Partner Event Autexis IT AG & W. Thommen AG

Yesterday evening we had the great pleasure to welcome our partners Autexis IT AG and W. Thommen AG at the FHNW in Olten. This event was organized to provide our platinum and gold partners with our experiences from the On-Site Seminar 2017. But this event was also scheduled to show our high appreciation to the generous support and great partnership we could experience during that whole year.

The two partners had the chance to invite their employees and clients to this event. After welcoming everyone we started with the presentation of the two firms, held by Thomas Neuhaus (CEO Autexis IT AG) and Marc Thommen (Chairman of the board of directors of the W. Thommen AG). Then we introduced everyone what connectUS is in general. After that we came to the main part, the presentation of the firsthand experiences from six of our delegates. We talked about topics such as relationship between Switzerland and the U.S., startups/trends and IT/Internet of Things (IoT). Following this we had the chance to further discuss and answer questions during the apero.

The whole evening was a huge success and a great chance to wrap up the amazing time we spent together with the Autexis IT AG and the W. Thommen AG. We want to thank you again for the great collaboration and all your commitment. Without you we could not have spent such an amazing On-Site Seminar!

Final wrap-up

It’s sad to say, but connectUS 2017 is already over. With the Closing Event on May 8, it officially came to an end. But we had a wonderful year with lots of interesting and amazing moments.


Everything started in summer 2016 with the planning. The first official event then was the Kick-Off Meeting for the Delegation at the end of December 2016. There, we got to know each other for the first time personally and learned more about the upcoming Preparatory and On-Site Seminar.


In February, the Preparatory Seminar took place. We had the pleasure to welcome different high-ranked people from various fields and companies. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to get an insight into the Google Offices in Zurich and the Swiss Embassy in Bern.


Then, everybody was really excited and looking forward to April 6. We finally headed off to the USA for our On-Site Seminar! Our first stop was San Francisco. With DocuSign, Swissnex, Swisscom, Microsoft and Xamarin we had absolutely fabulous visits there. Boston was our second city of our On-Site Seminar. We had a speech from the CEO of Swissnex, an MIT tour, a tour and speech by the CIC and the chance to network in the Venture Café as well as a speech from Bettina Hein, the CEO of Pixability. Moreover, we had the chance to visit the Cambridge Science Festival in Boston. Last but not least, we went to New York. The program was packed with insightful visits such as Google, Alex Goldberg – a venture capitalist, MoMA, Swiss Consulate, Brooklyn Grange and Livestream.


No doubt, we had a wonderful time. This was for sure a once in a lifetime experience. Now, everthing finished with the successful Closing Event.


Our last words are dedicated to all those people that enabled us to have that unforgettable experience such as our supervisor, accompanying lectures, delegates, speakers and of course, a big thank you to our partners!


There is one more thing we want to share with you: Lean back, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy our On-Site video 2017!

Closing Event Invitation

You want to be part of connectUS or another International Student Project in 2018?
You think about applying for the project or PR team 2018?
Or you just want to know everything about this years edition of the student projects?

There is one opportunity to get answer to all these questions during one evening: COME TO OUR CLOSING EVENT 2017

See you there!

Day 15 – New York

This is actually our last day of our On-Site Seminar. We enjoyed this day with two interesting visits.



We were warmly welcomed at Livestream by Matt O’Leary and Dave Yeu. This company exists since 10 years and has over 120 employees here in Brooklyn. They also have teams in India and Ukraine, but the headquarter is still in Brooklyn.


They are organised by two different working-groups. The first one is VPG (Video Product Group) which builds videos. The second one is called PPG (Plattform Product Group) which is responsible for the distribution.


After their presentation, we had the pleasure to see the whole office and get some insights into their worklife.

Wall Street Experience

In the afternoon, we went to the Wall Street and did a tour with a tour guide called Jared. Therefore, we got some great information about the Wall Street itself. For example, the name „Wall Street“ is leaded back to a wall which stood there. Moreover, the company „General Electric“ is the only company which is on the down jones index since its beginning.


Another intersting fact is that the largest business district is not at the Wall Street, it is actually in the midtown. Also the huge banks like UBS or Credit Suisse are not located there.


To sum up this whole On-Site Seminar, we will have a joint dinner in the evening and have a great closure of it.

Day 14 – New York

We had this day, actually our second last day in New York, two different visits and a bit of leisure time.


