Top Swiss Startup Accelerators in Geneva and Zürich
Seed accelerators, otherwise known as startup accelerators, are fixed-term programs that include business mentorship and educational components. They culminate in a public pitch event or demo day to accelerate the growth of a startup. Examples of seed accelerators include Y Combinator, TechStars, and AngelPad.
There are several seed accelerators in Switzerland. Let’s tell you about the largest ones. Hopefully, the information we provide you with will be useful for your own startup success.
Acelerators in Geneva
Launched in Geneva in 2015, Fintech Fusion is a 12-month acceleration program by Polytech Ventures. This early stage venture capital (VC) firm is based out of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
Fintech Fusion is designed to bring together Swiss startups and companies involved in financial technologies (fintech). This accelerator has sponsorship from the world’s top engineering companies and venture capital funds and accepts applications from all over the world. From the pool of applicants that apply each year, Fintech Fusion will select about 10 startups. Its mentors will help a startup company’s founders with refining a strategy and an operating plan of development in the Swiss market.
Fintech Fusion does not take an equity in the company.
Rising Star Accelerator
Rising Star Accelerator is a Geneva-based acceleration program for Swiss and European cybersecurity startups. They provide technical, financial, and commercial assistance, as well as free office space and mentorship for young entrepreneurs.
This accelerator chooses Europe’s most promising cybersecurity startups and offers a 24-week acceleration program and CHF 15,000 to cover their development expenditures. This program comprises of 13 weeks of learning through dedicated courses, company specific workshops, and guest speakers. It is then followed by a Demo Day and 11 weeks of active fundraising support.
In return for their assistance, Rising Star Accelerator takes a 5% equity in the company.
Accelerators in Zurich
Based out of Zürich, Kickstart Accelerator is the first international accelerator program in Switzerland and one of the largest programs in Europe. It was founded in 2015 as an initiative of the Kick Foundation in association with DigitalZurich2025, with an aim to turn Switzerland into a leading digital innovation hub in Europe.
Kickstart Accelerator supports young international entrepreneurs within five verticals: fintech, food, robotics and smart systems, smart cities, and healthcare. Promising startups are invited to Switzerland for 3 months and provided with up to CHF 25,000 in seed funding, living and co-working spaces, monthly stipends, mentoring, and direct access to leading corporate partners.
No fees are charged by Kickstart Accelerator.
Swiss Startup Factory
Founded in 2014, the Swiss Startup Factory is the only private accelerator in Switzerland that invests and supports digital service startups. The Swiss Startup Factory is based in Zürich and provides a platform for entrepreneurs to expand their new businesses and cooperate with other innovative companies.
The Swiss Startup Factory offers a 3-month acceleration program, which includes financing, mentoring, coaching, and office space in the heart of Zürich, as well as access to a large entrepreneurial and investor network.