Startup incubators, business accelerators & bootcamps in Switzerland
Switzerland is known as one of the largest startup hubs in the world. Home to many innovative companies of all scales, this alpine country is attractive for both entrepreneurs and investors. Despite its size, both territory- and population-wise, Switzerland has been known as one of the most innovative countries in the world. Why is this so?
Several factors contribute to such a favorable innovative climate.
- Education level
Compulsory education in Switzerland is free and good. Universities are accessible to those who really want to study hard, and tuition fees are affordable. Swiss upper secondary education is based on building practical skills: practical training (so-called apprenticeships) constitute 50% of study time, alongside with the theoretical classes at a vocational school. Swiss Universities, such as ETH, EPFL, University of St. Gallen are amongst the world’s top universities in their respective fields. Internships during University studies are common, they give the students an entry ticket to the real business world, and the enterprises – a constant supply of highly skilled and energetic workforce.
- A dense concentration of international companies’ HQs, banks, and startup accelerators.
- Economic factors: ease of doing business, full transparency, stable currency, lower taxes rates in comparison with other European countries.
- Geographical factor: being in the center of Europe and having direct flights to major cities.
- Last but not least, a high quality of life, personal security, well-developed infrastructure, and political stability.
Zurich is Switzerland’s leading startup hub, followed by Lausanne which is the startup hub in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Swiss startup incubators, accelerators, and bootcamps
Digital Switzerland is a bootcamp that provides market entry and scale-up programs for startups in the growth stage.
Fongit is Switzerland’s premier innovation incubator, helping build and grow companies.
Venture Kick provides a three-stage funding model initiated to support Swiss startups in the early stages. Startups can qualify to receive up to CHF 150,000 in start capital.
EPFL Innovation Park (Lausanne), located in EPFL Building C, offers office spaces, training, coaching, and funding for startups in the growth stage.
Switzerland Innovation Park | FabLab (Biel/Bienne) conducts and supports research and development. Their mission is to generate research investments from abroad, promote Swiss innovation and startups, and accelerate the implementation of research results into marketable products.
Swiss Startup Factory is a privately financed venture builder. The Swiss Startup Factory provides corporates and startups with business-driven processes that bring innovation to market in a fast, lean, and agile way through coaching and pitch training.
Genilem (6 offices in Switzerland) is a non-profit organization supporting innovative startups from cantons Geneva and Vaud with 3-year free coaching. Genilem’s partners are both private and public institutions whose primary interest is to encourage the creation of new jobs and foster the entire economy.
Startup Grind (Zurich) hosts a community forum for founders and entrepreneurs to learn and exchange the best startup practices. It works in partnership with Google For Startups.
Fondetec is a foundation created by Geneva city authorities to accompany local enterprises in launching and development with financing and coaching.
Innovaud helps innovative startups, SMEs and large companies with financing from the Office of Economic Affairs and acts as a gateway for candidates for grants and loans.
VentureLab designs and operates flagship startup programs in Switzerland. It offers world-class Swiss startups training for various stages – from creation to scaling up. 3 locations in Switzerland – in Zurich, St.Gallen, and Lausanne.
Let’s not forget that startup hubs need event and research facilities to foster the exchange of innovative ideas. Just to name a few in Switzerland:
SwissTech Convention Centre (Lausanne, EPFL Campus) is an event venue for business conferences.
Campus Biotech (Geneva) is a part of the Swiss Innovation Park. It hosts research institutes and biotechnology companies.
Co-working spaces in Switzerland
Startups, solopreneurs and SMEs are in need of working spaces that can host the team, provide a stimulating work environment and at the same time don’t drain the budget (especially if you are still bootstrapping your startup!)
Switzerland is home to plenty of them!
More than simply a place to plug in your laptop, co-working spaces allow you to mingle with like-minded professionals, to share skills and keep up a good working spirit. Some of them are part of Swiss startup incubator’s programs.
Ideal for self-employed freelancers, startups and entrepreneurs, coworkings give you the opportunity to work alone, but not in isolation. Most of them have their doors open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, and offer access to all means of office infrastructure: a desk (or a full-scale office), meeting rooms to receive your clients, promotion event facilities, and coffee/snack area.
More than that, coworking spaces create an inspiring innovation ecosystem with a stimulating atmosphere to work and learn.
And maybe you are reading this article from one of them?
Coworking spaces with offices in multiple locations in Switzerland:
Spaces is a part of “large international family” SpacesWorks offering coworking and office spaces, meeting rooms and events facilities in 400 locations around the globe, with 9 locations in Switzerland alone.
Impact Hub is the world’s largest network focused on building entrepreneurial communities (6 locations in Switzerland)
Geneva Area, GE:
Voisins (4 locations in Geneva)
Seedspace is not just a co-working place but the meeting point of entrepreneurship and tech in Geneva. Domiciliation available for members.
Foound is a coworking space with a café, meeting and event rooms. Home to food tech startups.
La Muse Bouge Business Association and a co-working office
NomadSpace (Vernier, GE)
ATELIER 9 (Nyon)
Lausanne Area, Vaud:
Univercité (Renens, VD)
CoWorking Society (Morges, VD)
More in the French-speaking part of Switzerland
Coworking space at the incubator Y-Start Yverdon
BlueLab Coworking (Yverdon-les-Bains)
Le Hive (Yverdon-les-Bains)
Co-working Broye (Payerne)
Innovation Lab (Fribourg)
WorkPod Coworking (Neuchatel)
Zurich Area, ZH:
Westhive (5 locations in Zurich city)
Basel Area, BS:
St.Gallen Area, SG:
More in the German-speaking part of Switzerland
Working Station (Biel)
Coworking Uferbau (Solothurn)
Coworking Loreto (Solothurn)
Popup Work (Aarau)
6280.ch Coworking (Hochdorf)
Are you a startup founder or a member of startup team?
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