Empowering Entrepreneurship

Enabling Growth

Faster growth

The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation supports the Swiss startup ecosystem and promotes entrepreneurship. The Upscaler Growth Program, a close cooperation with politics and authorities as well as a CHF 250 million fund for growth financing are the central elements. The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation is privately funded and under the patronage of Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin.

02 2024

Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin visits Bühler

Last Friday, we had the pleasure of welcoming our patron, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, to the Bühler Group's headquarters in Uzwil. The company impressively demonstrates how large industrial companies and startups can utilize synergies and create innovation together. On this occasion, the guests were also able to gain exciting insights into five startups from the Bühler innovation ecosystem. Two of them are participating in our UpScaler program for fast-growing startups. Bühler is also part of the UpScaler industry network, which facilitates access to international markets for participating startups.

A day of learning from the best! CEO Marc Maurer of On Running and Jeremias Meier, co-founder and long-standing CEO of Bexio, will show how they have scaled their business model on March 12 in Bern. The renowned EPFL Professor of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization Marc Gruber will provide the method and useful tools. The founder of the Swiss Economic Forum and successful entrepreneur Peter Stähli will moderate the one-day BM Booster, where 5 start-ups can benefit exclusively. First come first served! Interested?

12 2023

Congratulations to Zippsafe

Congratulations to Zippsafe! They finished the Upscaler program of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation after a duration of 2 years very successful. The Zippsafe team worked hard on their key growth factors together with our Entrepreneurs in residence and various experts. The result is great and the scaling is impressive!

08 2023

Thougher Times

Fast-growing Swiss start-ups are also feeling the effects of tougher times when it comes to financing growth. Top topics in our UPSCALER workshops at the moment are "Time to Cash" in the operational business and "Setting the right Priorities" at the strategic level. The Purchasing Managers Index does not look very promising and 2023 looks set to remain a challenging year.

(Source: S&P Global, Bloomberg, FuW)

05 2023

SwissEF at SUD23

With over 1500 participants, Startup Days is the most important startup event of the year. As a Network Partner this year, we hosted a panel titled "How to upgrade your board". The great interest showed that questions around the right composition and strengthening of the board of directors are an important topic for startups.

03 2023

Unicorn Night in Bern

Last week, the Swiss Entrepreneurs & Startup Association SWESA invited to the Unicorn Night in Bern. The evening was opened by our patron Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin and provided a great setting for a constructive exchange between politics and startups. During dinner, participants were able to listen to exciting key notes from Judith Wemmer (Planted), Christoph Beuttler (Climeworks) and Marc Maurer (On).

Our foundation launched SWESA to give startups a voice in politics and to continuously improve the framework conditions.

The ETH spinoff greenteg was a pilot participant in our UpScaler program. The insights gained were extremely valuable for the launch of the very popular and most booked support program for startups in the internationalization phase. We congratulate greenteg on the recently realized financing round of CHF 10 million as well as on its successful scaling and wish it continued success!


Europe's largest startup event brings together around 12,000 stakeholders from the startup ecosystem every year. SwissEF has supported the Swiss presence of SwissTech in Helsinki with a partnership. 15 Swiss startups were selected to present themselves to an international audience. During the event, SwissEF was able to establish valuable contacts with organizations that share similar goals and focus.

07 2022

Additions to the Foundation Board

We are pleased to welcome two high-caliber additions to our foundation. Sabine Keller-Busse and Christoph Aeschlimann will represent the founding partners UBS and Swisscom on the Foundation Board. We would like to thank the retiring members Lukas Gähwiler and Urs Schaeppi for their great cooperation over the past years.

06 2022

SwissEF UpScaler - New trailer

The new trailer for the SwissEF UpScaler program briefly and compactly conveys the essential elements of our growth program. A high level of individuality, a clear practical focus and the broad entrepreneurial knowledge of our experts lead to a very high value for the participating startups. Further information and a registration form can be found at www.upscaler.ch.

