Daniel is passionate about building the future. He is a mission-driven leader, entrepreneur and innovator with experience in building teams to develop and bring software from idea to market. Taking a thorough customer-centric approach under his leadership multiple products have been launched across various industries such as 3D printing, manufacturing, healthcare as well as the financial sector. Currently, he works in FinTech. Daniel's product portfolio covers B2B as well as B2C.'
Daniel currently serves as the head of software products and team lead at 'Pando' by Swiss Life. Prior to this role, he founded and led Mirrakoi S.A. as CEO.
In this role, he has built from scratch and led a multi-disciplinary team and oversaw product development,
fundraising, hiring, marketing and customer relations, sales, IP and legal aspects as well as business
administration and business development.
Earlier in his career he has worked as a machine learning, data and computer vision engineer at Siemens Healthcare prior to pursuing a PhD degree in signal and image processing at the ETH Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He has extensive experience communicating with different stakeholders in complex projects including high-level management, customers, investors, technical staff and administration. He is an experienced lecturer, presenter and speaker at international conferences.
Daniel has deep knowledge of the Swiss startup eco-system and an international network of investors. He speaks four languages (English, French, German, Spanish) as well as the ’programming language’ (C, C++, Java, Python). Besides his PhD degree, he received a bachelor degree in Life Sciences & Technology and a master degree in Bioengineering both from EPFL.
Daniel is the author of the two blogs Guide to Product Management and Personal Exponential Growth.
Name: Daniel Schmitter
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Nationality: Swiss & Canadian
Civil status: married
Children: 1 son
English, French, German, Spanish
Prior to his role at Pando by Swiss Life, he had founded a high-technology software company in the area of computer-aided design, 3D printing and imaging systems. Earlier he has been working as a scientist and researcher as well as a software engineer at Siemens Healthcare. Daniel holds a PhD degree in image and signal processing, a master degree in bioengineering and a bachelor degree in life sciences and technology.
2021 - Present
Head of digital products (lead tech, product & operations) at Pando by Swiss Life since February 2021. Started as the first employee of Pando, then built and now leading a cross-functional team of engineers, product designers, marketing, operations, customer support and business talents. Went from zero to one with Pando through all stages of corporate innovation from building the product and team from scratch all the way from the first business specifications to development, product launch, early traction to scaling and extending the operations. Got promoted in December 2021 to be the team leader and line manager of Pando by Swiss Life.
2016 - 2021
Founder: Founded Mirrakoi
as an EPFL spin-off startup company with the goal to make
computer-aided design more accessible and easier to use in manufacturing, product
design and healthcare. Mirrakoi's technology is based on computational geometry, image processing and machine learning.
CEO: As founder and CEO, Daniel has recruited his co-founders and grown Mirrakoi from scratch to a multidisciplinary team of 8 employees. In his role as company leader he is responsible for defining strategy, setting direction and executing on business development. Mirrakoi has since raised CHF 1.1M+ from public and private investors and brought 4 software products to market. Today Mirrakoi has customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia across various industries with clients ranging from corporations and SMEs to hospitals and universities.
Product Manager & Business Developer: Drove implementation and execution through all stages of building a product, team and business, originating from an idea in a research lab, through user and market research, prototyping, patenting and user acquisition. Established key industrial partnerships and the implementation of marketing and sales strategies; went all the way from on-boarding pilot projects to first sales to scaling and growth, managed budget, timelines and roadmaps.
Responsible Partnerships: Led efforts from zero to product-market fit and built key relationships with industrial, clinical and governmental partners and customers (Tesla, Swarovski, Mount Sinai Hospital NY, McNeel & Associates, EPFL, University Hospitals of Bern and Lausanne, Innosuisse, Venturelab, et al.).
Networker & Fundraiser: Placed Mirrakoi on the map of Swiss technology startups and created a strong network of stakeholders, investors and enablers of the Swiss startup scene including founders and leaders of companies. Daniel was part of the Venture Leaders Technology organized by Venturelab in 2019 and the Swiss national startup team ’Silicon Valley’.
Enabler & Leader: Led Mirrakoi 2 times into the “Swiss Top 100 Startups”. Mirrakoi was also awarded to participate in the Innosuisse ‘core coaching’ program and is a winner of ‘Venturekick’ as well as a recipient of the ‘Prix Vigier’ and was within the ‘Top 20’ startups of ‘Venture’.
