Professional coaches are not reserved exclusively for start-ups. Companies that have been established for several years can also use them for occasional help or support for the long term. Networks of professional coaches available through Innovaud provide entrepreneurs with advice to address such evolving issues as:
• Elaboration of the business plan
• Development of new business opportunities
• International expansion
The main objective of this kind of support is to increase the innovation potential of SMEs and to link them to the specialized skills and capacities of the institutes and universities in the canton.
The Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) encourages technological innovation and technology transfer between research institutions and businesses. Specialized coaches help develop partnerships and projects to transfer and commercialize the research and development conducted in regional institutes and universities.
platinn is a network of accredited business coaches who are specialized in supporting companies in both the technological and business innovation phases. Coaches are involved in several areas: financial structure, sales strategy, product manufacturing, and joint ventures are but a few examples.
Institutes and universities in Vaud generally offer their own programs to promote technology transfer and market knowledge in the areas of innovative products and services.These programs often combine initial start-up funding with coaching. This is the case, for example, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) through the ‘Innogrants’ program. The Vaud School of Business Management and Engineering (VD-HEIG) has recently launched a start-up grant program and the ‘Innokick’ competition.
Alliance is a national consortium funded by both the federal government and the French-speaking cantons to promote technological innovation. It promotes collaboration projects between businesses and institutes/universities.
On demand and as required, it is possible to call in specialists from the Innovaud network who are experts in very specific areas of innovation. Innovaud partners such as regional economic development associations, Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the Vaud Economic Development agency (DEV), and the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CVCI) are resources that are readily available.
Innovaud seeks to encourage joint projects in the fields of innovation. Toward this end, it connects SMEs with start-ups, large companies, and research institutes. Once a partnership framework is established, specialists from the Innovaud partner network take over and follow the projects that develop from these joint efforts.