A Thriving Ecosystem of Swiss Support: Grants, Accelerators, and Investors




Innovation ecosystems around the world, such as those in Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Berlin, and indeed in the Swiss Canton of Vaud on the shores of Lake Geneva, offer a range of resources that startups can leverage to accelerate their growth. These support systems typically include financial grants, accelerators, incubators, and a network of investors. Each plays a distinct role in the startup lifecycle:


Non-dilutive funding provided by governments, foundations, or institutions to support early-stage research and development.


Programs designed to rapidly scale growth-stage companies by providing mentorship, education, networking opportunities, and often capital in exchange for equity.


Organizations that help early-stage companies to develop by providing services like management training or office space.


Funding sources include angel investors, venture capital firms, and corporate investment arms that provide capital in exchange for equity or debt.

Examples of Businesses Leveraging the Vaud Ecosystem

Life Sciences

AC Immune SA: Based in Lausanne, this biopharmaceutical company utilized the rich ecosystem of Vaud, including access to local university research and venture capital, to develop therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. They have benefitted from partnerships with academic institutions and strategic funding rounds to advance their work.


Logitech: While it’s a large multinational company now, Logitech started as a startup in Apples, Vaud. It has grown significantly, in part due to the supportive business environment in Switzerland, including access to skilled talent from local universities and R&D support.


WealthArc: A FinTech startup offering SaaS solutions for wealth management, leveraging the strong financial ecosystem in Switzerland and support from accelerators to secure funding and expand its client base.

Advanced Manufacturing

Sensirion: A high-tech company based in Stäfa, near Vaud, specializes in the production of sensors. It has taken advantage of the local talent pool, technological expertise, and investor interest to become a global leader in its market.

Check out some of the amazing companies in the Vaud region, all potential collaborators and sales opportunities.

Supportive Initiatives in Vaud and Beyond

In Vaud, several initiatives are designed to support startups:

The official innovation promotion agency of the Canton of Vaud provides free support to innovative startups, scale-ups, and SMEs. It helps with financing, finding suitable business premises, innovation, and technology transfer. The Innovaud UK 2024 Mission will provide a great opportunity to meet Innovaud representatives face to face. Register your interest below to find out more.

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Offers financial support to innovative tech projects in the form of loans or grants.

A Swiss national startup training program that offers various courses and events and has a strong presence in the Vaud region.

Outside of Vaud, there are also Europe-wide and global programs:

The EU’s key funding program for research and innovation with a budget of around €95.5 billion for 2021-2027.

A European health innovation community, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), that supports health-related startups.


The success of startups in regions like Vaud is not coincidental. It is the result of a well-structured support system that offers a conducive environment for growth and innovation. Grants provide a risk-free funding option to explore novel ideas, accelerators offer a fast track to market and scaling, and investors bring in the necessary capital and expertise to take ventures to the next level. Startups that effectively navigate and leverage this ecosystem can significantly enhance their chances of success and make substantial impacts in their respective industries.

Other Useful Resources


Ian Collins
Ian Collinshttps://www.gotomarket.global/
Ian Collins, with an extensive background spanning over 30 years in business development and general management, co-founded GTM Global in 2015. His experience encompasses hi-tech industries such as security, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and enterprise software solutions. In his career, Ian has started several tech companies, overseen two corporate ventures, executed a management buy-in, and led two business turnarounds. He has also been involved in buying, selling, and merging various of his companies, and has achieved two successful business exits. Ian's expertise is particularly focused on business growth strategies and leading-edge proposition development.