Various bodies can provide you with financial support, whether to set up, develop, or establish your company. Financial aid from the Office for Economic Affairs can take many forms and can be put to direct use for companies in the industry and advanced technology sectors.
Financial Center and Capital Market
The Office for Economic Affairs (SPECo) can grant direct financial aid for specific business projects, with the aim of helping companies to set up and establish themselves, and to support small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups in the canton of Vaud that are looking to innovate, expand, or explore markets abroad.
The Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) offers loans with (and without) interest to new technology companies which are working with an institute of higher education or a research center. Support can range from 100,000 to a maximum of 500,000 Swiss francs, based on the stage of development and the objectives of the support.
The Microcrédit Solidaire Suisse (MSS) foundation is based in Lausanne and aims to help creators of businesses who do not have access to a bank loan by means of financing (a microcredit) and support services. MSS grants loans of between 5,000 and 30,000 francs, at a fixed rate of 4% per year, to be paid back within a maximum of 36 months.
Venture Kick is a national philanthropic pre-seed fund which supports entrepreneurs from the Swiss institutes of higher education as they strive for success in business. Start-ups can receive up to 130,000 francs of starting capital.
Le Cautionnement romand enables easier access to bank loans by providing surety for a maximum of 500,000 francs and will cover up to 100% of the loan. This is available to any company, regardless of their sector of activity and stage of development.
SPECo surety is purely for industrial or technology companies and for investment projects. The amount of the surety can be up to 50% of the loan that has been granted, but no more than a third of the total investment cost. In principle, the amount of the guarantee should be between CHF 500 and CHF 5,000 and can be granted for a maximum of 10 years.
Innosuisse is the Swiss agency for the promotion of innovation and encourages innovation projects based on science that (primarily small and medium-sized) businesses carry out in conjunction with research partners. It supports start-ups in their evolution, businesses in terms of international cooperation, and start-ups which are looking to establish themselves abroad. Innosuisse also promotes networks and events in important fields of innovation.
Financed by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SEFRI), Euresearch is the Swiss network which connects research and European innovation programs. Horizon2020 in particular offers a number of scholarships to top-class researchers based in Switzerland (24.4 billion euros). The initiative also supports industrial leadership projects (17 billion euros) and ones which tackle societal challenges, for example in the fields of health, climatology, and security (29.7 billion euros).
For entrepreneurs launching start-ups, there are various awards to support the business creation:
«Coup de pouce»THE W.A. de Vigier foundation awardVenture awardsPERL Swiss Economic AwardSwiss Startups AwardsPrix StrategisSwiss Technology Award
Business angels are people willing to invest their own money into a company at the beginning of its development. There are many active business angel networks.
A3 AngelsBioValley Business Angels ClubBrainToVenturesBusiness Angels Suisse (BAS)Club Deal AGGo BeyondStartAngels Network
Various crowdfunding and crowd-investing platforms are emerging and providing alternative solutions for financing research. These include:
We Make ItC-CrowdHéros Locaux
The canton of Vaud can count on the support of a vast network of risk capital companies to help in your search for financing. Institutions of this type invest in the share capital of companies that are active in high-risk sectors, with the aim of exploiting the potential for growth and rapid gains to make serious profits. The Swiss Private Equity and Corporate Finance Association (SECA) brings together the majority of risk capital companies in the canton. Here are some of the bigger names:
AravisBioMedPartnersBlueOcean VenturesBSI Health CapitalDebiopharm InvestmentEclosion VenturesEmerald Technology VenturesEndeavour VisionGlobal Life Science VenturesIndex VenturesInvision Private EquityKM Capital PartnersNeuw VenturesNovartis Venture FundPolytech VenturesRedalpineSVC pour le capital-risque des PMEValley Road CapitalVinci CapitalVI Partners