2013 - 2017
Scientist: Carried out scientific research at EPFL's
Biomedical Imaging Group (headed by Prof. Michael Unser)
at the interface of applied mathematics and computer graphics, image and signal processing
with applications in biological and medical imaging. Developed new mathematical algorithms to
enable fast real-time computation and visualization of shapes and forms. Those algorithms were
implemented in the context of interactive shape modeling software for computer-aided design,
character animation in computer graphics as well as 3D images segmentation in medicine and biology.
Author: Results of Daniel's research have been published and presented in renowned scientific journals and conferences in the fields of engineering, computer graphics as well as medicine and biology. During his PhD work Daniel has contributed to 25 journal and conference articles (13 as first author) and was awarded the ‘IEEE-ICIP Best Student Paper Award’ at the IEEE ICIP conference 2015 in Quebec City, Canada. His scientific publications can be found through his Google-Scholar profile and the pdf-articles can be downloaded here.
Inventor: Main inventor of 3 U.S. patent applications (1 granted).
Industrial Partnerships and Scientific Collaborator: Led and participated in various collaborations with international institutions and companies including Siemens Healthcare, Mayo Clinic U.S., Universities of Lausanne and Geneva, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Universitiy of Milano-Bicocca and others.
Public Speaker and Presenter: Gave regular talks and lectures at international research conferences and gained experience as a public speaker and presenter (SIGGRAPH, IEEE ISBI, IEEE ICIP)
Fundraiser and Project Leader: Engaged in technology transfer to commercialize research results through the creation of a startup company. Daniel was awarded startup grants worth CHF 500’000 to lead the project and build the first startup company out of EPFL's Biomedical Imaging Group.
2014 - 2017
Manager: Managed and oversaw the organization, planning and execution of 2 master-level courses (Image Processing 1 & 2) that
involved 250 students, 2 professors and 14 teaching assistants. As the main responsible for the course structure
of the entire semester Daniel managed the schedule, workload and tasks of all teaching assistants,
synchronized lectures with exercise sessions and practical lab sessions, exam corrections, handled official
deadlines of the university, office hours for students and grade reporting.
Lecturer & Teacher: Daniel was responsible for design of the exam questions and grading and he was also a regular lecturer for the lab computer sessions taught in the framework of the course.
Thesis Supervisor & Mentor: As part of his teaching experience Daniel was involved in personal 1-to-1 mentoring and supervising 12 bachelor and master students during their diploma thesis.
2012 - 2013
Engineer: Daniel was part of the ‘Advanced Clinical Imaging Technology Group’ at Siemens Healthcare,
which carries out R&D for the Siemens MRI scanners such as the development of image
reconstruction and image segmentation algorithms as well as computer-aided diagnosis for
neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The work experience in a highly interdisciplinary team was very rewarding as it
included engineers, computer scientists, physicists and medical doctors.
Software Developer: Significantly contributed to the software development of Siemens’ Alzheimer’s Disease prediction algorithm based on brain MRI scans. Daniel was involved in the software implementation, testing and release which ultimately was installed on the Siemens MRI scanners to carry out diagnostics of neurodegenerative diseases in hospitals.
Innovator: Proposed and implemented a novel machine learning framework to improve neurodegenerative disease prediction. Results based on the software implementation led to two scientific publications in the journal ‘Neuroimage: Clinical’.
2010 - 2012
Developer: Daniel was working as a software engineer at the
Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering
(headed by Prof. Matthias Lütolf) as well as for the Institute for
Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC).
In that role he was the main responsible for the development of software to automate the analysis
of microscopic cell images.
Machine Learning Engineer: Led the development of image classification software to identify and track microscopic cell images and videos with user interaction and annotation.
Statistician: Developed statistical inference tools to analyze image segmentation results and predict cell division based on machine learning.
Community Contributor: Daniel's contributions ended up in several scientific publications both as main author and co-author such as in the journal ‘Development’ and ‘Cell Division’ and the software was made available to the scientific community.
PRODUCTS TO MARKET
PRODUCTS SOLD (Prior Swiss Life)
CHF FUNDS RAISED
PhD Degree in Mathematical Image Processing: Degree focused on developing new mathematical models and algorithms to be applied to computational geometry, computer graphics image processing and analysis as well as biomedical image data. Strong emphasis on machine learning, computer vision and related software implementation of the generated mathematical models.
Master of Science Degree in Bioengineering: Studies focused on computational methods in biomedical technology such as computational biology, behavioral modeling, neural networks and artificial intelligence, pattern analysis and image and signal processing, probability and statistics. Additinolly took courses in macro- and micro economics.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Life Sciences & Technology: Studies focused 50% on biology and chemistry and 50% on mathematics, physics and computer science. Bio-related course modules included, biology, phisiology, biochemistry, organic chemistry as well as general chemistry, immunology and neuroscience. Math-related course modules included calculus and advanced calculus, physics including quantum physics and software engineering (C++, Java, Python).
