How do you replicate the special sound of the Stradivarius without having access to the same wood that grew in 17th century Cremona, Italy? Francis Schwarze of the Empa Applied Wood Materials Lab has the solution: treat the wood with fungi. He tells Ana Maria Montero just how it is done in Tech Talk.

Startup founder’s advice: “Keep learning and have fun!”
Founder and CEO Madiha Derouazi shares her advice to startups when pitching their projects to investors. And she would know: Derouazi has raised CHF 33 million for her company, Amal Therapeutics. The EPFL alum recently shared this and more at this year’s Startup Champions Seed Night, co-organized by Venturelab.

A collaboration that could revolutionize product design in Switzerland
In our monthly Swissnex edition of Tech Talk, find out how 14 students from Lausanne’s ECAL, one of the world’s top design schools, went to MIT in Boston to learn how soft robotics can further innovate product design.

Skaterbots: The social companions (and pets) of the future?
After their recent debut on ice, Rob and Bob the Skaterbots are making their TV debut on rollerblades. Their creators at ETH Zurich tell Tech Talk that they are exploring the possibility of designing the social companion of the future.

Paléo Festival 2019 goes digital
Nyon’s legendary music festival plans to go digital in 2019 with Paléo Galaxy. Julien Gross gave us a heads-up at CES in Las Vegas.

Linz attacks Swiss watchmakers for not having an answer to the smartwatch
After one year, the world’s first mechanical smartwatch is ticking successfully forward, with technology in the pipeline that, according to maker Frederique Constant’s Peter Stas, could rival Apple. Despite that, WatchAdvisor’s Alexander Linz thinks the Swiss industry’s response to the smartwatch has been entirely too slow.

Robots and 3-D printers helped build this Swiss house
The world’s first digitally fabricated house, known as DFAB, is now open. The building—a collaboration between the Swiss institutes ETH Zurich, Empa, and Eawag—will be home to four people beginning in May. Ana Maria Montero got an early tour on this week’s edition of Tech Talk.

What’s driving the latest changes in car technology?
The future of cars and automation is front and center at the Geneva International Motor Show. Tech giants are joining up with carmakers to change driving as we know it. Microsoft’s Avijit Sinha and WayRay CEO Vitaly Pomonarev talk about what’s next and say that the future is closer than we think.

Brazil’s “booming” venture capital landscape
Swissnex Brazil is knee-deep in fertile territory for start-ups ranging from agtech to big data, says Executive Director Maria Conti. But even more alluring is an investment infrastructure that is set to go “through the roof,” according to swissnex alumnus Ignacio Barrios, now CEO of Kido Dynamics.

Sure, it’s faster, but is 5G technology safe?
Swiss mobile companies are gearing up for 5G, but there’s concern that local laws on radiation-limits could hold up its rollout. We go to the World Mobile Congress where 5G is taking center stage and find out about the future of the next-generation technology in Switzerland and beyond.