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Celebrating six months of innovation: i4Challenge accelerator New Ideas 2022/2023

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Celebrating six months of innovation: i4Challenge accelerator New Ideas 2022/2023


On the 5th of July 2023, the 3rd iteration of the i4Challenge accelerator program New Ideas came to its conclusion. We hosted a fabulous last event to reflect on six months of groundbreaking innovation in the Basel Area.

In this summary, you’ll learn more about the i4Challenge, meet the five winning industrial transformation ideas and learn about their point of view on the six-months-long accelerator.

i4Challenge accelerator

The i4Challenge is an initiative of the Industrial Transformation team of Basel Area Business & Innovation to foster regional economic growth and innovation. It serves as a platform for SMEs, startups and individuals exploring Industry 4.0 technologies, helping them navigate the realms of digitization, automation and robotics to better position themselves in the global market.

Although it is called an accelerator, the i4Challenge offers more than what you normally get. As a non-profit organization, our only goal is to help innovative entrepreneurs achieve their full potential through collaboration

We connect them to our vast network of investors, mentors, coaches and potential business partners, who are ready to invest not just their money but their time and expertise tailored to your business’s individual needs.

Six months of idea development

In six months, the candidates went through five phases of MVP development with direct feedback after each iteration, biweekly coaching and various trainings and workshops.

After the six months, the accelerator came to its conclusion with a pitching opportunity in this final event.

The winners of the i4Challenge New Ideas

We’re proud to present the five phenomenal i4Challenge New Ideas winners who showcase the innovation potential of the region in its full effect. Six months ago, they started with an idea. Today, they have MVPs, and some even have clients and investors lined up.


Axom — Inspection and counting with AI.

Axom uses AI to inspect pharmaceutical products. Its goal is to ensure that the products are complete in numbers and free of any defects to be safely used by patients.

Tristan Salomon, founder and CEO of Axom, knew about Basel Area Business & Innovation as one of the few institutions that relate to startups in Basel. When he learned about the i4Challenge, he applied right away.

Throughout the i4Challenge accelerator, the structure of his company changed significantly. Thanks to the exchanges with his coach, Tristan realized that his company lacked special expertise in areas he wasn’t familiar with. He filled those gaps with new hires and freelancers under advice of his coach.

Although the six months have helped tremendously, Tristan recognizes there’s still a long way to go. He wants to bring his business from being an idea with a few customers to being one of the main actors in the industry.

His advice to anyone who considers applying?

“Apply! I didn’t expect to get SO much value from it.”

Xsight — Modular and adaptive cybersecurity

Xsight is developing an offensive AI technology to continuously monitor and identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This proactive approach aims to significantly reduce the time it takes companies to discover they’ve been hacked, thereby minimizing associated losses.

Yaroslav Pryymak, co-founder of Xsight, applied to numerous acceleration programs. The professional and keen interest shown during his application process at the i4Challenge convinced him to give it a shot. Yaroslav was impressed by the individualized approach. With only a handful of participants, the program delved deep into the startups’ issues, making the mentors feel like an extension of the team, almost like co-founders.

The core idea behind Xsight remains the same, but the way it’s packed into a product drastically improved. Additionally, Yaroslav forged valuable connections that are always available for discussions, providing real, actionable feedback even after the i4Challenge accelerator concluded.

His advice to anyone who considers applying?

“Just apply. It really is worth it to participate.”

B4SIS — Safely start renovating

B4SIS offers a tool that assists homeowners in managing renovation projects. The tool provides realistic cost estimations and facilitates communication between homeowners, financial institutions and architectural firms.

Sarah Ensner, Partner at B4SIS, entered the i4Challenge upon a friend’s suggestion. As a native “Baslerin,” she was excited to apply and innovate in her home region. She didn’t think she’d win but was really keen on the expertise she could access within the i4Challenge accelerator.

In the beginning, Sarah had trouble positioning her idea. The program’s mentorship and workshops let her explore whether she should serve B2B or B2C customers, which ultimately helped her position herself in the market.

Now, with a sharper focus, Sarah aims to automate within her company and find partnerships for collective growth. As the accelerator ended, she felt a blend of nostalgia and eagerness, appreciating the newfound clarity and direction.

DX Analytics

DX Analytics is working on a maintenance toolbox for digital twins to aid in efficiently managing civil infrastructure maintenance.

Vladimir Vilde, founder of DX Analytics, moved from Cambridge to Switzerland, where he found the i4Challenge to connect with the local ecosystem.

Vladimir used to approach potential clients from a technical angle that not everyone understood. While in the i4Challenge accelerator program, he refined DX Analytics’s value proposition to be more benefit-focused and business-oriented.

He most appreciated the weekly contact with his coach. Exchanging insights and getting help developing his sales strategy was a game-changer. But also, the connections to the local community, factories and government are now of immense value.

The technical viability of DX Analytics is proven. Now, Vladimir is working on proving its commercial viability and soon generating income. He doesn’t want to raise money like other startups but rather grow together with his customer base.

His advice to anyone who considers applying?

“Just apply for it! It costs nothing. See how it goes.”

AdVentura Works — Material handling as a service

AdVentura creates a solution for teleoperational forklifts to help logistics and industrial companies tackle employee shortages and improve material handling efficiencies in any environment.

Alexander Manolov, Co-founder and CEO of AdVentura Works, applied upon his friend’s suggestion.

He started with just a small prototype of about 50 cm in height and a few potential clients lined up. Today, he has a working prototype and was able to do several demos with potential clients and investors.

Next to his coaches’ advice, Alexander drew the biggest benefits for his company from the connections he made during the six months of the program.

Currently, AdVentura Works is trying to raise funds, with a few interested investors already lined up!

His advice to anyone who considers applying?

“Just do it! Entrepreneurship is jumping into the deep and figuring it out.”

Insights from our coaches

Our coaches, such as Martin Gysler and Christophe Walch brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the i4Challenge accelerator. 

Their coaching approach is tailored to entrepreneurs’ needs, considering the business idea’s development stage. They acted as sparring partners and trusted advisors, focusing on creating value for customers. Each coachee faced unique challenges and responded to different coaching methods, making every session intense and enriching — more art than science.

Despite the challenging conditions, Martin and Christophe are pleased with the progress they’ve made.

They give a special thanks to Sébastien and Albert for bringing everyone together and making the i4Challenge possible.

Stay up to date

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If you’re on the edge of a great idea around Industry 4.0 that the world needs to know about, and you don’t want to wait until the next edition of the i4Challenge, contact the Industrial Transformation team directly:

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