Consulate General of Switzerland

In the morning, we met André Schaller, the Ambassador, at the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York City. First of all, he told us some facts about the relationship between the USA and Switzerland. One interesting fact is that US-companies have created about 100’000 jobs in Switzerland. On the other hand, Swiss-companies have created approximately 500’000 jobs in the USA.


Furthermore, he spoke about the image of Switzerland in the USA. The Swiss are at the six place at the moment. In natural beauty, Switzerland is actually on the second place.


Lastly, André Schaller presented the tasks of the Consulate. The most important one is the support of Swiss citizen. Another task is to promote Switzerland in the USA in several fields.



Brooklyn Grange

We were warmly welcomed by Mollie Kinsman at Brooklyn Grange. This company was founded in 2010 and uses rooftops as a breeding ground. Their core business is agriculture. But they also do some consulting work like designs for a garden. At the moment, they have two buildings which they use and one more is in planning.


Due to this usage of rooftops, the environment can profit from a better air, local food and biodiversity. The customers of Brooklyn Grange are 2/3 local restaurants and 1/3 private customers.

Day 13 – New York

Today, we had two interesting and absolutely different visits. Both of them were really exciting.


Alex Goldberg

He is a venture capitalist and the Managing Director of Canary Venture. The focus of his company lies on seed-stage as well as B2B enterprise and infrastructure software start-ups. Alex Goldberg does not only invest in these start-ups, he also supports them. At the moment, he has 12 different companies.


After the presentation of Alex Goldberg, we had the pleasure to hear two speeches from two different start-ups. The first one was „All Beauty“ from Camille Varlet. She is the CEO and founder of this company which produces a special water. The water should make you more beautiful, has a flavor in it and has actually no sugar and calories as well.




The second speech was from Miika Perä. He is the CEO of the company „Cambrian Intelligence“. Cambrian is a robot OS made of Artificial Intelligence in car production. He wants to solve the problem that the software is the limiting factor for a fully automated world.






MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

In the afternoon, we visited the MoMA. We could learn so much about the modern art with a private tour guide. Thus, we had the chance to unterstand the background of some paintings and pictures.












Day 12 – New York

Our twelfth day was fully booked with a visit at Google in New York city. Chantrelle Johanson, Caitlin Boston and Maria Grach welcomed us at their huge office. An incredible fact is that the office has the same space like the Empire State Building. Furthermore, about 7’000 employees work for Google in New York.

First of all, we got an absolutely amazing tour through the office. The view of the rooftop is stunning. Afterwards, Chantrelle told us something about the design sprint process. It is a five phase framework – unterstand, sketch, decide, prototype and validate.


Then, it was time for us to explore this process in real. We had the task to design an app for students which makes the life for them easier. With several contraints we knew what we have to do. So, we did some user interviews, put some ideas together, did the design principles, defined the user journey and in the end, we had to present our idea.


It was really interesting to learn more about this desing sprint and to get some first-hand experiences.

Wrap up Boston

Boston – the Silicon Valley of the east coast!

Well known for it’s universities, Boston is way more than only a student city. Very fast one considers that there is a high business potential. In more detail it is the health care and tech hub of the United States (or even the world). Of course this is triggered by universities such as the MIT, Harvard, the BU or many more. So, similar to the Silicon Valley with the Stanford engine, but on the other side of the country.

Swissnex Boston added great value to our program and enabled us to get insights into normally confidential areas. We were able to get a tour at the MIT (incl. Media Lab), the Cambridge Innovation Center (incl. Venture Cafe) and also had interesting speeches such as one from Hampus Hillerstrom from Proclara Bioscience or Pascal Marmier from Swiss Re.

Furthermore we had the valuable chance to visit Pixability. Bettina Hein, CEO and Founder, welcomed us and motivated us with her passionate speech to become an entrepreneur. We hope we can contribute to reach her goal of creating 5000 jobs for entrepreneurs!

Big thank you to all these people that made our Boston stay unforgettable. Especially we want to mention here Jonas and Francesco from Swissnex Boston. We highly appreciate your engagement!

Day 11 – New York

On this Easter Monday, we had no company visits. So, each delegation member could do what he or she wanted. Some of us went to a shopping outlet and others did some sightseeing.


Here, you find some impressions of the sightseeing tour.






















Day 10 – New York

This day, we were travelling from Boston to New York with the bus. The journey was longer than we thought due to the huge traffic in the city. Nevertheless, we were all really excited to arrive in New York and enjoyed a great evening.