How do we make Switzerland more startup?

A collaboration between the Swiss Startup Days and Swisspreneur.

How do we make Switzerland more startup?

Swisspreneur is joining hands with the startup days to hear first hand from entrepreneurs what their pain points are. Our goal is to raise awareness about the obstacles to the Swiss startup journey in hopes of making Switzerland more startup.

We should promote a culture of trying, failing, learning, and getting back up on our feet. We are very risk-averse in Switzerland, and the entry barrier is very high. Too often we copy ideas from the US and Germany, when what we actually need is the courage to try out our own.
Nikita Yampolski
WealthArc AG
To make Switzerland more startup we shouldn’t try to replicate Silicon Valley’s unicorn economy. We need to grow sustainably and look beyond pure financials. We have the brains, we have the universities. So let’s do it.
Gerhard Andrey
Liip
We should quit featuring only successful entrepreneurs in the media, so as to fight the stigma of failure. We also need to lower initial costs, legal and administrative overhead, taxation, etc. We should make sure to call out bad actors and report discrimination based on gender, race, religion, etc. And we can also increase appetite for early stage investment by better showcasing the incredible talent and ideas that came from Switzerland but got funding from elsewhere.
Matthew Brandt
Cook Eat
Make it so every young person can have a shot at building a startup: with more people trying, you'll have more people getting hooked and growing the ecosystem. We also need to reduce the costs of setting up a business.
Antoine Descamps
Inkdrop
In order to motivate students to become entrepreneurs, we need to give them role models. And we have to create a stronger link between established companies and startups.
Roland Siegwart
ETH Zurich
We should provide more handholding and financial support for the early days of a startup. Establishing cheap access to knowledge in the operation of a company is key. A startup should not have to bring five figures in capital nor pay five figures to get their bookkeeping/VAT sorted. As startups increasingly become online and remote, the business location of Switzerland loses relevancy, as other countries quickly ramp up benefits with relevant technology providers.
Dominic Monn
MentorCruise
We need more tax incentives for early stage investors, e.g. EIS schemes.
Lizanne Atherly
Minds2Capital
We need to make investing in private companies more accessible to all, provide more funding to female founders and streamline the 'language' between founders and investors to enforce equal investment opportunities.
Katerina Klezlova
Pepicon DealStation
Provide new kinds of financing that will help founders unlock their next milestone. Often startups need a lot less than $1-5M to achieve their immediate goals. Why don’t we cater to that?
Edgar Kussberg
Snyk
We need to connect different players in the ecosystem and help them collaborate more efficiently.
Stefan Velikov
VIABZ
Entrepreneurs should inspire and help each other more. And there's definitely a need for faster, simpler and more flexible processes for founding and building a startup.
Emanuel Forny
flesk AG
Let's create a long-term commitment to each other and be inclusive towards everyone to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in this small but innovative country.
Manuel Brun
Webrebels GmbH
We've gotta get out of our comfort zone and actively help each other build the next Swiss business model. Our large Swiss enterprises need to be quicker to accept big projects from Swiss startups and they need to support growth which may provide strong reference stories.
Manuel Grenacher
Unique
Less bureaucracy! VAT admin and cross border trade (incl. customs) require a lot of administrative effort but generate no revenue at all.
Esther Pfister
QL AG & Stoffwald AG
We need a digital mindset within our government and banks, so that founders can focus on growing the company and not be bogged down by slow processes.
Kevin Häfeli
Helio
We have a great, rapidly-improving early stage ecosystem, so now we need to create an environment where companies can really scale, and for that we need real growth capital (CHF30M+ rounds) and people (widespread remote work and favorable migration policies). +99% of a company’s value gets created after the seed round: we should make sure to capture this value locally.
Andreas Brenner
Avrios
We need to provide access to opportunities like education, networking and funding to every startup. Connections with more mature ecosystems and efforts to showcase the best Swiss startups could also bring added value. Online/hybrid programs are the key to achieve all of this.
Thanos Paraschos
Startup Universe
The Swiss startup ecosystem is trimmed to optimize things but not to disrupt them. It's become clear in the last century that empowering consumers led to the world's most disruptive technologies, not corporate solutions, so I believe an add-on in thinking and funding has to be created.
Marten Strotkötter
Soleil Health
Switzerland needs easier VISA processes, incentives to hire senior people (mainly through an insurance reduction), an easier process for board insurance when you haven't yet reached break-even, and real deep-tech investor profiles.
Séverine Gisin
IDUN Technologies
We have to create a culture that shows more respect for Swiss entrepreneurs who genuinely failed, in order to get them back on their feet.
Raphael Sigg
rentouch
We need to lay aside the 'tried and tested' mentality and instead focus on constant optimization. Think outside the box, be creative.
Lars Mangelsdorf
Yokoy
We need more people like Manuel Grenacher. He's got two exits under his belt already and now he's started to invest in Swiss startups. We need role models like him to shape the Swiss entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Olivier Laplace
VI Partners
We need more transparency among founders. Talk about numbers, give warm introductions, share your cap table. We need to create strong bonds within the ecosystem.
Laura Matter
noii
We need to highlight Swiss role models who have successfully built and exited companies if we really want to position entrepreneurship as a legitimate career path.
Silvan Krähenbühl
rentouch
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