Zurich, Switzerland.

Image: iStockphoto/sborisov

The land known for its chocolate and watches is becoming increasingly known as a hotbed for new startups. Switzerland’s startup scene is alive and thriving due to strong engineering schools and myriad possibilities for funding.

Yannick Guerdat is a member of the Alp ICT, an organization that seeks to grow business innovation in Switzerland. He said public-private partnerships are common in the country, and many startups can partner with universities as well. Additionally, most regions also have incubators, he said.

While investors typically don’t take the same risks as investors in the US, he said, they are committed to the long term growth of the company.

“Beyond having the right people, technical solutions and infrastructure, the country’s heritage in banking and confidentiality surely contributes to some extent,” he said.

Guerdat said small business is integral to the Swiss economy. How fitting that the country where the World Wide Web got its start at CERN is now continuing its tradition of small business growth in technology and web-based businesses.

Here are 10 innovative new Swiss startups that are poised to do some big things.

1. ProtonMail

Former CERN employees developed ProtonMail, a secure email service that offers end-to-end encryption and other security features. The technology was developed in partnership with another research institution and even ProtonMail employees can’t access user data. Forbes called it “the only e-mail system the NSA can’t access.”

2. Bestmile

Bestmile has built out a platform to manage fleets of autonomous vehicles. They don’t build the vehicles themselves, but they provide the infrastructure for connecting and operating these vehicles. A clean UI makes the product easy to get started with and use.

3. Silent Circle

The secure smartphone known as the Blackphone was created by Swiss startup Silent Circle. The company’s second iteration, the Blackphone 2, was released in September 2015. Potentially more secure than any other phone in the market, it runs a proprietary OS called Silent OS.

4. Dacuda

Dacuda turns your phone into a mobile 3D scanner. You can use the company’s app 3DAround to take food photos, or its app called 3DSelfie to turn yourself into a 3D printed figurine. Their SLAM Scan technology applies robotic algorithms to recreate the images captured in three dimensions.

5. Threema

For the privacy and security conscious, Threema offers end-to-end encryption on all your messages, group chats, files, and status messages. Users are given a Threema ID to keep everything fully anonymous. The app also features a polling tool so users can poll their friends to help them make decisions.

6. Squirro

Squirro tackles a company’s unstructured data to provide new insights into customer trends, service trends, and risk. A cloud solution, Squirro takes a look at both internal and external data to provide analysis.

7. Starmind

Starmind‘s “Brain Technology” is an AI tool that uses self-learning algorithms to make an information map of an organization. It can analyze and answer anonymous questions from employees, or point them to the top expert on a particular subject within their company.

8. HouseTrip

Similar to the increasingly popular Airbnb, Switzerland’s HouseTrip helps users find and rent holiday homes in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Australia. The company went live in early 2010 and has since helped book millions of rooms.

9. Monetas

Monetas provides a platform for financial transactions to occur. The platform supports transaction in both national and digital currencies, and even offers Bitcoin integration. The company’s website said it uses cryptographically secured digital notary to enable the transactions.

10. L.E.S.S.

L.E.S.S. develops and sells nan fiber lighting systems. The company offers applications in the automotive, industrial, and medical industries, among others. They provide both high and low-angle illumination systems.

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10 Swiss startups you need to watch