, we have plenty of work to do. Areas that are of special interest to us now as well in the future are irregular cycles, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, menopause, pregnancy and of course also contraception.


Top 3 qualities every entrepreneur in Switzerland should have?

  • Resilience
  • Passion with a long term vision
  • Lots of focus and drive


Top 5 differences between entrepreneur ecosystem in Switzerland vs Silicon Valley?

  • Available funding in San Francisco
  • Size and impact of the ideas in San Francisco
  • The density of the ecosystem and therefore the increased potential to meet relevant contacts in San Francisco
  • More qualified available people in Switzerland due to great universities
  • Density of tech and research driven companies in Switzerland

Top 3 things that Switzerland can adopt from Silicon Valley?

  • Hopefully, favorable funding (especially later stage)
  • More role models and mentors
  • Bigger and crazier ideas

Top 3 things that Silicon Valley can adopt from Switzerland?

  • Focus on research and clinical work as a prerequisite for success
  • More equal access to great universities and therefore a broad spectrum of qualified people
  • Many vision driven funding sources.

Scaling up: what’s the plan to scale beyond startup?  

Our focus has always been to bring data science into women’s health. That’s what we are good at and what we’ll succeed with.

Special offer for fans of WORLDWEBFORUM


Ava are offering a discount of 20.- CHF on the Ava bracelet.

Use Code WORLDWEBFORUM19 here: