• Jul
  • The Twisted Swissters Take On America

    Recently we had the chance to welcome the Twisted Swissters, Switzerland’s team in the Race Across America mountain bike competition, to the Consulate during their visit to New York.

    The 2014 Race Across America kicked off in San Diego, California on June 14th. Solo cyclists and teams from around the world peddled over 3,000 miles to the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland. The Twisted Swissters finished in 7th place, biking 3,020 miles in 6 days, 14 hours, and 53 minutes.

    The team was led by Swiss Champion Ski Skier, Philippe May, one of five men to ski over 250 km/h - 155 MPH. Also on the team were Claude-Alain Gailand, Mountain & Extreme Tour Guide (Switzerland), Ismaël Devènes, Member of the Swiss Speed Ski Team since 2007 (Switzerland), and Steven Beverling, Twice on 4-man RAAM team (Australia). Tracie Max Sachs (Switzerland) was the Crew Chief and is a five time winner of the Speed Skiing World Cup.

    These endurance athletes are no strangers extreme sports, though this year’s race was especially challenging with the team leader’s unexpected health scare. Philippe May was admitted to the hospital on June 8, 2014 upon arrival to San Diego and he was subsequently diagnosed with a genetic heart defect, ARVD or ARVC. He underwent surgery and remained at the hospital until he was well enough to travel with the logistics crew supporting the Twisted Swissters across America.

    It was humbling to hear Philippe’s story and we were impressed with his spirit and the camaraderie of his teammates, two of which are Suisse Romand. The Twisted Swissters completed the competition with Philippe’s encouragement from the sidelines. The team was also united for Aussie Steven Berveling’s awareness campaign to raise money for 4HIVhope, a cause very personal to him as an HIV survivor competing in the race. RAMM was an opportunity for the Twisted Swissters to raise awareness for both Phillippe’s newly diagnosed heart condition and Steven’s continued activism for HIV hope.

    We encourage you to read more about the team’s endeavors on their website and invite you to watch our interview with the Swiss racers of Twisted Swissters!

    Another Swiss, Hans-Rudolf “Hansi” Nyfeler, won 1st place in the Solo Race for Men (ages 50-59). A Swiss Father-Daughter team also took 1st place in the 2-person mixed (under 50) group race. For a full list of results, click here.
  • Behind-the-Scenes: Meet the Staff

    In this series, we’re profiling diplomats, transferable staff, and local employees at the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York to give you an inside peek into their daily tasks, professional backgrounds, and personal tastes!

    In the Spotlight: Simona Regazzoni Kwenda

    Job Title:
    Consul, Head of the Consular Section.

    Gnosca, a very small village in Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland.

    Places you’ve lived:
    I was born and raised in Ticino. After finishing school, I lived in Zurich for three years. I started my career in the Swiss Foreign Service twenty years ago and it has taken me to Lisbon (Portugal), Harare (Zimbabwe), Genoa (Italy), Washington DC (US), Cairo (Egypt) and finally to the Big Apple.

    Current residence:
    Harrison NY, in the beautiful Westchester County.

    Favorite things about the US:
    The US is like a second home for me and my family. I like the diversity of people and landscapes. The history of immigration to North America has always fascinated me.

    What you miss about Switzerland:
    The Alps and the charcuterie from Ticino, especially salamini and mortadella nostrana!

    Recommended New York hot spot:
    A nice walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset.

    Where you lunch in Midtown:
    Any nice Japanese restaurant for sushi. Or if I want a fine dish of Gnocchi, I like to go to the Osteria Laguna on 42nd Street.

    One thing on your desk right now is:
    A lot of paper and…more paper (sorry, nothing fancy right now!)

    Favorite moment or “highlight” since working at the Consulate:
    Every day in New York is a highlight but I remember my first day at work three years ago as if it were yesterday. When I walked into our beautiful offices, I thought to myself: “yes, that’s exactly where I want to be!”

    Your daily routine includes:
    With my team, we take care of 30’000 Swiss registered with us. Every day, we get numerous visitors at our counters, phone calls, e-mails and letters. The word “routine” doesn’t really fit in my daily work schedule!

    If you could schedule a lunch date with anyone, it would be:
    Roberto Benigni.

    Upcoming projects:
    More trips to New England, a region of the USA that I love.
  • Jul
  • Switzerland celebrates 723 years!

    The Swiss Consulate General together with the Swiss Society of New York proudly present this year’s celebration. We invite you to join us for a day of festivities as we celebrate our traditions & hospitality.

