The Top 8 Swiss Startup Incubators

The primary goal of business incubators is to produce successful and financially sustainable firms, providing young entrepreneurs and startups with advisory and administrative support and partnerships and networking opportunities. A vibrant startup community in Switzerland, which generates a stream of high-quality innovative ideas and business projects from different industries, can find valuable support from many successful business incubators across the country.

Below is the list of the most successful business incubators, including two national associations.

BlueLion, created in 2012 in Zurich, was launched to support the early stage ICT and Clean Tech projects, offering unique in-house coaching programme, partnership network and the basis for the incubation. The coaching program is based on agile methods, fully embracing the Lean Startup approach, to ensure high quality outcome and accelerate the growth of young startups companies (during 3 years or until they reach 10 employees). The incubator works with investment networks, crowd funding platforms, and business angels groups and a network of media partners. BlueLion joined Climate-KIC, the programme of the European Union that support startup companies, which address the climate change issues.

Fongit, a startup incubator in Geneva, founded in 1991, is Switzerland's first incubator that supports young entrepreneurs and business models in the Cleantech, IT and Medtech. The incubator provides business-coaching, administration, fully furnished office-space and networking for early-stage, high-tech venture. The foundation provides access to seed capital through fund matching; their sister company Fongit Seed Invest (FSI) provides series A capital to startups focusing on disruptive and patent enabling technologies.

ImactHub Zurich is a place for entrepreneurs from different sectors and industries to gather and foster collaboration. The HUB offers inspiring infrastructure, incubation programs for startups, coaching and entrepreneurial leadership trainings and workshops. From London and Amsterdam to Johannesburg, Singapore and San Francisco, today, the network is comprised of more than 50 hubs across the world, with more than 7000 members. The network grew into a global movement where each community is created to answer the needs of the local business trends and developments. These hubs promote community-driven programs and platforms for knowledge sharing and collaboration all to foster inspiring ideas and accelerate the growth of impact-makers.

Y-Start is a technology incubator within one of the first technology parks, Y-Parc, established in 2011.  As a general incubator, Y-Start supports the growth of business ideas from all sectors of the industry, fostering diversity and promoting new technologies. Its goal is to promote ideas of the public interest, thus, as a public incubator, Y-Start offers active support to a ideas that will accelerate business opportunities in the region. The incubator provides infrastructure, coaching services, workshops and networking to young startups, for two years. They also provide expertise and support from their partners, Innovaud and CTI Startup, as well as access to industrial companies and to the institutes of HEIG-VD, a member of the University of Applied Science in Business and Engineering of the Canton of Vaud.   

Swiss Startup Factory, launched in 2014, is an incubator that invests and supports digital service startups. They offer a three-month accelerator program, which consists of mentoring, coaching, and networking. Recently the incubator joined forces with the Young Entrepreneurs Club at the University Of St. Gallen (YEC) to support young entrepreneurs. The partnerships is focused on the latest project, the YEC Incubator, (founded in 2013), a pre-stage program for students to foster their entrepreneurship skills and get support from experienced developers, mentors and startup founders.

Swissnex, an initiative of Swiss Government, connects the world's most innovative hubs around the world. The goal of the network is to provide business opportunities to young entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-makers and leaders across the globe connecting them through transdisciplinary projects. Promoting and facilitating knowledge exchange and academic programs, with the support of Swiss embassies around the world, the network plays an active role in the business industry and economy sector in Switzerland.

SwissParks, the national association of incubators and technology parks, was founded in 2000.  Today, the association has about 40 members and hosts over 1000 innovative companies. The association's goal is to develop networking activities, consolidate startups across the country, explore new initiatives and business models and methods, and above all evaluate the impact of technology parks and incubators on the economy. Many of the business incubators on this list are a part of the association, given it acts as a Think Tank and a platform linked to political authorities. See the full list of the members.

 

 

TECHNOPARK Allianz, founded in 2002, is comprised of TECHNOPARK facilities in Lugano, Lucerne, Zurich, Schlieren, Winterthur and Aargau. The association, through their facilities, promotes innovative and emerging business ideas and entrepreneurs, providing the infrastructure and coaching services for startups and spin-offs.  The facilities bring together people from different fields (science, technology, economy) to support the knowledge transfer and create new business opportunities. 

 

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