Sandy Wetzel grew up in Yverdon-les-Bains.After high school, he studied corporate economics at the HEG management school in Lausanne, followed by a year on a tourist destination management course at HES-VS. He then joined Swisscom, where he helped launch the operator’s TV products.Almost by chance he joined the State of Vaud economic development department and became project leader overseeing financial support for start-ups and SMEs.In 2012, he became director of Y-Parc, the Yverdon technology hub.He repositioned the organisation, working closely with the HEIG-VD Vaud School of Engineering and Management, and set up an incubator which has helped nurture around thirty start-ups to date. He became director of Neode in June 2017.
What does Microcity represent for Neode ?
For Neode, Microcity is vital as it stimulates and promotes the Neuchâtel innovation hub and boosts the creation of start-ups in our incubator. Microcity brings the different realms of start-up business, industry and research much closer geographically and culturally. You can hardly build an incubator without that closeness.
What benefits does Microcity bring for Neode’s start-ups ?
A network and synergies. In addition to coaching and hosting services, start-ups need facilities and interactions within an ecosystem, with research partners – the grey matter – and industrial players, who provide their view of the economic realities. We have all those ingredients here. As much for the start-ups that are direct spin-offs from Microcity partners as for the others that have come from elsewhere to join this ecosystem.
How many start-ups do you accommodate ?
If we count both sites, Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds, we accommodate around 20 fledgling businesses, all at very different stages of maturity. They mainly work in the fields of microtechnologies and medical technologies.