– By Gustavo Zullo, Academic Relations Program Manager at Swissnex in Brazil
What if there was an opportunity for the community of Brazilians who studied in Switzerland to get together to talk, reminisce, and create new connections?
This is precisely the role of Swiss Alumni Night 2023, a tradition that Swissnex has resumed after more than two years of the pandemic! More than that, this opportunity attracted our community in the state of São Paulo but also from cities in Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Paraná! It was an incredible night to see friends and an excellent opportunity to establish new professional contacts and partnerships in the academic, corporate, and innovation ecosystems! Swiss Alumni Night 2023 was a great gathering of people from different generations and with different professional backgrounds who were willing to connect!
Science & Technology
The get-together between Brazil and Switzerland began with an official welcome presentation by the Swiss consul general in São Paulo, Pierre Hagman, followed by Swissnex CEO Malin Borg and the director of the Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa) in Brazil, Thiago Silveira, who presented different ways of bringing business from Brazil to Switzerland.
Afterward, a panel discussion was held with four alumni from Swiss universities. They spoke about the importance and solidity of their academic training in Switzerland and presented some critical elements of the innovation process based on sustainability.
We had the EPFL alumna Ana Maria do Espírito Santo, currently a professor in the Department of Science and Technology at Unifesp, where she is carrying out cutting-edge research into the development of new materials aimed at increasing energy resilience and fostering scientific innovation led by students from the public sector.
Following the night, Rodrigo Fraga, EPFL alumnus and CEO of Comphya, a startup that has been expanding its operations in Brazil and which has a partnership with Swissnex!
Immo Paul, HSG alumni, president of Carenet, and startup advisor, presented the main processes that a startup must go through to be operationally and economically viable if it wants to secure its place in the Brazilian market.
Jaana Goeggel, an ETH Zürich alumna and founding partner of Sororitê, the largest community of female angel investors in Latin America, closed the presentations. Jaana spoke about the importance and advantages of financing female-oriented businesses, as it addresses the interests of female entrepreneurs and the needs neglected in traditional business models.
Ice-Breaking & Networking
In the second part of the evening, participants took part in a relaxed ice-breaking session in which everyone could share stories, deepen existing connections, and meet new people. The event facilitated the identification of new partnerships and the exchange of professional contacts based on experiences in Switzerland.
“It was a great event. I think that the second part, with the small groups and some questions, was a great idea because people could easily connect with each other that way. Thanks for organizing this!” – Andreas Panse, Director of the Swiss Brasilian School in São Paulo
“Great evening with outstanding people. Professional connections were filled with personal experiences in Switzerland. It couldn’t be better. Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to join the network.” – Renata Bitar, Alumna University of Fribourg
Whether for personal or professional reasons, Swiss Alumni Night 2023, held in São Paulo this year, was a great success, and we hope to see you at future editions!