Switzerland is the 12th largest trading partner of the United States and the 7th largest source of foreign direct investment. There is a nearly balanced exchange of goods and services amounting to over $100 billion annually, and Swiss companies employ almost half a million U.S. workers. With numbers like that, you might think that only big firms engage in transatlantic business – but actually, it’s small companies too, including start-ups you might not even have heard of.
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Blank, founder of the Brooklyn-based Toggle. We asked him about his company and how it’s fueling the Swiss-U.S. economic relationship:
Dan, what does your start-up do?
Toggle is a construction robotics company that is using digital fabrication to assemble rebar for reinforced concrete structures.
What is Toggle’s relationship to Switzerland?
Our connection to Switzerland is due to our close partnership with ABB for robotics and our friends at ETH Zurich who have demonstrated, through their research, the enormous potential for industrial robotics, automation and digital fabrication in commercial construction.
That sounds pretty cool!
It’s cool to be an entrepreneur because your job is to weave together so many different perspectives, areas of expertise and unexpected applications of technology within areas of opportunity or problems. And if you’re lucky you get to make some money while you do it!
This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week is focusing on women & entrepreneurship – do you have any thoughts to share on that topic?
We’ve found that robotics for architecture, construction and digital fabrication is very popular among women and I have met women doing amazing work in their studies, research and work in companies and startups. Personally, I’ve been inspired by the women entrepreneurs in my family, particularly my sister who has made a big impact with her company The Sill.
Interested in entrepreneurship? Make sure to keep an eye out for #GES17 social media posts starting November 28 when the Global Entrepreneurship Summit kicks off in Hyderabad, India. U.S. Embassy Bern will be sending Sylke Hoehnel of SUN bioscience and we can’t wait to follow her experience!