BFH student awarded First Ventures funding

08.07.2020 During the fourth First Ventures call for proposals, as part of the Gebert Rüf Stiftung’s BREF funding programme , Elena Nedelkoska, an MA student in Wood Technology at BFH, was awarded funding for her project.

Elena Nedelkoska impressed the jury with her WoDens technology, and will receive a financial contribution of CHF 30,000 and access to a personal business training and coaching programme.


There is a long tradition in the use of tropical wood for expensive furniture, luxury objects and musical instruments due to their properties such as high density, hardness and aesthetic look. Many of them are endangered, not easily available, very expensive, and bear the risk of clients connecting the company to the illegal timber trade. Therefore, we came up with a solution to create a new material that has similar appearance and properties as tropical wood through modification of sustainable domestic wood. We offer customized modified wood (colour, density, etc.) according to the needs of the clients. To reach that, the project focuses on a technical part including the development of the wood modification setup based on machine learning and a business development part that is supported by our industrial partner Arts and Design Manufacture SA, a company with a long experience in the watch and jewellery industry who will provide their expertise in market strategies development.  They will connect us to the customers who are worldwide selling producers of luxury and premium products in the watch industry, jewellery, kitchen utensils, furniture and accessories.

We are delighted with our students’ innovative abilities and would like to congratulate Elena Nedelkoska on her achievement. We wish her plenty of enthusiasm, determination and success as she embarks on the next steps with her technology!

Other winners:

BA Remo Oberholzer, ZHAW; Aurora project, CHF 150,000
MA Anna-Flurina Kälin, ZHAW, varcu project, CHF 150,000

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Category: Studies