Vanessa: First of all, congratulations on making it to the finals of the SEF award! You have been one of the three finalists in the category Production/Trade & Industry. A real success...
Carlo: Definitely and thank you for the compliments. Sure, it would have been nice to win, but we were under the nine finalists of the 200 applicants. Therefore, we are very proud to have made it this far. We are thankful for the chance and very happy about the experience.
Vanessa: How come you decided to take part in the SEF award? Has this always been a dream of yours?
Carlo: Actually it hasn’t. Generally, we are sceptical when it comes to participating in awards. Often, you put in a lot of work and then you don’t win and the reward will only be small. But it has been different this time (laughs). Even though we didn’t win the SEF Award, being part of it was definitely worth it.
Vanessa: Despite of this, why did you decide to apply?
Carlo: For a few years, we had the envelope for a possible application repeatedly on our desks. At the end Patrick Karrer, a friend of mine who works at the SEF, convinced me. In our team we decided to keep the outlay as small as possible and to never let the daily business slide.
Vanessa: Putting in only a small effort has been impossible in the end, am I right?
Carlo: You’re right (laughs). The selection was a long process stretching over a few months but it was all extremely organized and very professional. We are really content with how it turned out to be.
Vanessa: Would you like to give some details about the selection process? Have there been certain steps you had to go through? How do you have to imagine the whole thing?
Carlo: Yes, there were certain steps. First, you needed to register in an online tool and answer some questions about your business like USP, growth strategy, etc. After this, a first selection was made and out of the 200 initial applicants only 60 were selected. In a second step we were asked to send a detailed application. This application involved our business case and the pitch deck as well. The full program so to speak.
Vanessa: Interesting. Is this followed by the part when the jury came visiting us in our offices in Glattbrugg and we would turn the whole office upside down beforehand?
Carlo: True. At the beginning of March, right before the lockdown, the section with its 20 jury members came by the office. Jonathan and I gave them a 60 minute tour around our office, introduced our business, and answered all of their questions. As you said before, we reduced our warehouse, reorganized it and tidied it up so that we could exchange the warehouse for the meeting room. Only then did we have a suitable room to welcome our guests.
Vanessa: One can definitely not accuse us of lacking commitment. I remember well how we sweated (laughs). What came next?
Carlo: After a few weeks, we knew that we were under the nine finalists and nominated with reCercle and Lunaphore in the category Production/Trade & Industry. In May we were invited to Bern to meet the top staffed main jury. Prominence like Monika Ribar (supervisory board member at SBB), Caspar Coppetti (founder of On AG), Alain Conte (management UBS Switzerland), and many more were members of this main jury.
Vanessa: The decision, whether or not you made the first place, was made by then?
Carlo: Yes, it was. But this info was only shared at the SEF event itself of course.