    Studio Square Beer Garden
    35-33 36th Street
    Long Island City, NY 11106

    Subway: Near M, R, N, Q trains. Parking Options: 47-14 32nd Place, Queens, NY 11101 (Tel. 718-433-0623) or 32-32 Queens Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101 (tel. 718 -937 1510)

    Saturday, July 26 
    12pm - 5 pm, rain or shine (covered seating)

    $10 per person
    Free admission for children under 6
    *Tickets are only available at the door, day of the event

    Children’s Corner: 
    Face Painting by Agostino Arts

    Raffle Tickets:
    Available for puchase at the event

    Prizes Include:
    - Round trip air tickets for 2, by Swiss International Air Lines
    - First Class 8 day rail passes, by Switzerland Tourism
    - Luggage Set, by Victorinox
    - Swiss Watch
    - Nespresso Machine
    - And many more great items


    About Swiss National Day:

    More than 700 years ago, the inhabitants of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden signed a contract of mutual aid and protection, called the “Federal Charter”, which has since been considered to be Switzerland’s deed of foundation. This solemn oath, taken on 1 August 1291 on the legendary Rütli meadow overlooking Lake Lucerne, was mainly an act of rebellion against the Habsburgs, the rulers of the kingdom of Austria, who at the time were planning to extend their sphere of influence as far as the territories bordering the St. Gotthard.

    Since 1891, the first of August has been celebrated as Swiss National Day. Every year, the President of the Swiss Confederation gives a radio or television broadcast but mostly it’s celebrated exclusively within the communities. Switzerland Tourism has a great blog post explaining more about the holiday’s history here!

  • Newly Swissed!

    Why is everything in Switzerland closed on Sundays? Are there really sign-up sheets to do laundry in apartment buildings? And what’s with all the church bells? All of these questions and more are answered by the English-language online magazine about Switzerland, Newly Swissed.

    In an effort to explain and promote “Swissness,” the online platform covers the latest trends in Swiss culture, design, oddities and tourism, as well as how to settle in Switzerland. It has become a go-to resource for American expats living in Switzerland and the blog reaches English-language readers from around the world who have an interest in all things Swiss.

    We had the chance to meet with the founders, Dimitri and Mamiko, during their stay in the city for Zürich Meets New York. We were happy to welcome the Zurich-based couple to NYC for the festival, courtesy of Swiss International Air Lines, and it was great to see them attend so many events.

    In between dada, running in Central Park and Grand Central’s MetroNeXt+ exhibit, we sat down for an interview with Newly Swissed at the Consulate. Watch the video to learn more about their story, how the online magazine wasf ounded, and what they’re planning for the future!

    Thanks again to Dimitri and Mamiko for attending the “Zürich Meets New York” festival events with us and a special thank you to Swiss International Air Lines for sponsoring their trip to New York to discover all things Swiss in NYC! Check out  Newly Swisseds articles on “Zürich Meets New York”:

    Follow Newly Swissed on Twitter and Facebook for more insights into Swissness!
  • Meet Flatev – the Swiss makers of the Flatbread Evolution

    Recently we had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneur Carlos Ruiz, CEO and Co-Founder of the Zurich-based startup Flatev, creators of the “Flatbread Evolution” machine inspired by the Nespresso capsules system.

    Carlos shared his story with us in an exclusive interview at the Consulate and gave us a demo of the Flatev machine during Internet Week New York, at the swissnexBoston booth. Flatev has a close relationship with swissnex as a 2013 Venture Leader and participant in the 2014 CTI US Market Entry CAMP, a swissnex/CTI collaboration that offers a three-month acceleration program for Swiss startup companies looking to enter the US market.

    Flatev has created the world’s first ball of dough in a pod, making it easier-than-ever to prepare home cooked tortillas with the Flatev pod machine. The machine is expected to debut in retail stores in 2015 and the company plans on offering consumers choices of flour, corn and blue corn tortillas. The user simply inserts a Nespresso-like pod, presses a button, and waits for the machine to press and cook the dough flat, dispensing the finished tortilla in a tray.
    Carlos says the idea came to him one night as a student at the University of Zurich. He wanted to prepare fresh tortillas for his friends, the kind that his mother made in his native Mexico, but realized how complicated it was to create home-made tortillas from scratch. He brought the idea of creating a pod-capsule flatbread machine to a Swiss friend studying engineering at ETH Zurich and soon, Flatev was launched. The Swiss startup has had its challenges, though Carlos and the Flatev co-founders co-founders have also received a lot of support and encouragement. Flatev is hoping to gain market awareness in the US, where the company says a consumer base already exists.


    It was wonderful to meet the team behind the “Flatbread Evolution” and we look forward to hearing what Flatev has in store next. In addition to showcasing at the swissnexBoston booth at Internet Week New York, Flatev presented at the “Meet the Startups” event during Zurich Meets New York. Watch our interview with CEO and Co-Founder, Carlos Ruiz, and read more about his entrepreneurial journey on Flatev’s website. You can also find Flatev on Facebook and Twitter.

    Switzerland and swissnexBoston support entrepreneurs and Swiss startups through a variety of programs, including the recent Venture Leaders Program, which takes place every year in June. For more information on the Venture Leaders and the CTI US Market Entry Camp, visit swissnexBoston’s website and connect with the swissnexBoston New York Outpost on Twitter @SwissConnectNY.
    For more Swiss startup success stories in New York, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SwissCGNY!
  • 2014 Tell Awards

    Last week, we joined the Swiss Business Hub USA and Switzerland Global Enterprise to celebrate the 10th Annual Tell Awards, which recognize U.S. companies with significant investment projects in Switzerland. Recipients this year included Google, MSA Safety and Novocure.

