Using pink sticker dots on West 18th Street in Manhattan, the designers of the Stijlinstituut Amsterdam made sure that the crowds of the New York Fashion Week would find their way to the 4th floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, where on September 10th fashion met technology. This event, organized by the Zero Power Smart Systems Initiative of EPFL and ETHZ in cooperation with swissnex Boston, and designed by the Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, joined together the worlds of technology and fashion with a day-long exhibition and symposium.
Last week, we had the pleasure of attending an event organized by the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce on Competitiveness, Crowdfunding and Coffee. Hosted by Frederic Levy, CEO of Nespresso USA at the SoHo Boutique on Prince Street, the evening including presentations by Martin Naville, CEO of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce and Thomas Steinemann, CEO of DuBois et fils.Over espresso and coffee cocktails, guests listened to the seasoned wisdom of these two business leaders. No stranger to the audience, Martin’s presentation on “Switzerland & USA - rocky road ahead?" infused statistics, graphs and projections with a lively discussion on the future of the sister republics. Thomas’ presentation on "Crowdfunding and Innovation - Moving with the Times" told the amazing story of how crowdfunding helped to save a luxury brand and launch a new product line.The story of DuBois is a unique one. The Swiss watch manufacturing company founded in 1785 is one of Switzerland’s oldest quality watch makers. In recent history, the brand has struggled to survive against the competition. Since its 2010 change in ownership, the company has been working to re-launch its brand image and in 2012, the “Crazy and Very Exciting” crowdfunding campaign was introduced. In 2013, the company announced it successfully raised 1.5 million CHF in funding without the assistance of any crowdfunding portal or outside vendor. Over 500 individuals from over 20 countries have invested money for equity ownership, in one of the only examples of crowdfunding being applied to luxury goods. The full story can be read on the DuBois website and an overview is available below.After the presentations, guests networked over unique coffee cocktail creations by Nespresso, including the Cubania Libre, celebrating Nespresso’s current limited-edition line, the Cubania. One lucky attendee, Steve Thomas from Delta Air Lines, won the raffle for a new VertuoLine Machine!It was a lively evening fueled by good coffee and conversation. Check out Flickr for more pictures and the full photo album. A special thanks to Frederic Levy and Michelle McFoul for hosting the event at the Nespresso Boutique SoHo and to Manual Rudolf for initiating this program.Interested in joining the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce? Check out membership benefits here! http://www.amcham.ch/membership/Sep152014
A well-balanced audience
“I am very happy with the event,” said Adrian Ionescu, Director, NanoLab of EPF Lausanne and Chair of the Guardian Angels Initiative. “There was a fantastic balance of people from the tech, fashion, and design industries in the audience – just what we were looking for!”
Networking reception allows for new connections
Lastly, the networking reception with experts from the fields of technology and fashion allowed new connections in otherwise opposite industries. This reception put a stylish end to the day at the Metropolitan Pavilion, where technology met fashion and Swiss researchers met New York fashionistas.Even among the many exclusive fashion shows happening this week around New York, there were no empty seats when the presenters hit the stage. No less than 13 speakers (Link to program) from diverse backgrounds drew the crowds to this afternoon symposium.
Bringing Swiss science and innovation to New York City
The success of Wednesday’s event is a testament to the mission that swissnex serves: bringing the best Switzerland has to offer in science and innovation to audiences around the world. And nowhere is that audience more influential than in New York City. “New Yorkers set trends in how we dress, how we interact and communicate with others, and how we invest in new ventures,” says Oliver Haugen, swissnex Boston’s new Senior Project Leader in New York.
The incredible growth of Silicon Alley over the last decade has cemented New York City as the US’s full-service hub for the new economy. Building on fourteen years of experience running the world’s first science consulate, swissnex Boston decided to open a New York Outpost in 2013 to better serve the needs of partners like the EPFL and ETH.
“EPFL’s Guardian Angels Initiative, and the many wearable tech ventures it has linked with in Europe and the US, deserved to reach the right public,” Oliver adds. “Innovation has no borders – and it’s our job at swissnex to make sure that Switzerland’s top centers of research excellence that are EPFL and ETH are known here in New York.” In doing so, swissnex already benefits from the internationalization efforts that the schools have accomplished at home: more than half of EPFL’s faculty and student body is non-Swiss, hailing from 125 countries; and ETH is over one-third international.
The Zero Power Smart Fashion exhibition and symposium was organized by the Zero Power Smart Systems Initiative of EPFL and ETHZ in cooperation with swissnex Boston and its Outpost in New York.
Photos by Katie Nicole Mercado & swissnex BostonSep122014
Everybody remembers exactly what they were doing on 9/11, when the pictures of the outrageous terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers popped up in the media. 13 years ago today, at 8.45 a.m., I called my team members of the Swiss Consulate General in New York to come into my office on the 30th floor. At that time I was Deputy in the Consulate, taking over temporarily.From a safe distance, out of our office windows on 3rd Avenue & 40th Street, we watched the smoke rising from the North Tower. We all were shocked and thought first of our families. We asked ourselves harrowing questions: how many people lost their lives or were hurt? Are friends, relations, members of the Swiss-American community, tourists from Switzerland among them? After a few moments of shock, we set up a crisis management team with the main task of getting in touch with the Swiss-American community living in the vicinity of the towers, with Swiss-American companies, tourist operators etc. and bringing consular assistance to those who needed it.While this horrendous attack showed the worst people are capable of, at the same time it brought a huge wave of solidarity among citizens. We were overwhelmed by the many offers of American and Swiss citizens to help, being it medical or psychological assistance, shelter, or working as volunteers. This spontaneous readiness to help was what kept us up 13 years ago. And this still gives us hope today.
Signed,Ambassador André Schaller, Consul General of Switzerland in New YorkSep112014
Don’t miss these upcoming events!Sep092014
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