Swiss start-ups and innovative small and medium-sized businesses could benefit from a new fund of up to CHF500 million (~€440.40 million), which may encourage Swiss companies to stay in Switzerland.
The investment fund is focusing on keeping innovative Swiss start-ups in Switzerland and initiating new high-quality jobs in the country. The fund has been backed by several high-profile businesses including the insurer Mobiliar, and the banks UBS and Credit Suisse.
The finance gap for Swiss start-ups
Lukas Gähwiler, chairman of UBS Switzerland, said: “In Switzerland there is a financing gap for innovative growth companies, meaning for SMEs in the phase between start-up and established company. With the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation we are closing this gap.”
Johann Schneider-Ammann, the former economics minister and patron of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation, commented: “Start-ups are an important pillar of Switzerland’s successful model. Young companies should be founded and developed here in Switzerland, the added value and the new jobs should stay here.”
“I don’t want good ideas that are developed in Switzerland to be exported to California, and create jobs there. I want them here, with us.”
Shneider-Ammann has previously expressed the opinion that it is important to prevent young entrepreneurs leaving and relocating in the United States due to a lack of Swiss venture capital. He said that accepting business failure, “If you fail with your business idea here everyone points the finger at you. You are branded a loser”, and a change in mentality was needed.
Which companies will the fund invest in?
According to the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation, “The Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund will focus on growth financing. An important aspect of direct investments is to enable growth financing with more venture capital from Switzerland.”
The fund’s other targets will include pension funds, high net worth individuals and family firms.