Project Leader: Founded and led the team and project during the Covid-19 pandemic to create
the 'sustainable shopping mall on the smartphone' for shops and brands that sell sustainable
products in the Zurich area and online in Switzerland. The
mobile app allows users to buy and discover all
sorts of consumer products through their smartphone.
User Research and Product Design: The project was created in an effort to promote sustainability and sustainable commerce in times where offline retail is going through hardship. The concept of the app is to increase the visibility of unique and authentic shops and brands that care about the future of our planet. Users of the app have the certainty that all products are sustainable and can further filter them by product category or by the lables 'Fair', 'Eco', 'Bio', 'Organic', 'Vegan'.
Market Research & Customer Onboarding: Led market research and was responsible for onboarding of shops and brands. 1 month after launch 50+ shops and brands were onboarded with several thousand products promoted on the app.
2013 - 2017
Publication Reviewer: Regularly reviewed publications for the following IEEE journals and conferences:
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
IEEE Signal Processing Magazine
IEEE Signal Processing Letters
IEEE Signal Processing Magazine
IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP)
IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI)
Student Member: Actively participated in the international community of IEEE through collaborations, workshops and events.
Award received for the startup Mirrakoi and its business case related to the computer-aided design industry.
Daniel was selected a Venture Leader as part of the 'Swiss National Startup Team' in 'Technology' and participated in the investors roadshow in Silicon Valley.
Mirrakoi was ranked 94 within the Swiss Top 100 Startups.
Grant awarded to Mirrakoi by the European Union in the framework of the Horizon 2020 funding program.
Grant awarded to Daniel to lead the technology transfer of Mirrakoi's technology as an EPFL spin-off startup company.
Mirrakoi was selected to be part of the Innosuisse "Core Coaching" program.
Awarded to carry out a proof of concept at EPFL in relation with Mirrakoi.
Mirrakoi was ranked 61 within the Swiss Top 100 Startups.
Mirrakoi won the Swiss national startup competition for technology startups (all 3 stages).
Daniel obtained a Bridge 'Proof of Concept Grant' to commercialize the technology developed during his PhD research.
Grant awarded with the highest jury score (up to 2017) for the startup project 'Mirrakoi'.
Grant awarded for the commercialization of Daniel's' PhD research results.
Awarded for the paper entitled "New Parametric 3D Snake for Medical Segmentation of Structures with Cylindrical Topology".
observe - act - learn - improve
Software to create orthopeadic medical 3D prints from patient scans. Daniel oversaw the software development process from idea to market including marketing and sales. He managed close collaborations with doctors and medical institutions. The product is now used in hospitals in Europe, Asia, America, South Africa and Australia.Software by Mirrakoi S.A.
Software for medical 3D printing for facial surgery planning. The product was developed and launched to market under Daniel's guidance as Mirrakoi's CEO. Today it is in use in hospitals and clinical institutions on all five continents.Software by Mirrakoi S.A.
Daniel led the close collaboration between Mirrakoi S.A. and Brazilian hospital "Geral do Estado da Bahia" which led to the first spine surgery performed using medical software developed under Daniel's guidance.Software by Mirrakoi S.A.
Software for product-, industrial design and manufacturing. Software based on patented technology developed by Daniel during his PhD work. He then created the EPFL spin-off startup company Mirrakoi S.A. and recruited the team to develop the product. Today it is used in product design with Swarovsky being the largest customer for this product.Software by Mirrakoi S.A.
Daniel led the development process from idea to product of the cloud-based software that runs in any standard web browser and is also accessible through mobile devices. The product was part of a collaboration with a large CAD software company.Software by Mirrakoi S.A.
The 'sustainable shopping mall' on the smartphone is a mobile marketplace managed by MyOcean.ch that connects shops and brands that sell sustainable products with consumers. The project is led by Daniel (as a volunteer) and the app was launched in summer 2020 in Zürich as response to the COVID19-related lockdown. One month after launch 50+ shops and brands were onboarded with several thousand products promoted on the app.Mobile app by MyOcean.ch
As digital product lead and head of software products at Pando by Swiss Life, Daniel recruited the team and led digital product management for the Pando mobile app as well as for the digital infrastructure and systems required in the backend.Mobile app by Pando by Swiss Life