    The awards, named for legendary Swiss hero William Tell, were presented on June 19 by Ambassador François Barras, Consul General of Switzerland in New York and Daniel Küng, CEO of Switzerland Global Enterprise. Bloomberg hosted the event at is New York headquarters. Following the Awards Ceremony, Swiss entrepreneurs were invited onstage for panel discussions on innovation and entrepreneurship. 

    In 2013 some 300 foreign companies settled in Switzerland. “Various renowned benchmark studies and location rankings have repeatedly highlighted Switzerland’s leadership while illustrating its key success factors,” Mr. Küng said.  “The Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) lists Switzerland, for the fifth time in a row, as the world’s most competitive country. ” It continues to be a desirable place for U.S. companies to invest and open global headquarters.

    The 2014 Tell Awards were presented to:

    Patrick Warnking, Country Director Switzerland, Google, recognizing Google for expanding in Zurich, now its largest R&D location outside the US.

    Ronald Herring, President, MSA Europe recognizing MSA Safety for choosing Rapperswil’s new flagship office building “Cube”, in Canton St. Gallen, as the site of its new European Headquarters.

    Wilco Groenhuysen, Chief Financial Officer, Novocure recognizing the company for establishing an EMEA Headquarters in Canton Lucerne to manage global supply chain, R&D, European sales & marketing, quality control, and finance functions.

    First presented in 2004, the Tell Awards program is organized by Switzerland Trade & Investment Promotion, the official program of Switzerland Global Enterprise, that assists companies expanding internationally, including American companies evaluating Switzerland’s competitive advantages and navigating the setup process. For more information, follow Switzerland Trade & Investment on Twitter @CH_Business.

    Watch the panel on Strategic Innovation to Accelerate Growth at the Tell Awards presentation, featuring Leah Belsky, Kaltura; Pascal Kaufmann, Starmind; David Becker, zkipster, moderated by Alex Barinka, Reporter at Bloomberg News: 


  • Jun
  • #ZHNY: A festival of Swiss Ingenuity

    From May 16 - 23, we teamed up with the City of Zurich, ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich to host Zurich Meets New York: A Festival of Swiss Ingenuity, featuring 25 events at venues throughout the city. From art and architecture, music, film and dance to science and technology, sustainable cities, big data, robots and beyond, we brought revolutionary ideas originating in Zurich to the streets of New York. 

    Dada was a central theme, building upon the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the art movement born in Zurich in 1916. The festival’s signature event “Dada Bomb" curated by Giants Are Small showcased avant-garde acts, culminating in an interactive experience themed on the Death of Privacy. Tombstones announcing privacy’s death popped up all around the city leading up to the Dada Bomb Saturday evening at the Whitebox, which was transformed on Monday into a Dada Pop-Up.

    Meanwhile at the New York Academy of Sciences, the University of Zurich held an event Monday evening on what robots and economics could teach the world about humanity. It was the first of many events at the Academy, followed by ETH Zurich panels on Complex Systems and the new era of Cognitive Computing, to name a few.


    The University of Zurich also hosted cultural events, such as the wildly popular Max Frisch discussion at NYU Deutches Haus on the writer’s Moral and Political Responsibility.

    In Chelsea, festival-goers could attend an intimate performance by Swiss dancer Simone Aughterlony at The Kitchen or watch Swiss actress Sabina Spielrein onstage at the Leo Baeck Institute.

    Legendary artist Dieter Meier performed solo in New York for the first time in decades, for the U.S. Release of his CD “Out of Chaos” to a packed room of 350+ at (le) Poisson Rouge.

    The festival ended Friday, May 23 with an ETH Zurich event on Big Data at the Academy of Sciences and an event on Helvetica at SVA with Zurich University of the Arts.

    There were many more festival highlights and we’re thankful for all the support from participants, panelists, partners and attendees. We also enjoyed hosting the Zurich Delegation, including Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zurich. Through events, exhibits, high-level meetings and public discussions, we were able to establish connections between the two great cities. We look forward to continuing to build positive relations between Zurich and New York, further strengthening the ties between Switzerland and the United States.

    Throughout the week, we had active engagement on social media and feature articles in both American and Swiss media. Our series Zurich vs. New York included fun photo overlays on Instagram and our Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with postive feedback.

    From the thousands of mentions across platforms, we randomly chose winners who posted #ZHNY to receive a ParTime Zurich Swiss watch, from the display case in the Consulate’s reception area vitrines for our festival contest.


    A big thank you again to all of those who attended our events. Videos of the panel discussions are being made available on YouTube and photo albums of the events can be seen on Facebook. We invite you to check out the hashtagged posts #ZHNY on Storify below.


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