03 2022

SwissEF @ Startup Days 2022

In May, this year's Startup Days will take place in Bern. The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation supports the most important startup conference in Switzerland as a network partner. SwissEF organizes a panel discussion with startups participating in the UpScaler program. Visitors to the session will thus learn first-hand for whom the growth program is suitable and what concrete benefits it offers.

12 2021

The SwissEF Fund invests in Medimaps

In a CHF 20 million financing round, the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund invests in Medimaps Group together with other investors. The global company, headquartered in Switzerland, specializes in imaging software for bone health assessment. The funds will be used to expand the product portfolio for development and commercialization in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

11 2021

Changes in the Foundation Board

Already decided some time ago and now also legally binding. We are very pleased that the two members of parliament Johanna Gapany and Andri Silberschmidt will strengthen the SwissEF Foundation Board with immediate effect. At the same time, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Ruedi Noser for his commitment to the Foundation. The well-known Zurich member of the Council of States has been active on the Foundation Board since its inception and has provided valuable support to the body with his political and entrepreneurial know-how.

On the initiative of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation, President Guy Parmelin met with founders of successful Swiss startups. The exchange focused on the current efforts of the Federal Council and the administration to improve the framework conditions for innovative young companies and to strengthen Switzerland as a startup location.


Westhive is the fastest growing provider of flexible office solutions in Switzerland. Nearly 1,000 workstations with full service infrastructure are available at the locations in Zurich and Basel. Additional locations in Geneva, Basel, Zurich and Zug will open soon. Participants in our UpScaler program enjoy preferential rates on various offerings as part of our partnership with Westhive.

05 2021

Top ratings for the SwissEF UpScaler program (Kopie 1)

Participants are particularly enthusiastic about the high utility value and the quick and positive impact on their business development. All participating startups now receive an exclusive CHF 80,000 funding credit, which can be used for workshops and coaching sessions with our experts and entrepreneurs.

04 2021

A message from President Guy Parmelin

To conclude our partnership with Swisspreneur, President Guy Parmelin looks back on a challenging year and is impressed by the innovative power and perseverance of the Swiss startup scene.

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01 2021

Successful completion of the UpScaler program for PXL Vision

Startup PXL Vision, winner of the Swiss Economic Award 2019 and EY Entrerpreneur of the Year Award 2020, increased its revenue by more than 50% last year and doubled its headcount. PXL Vision has benefited greatly from the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation's UpScaler program during this time. CEO Michael Born says: "In eight intensive workshops, we were able to identify our limiting growth factors with experienced entrepreneurs and experts from the SwissEF network and eliminate most of them, which greatly accelerated our growth. I can highly recommend the UpScaler program to all startups that are about to go international."

12 2020

Handover at SwissEF

Due to time constraints, Peter Stähli handed over his function as CEO to his former deputy Simon Enderli as of December 1. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter for his extremely valuable work, which has enabled the successful development of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation. We are happy that he will remain with the Foundation as Head of Entrepreneurship. His future engagement will focus on the promotion of startups in the SwissEF UpScaler growth program.

On 30 October 2020 the Swiss Federal Tax Administration published welcome changes to its circular on the taxation of employee shareholdings. This has created the basis for a uniform tax practice throughout Switzerland in this area. SWESA was involved in the corresponding consultation process and was able to actively represent the interests of the startup community.

09 2020

Five Startups in the UpScaler Program

Recently the UpScaler program was launched with the company Zippsafe. Zippsafe manufactures a novel locker room solution utilizing flexible textile locker bags instead of metal sheet allowing space savings of up to 70% compared to conventional lockers. In order to accelerate the growth of the company, the workshops will focus on sales and distribution. Together with PXL Vision, MyCamper.ch, Dagsmejan and Climeworks, five promising startups are currently completing the SwissEF UpScaler program.

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During the summer, the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund realized its fourth direct investment. Yamo calls itself a «foodtech company» and produces fresh organic baby food using an innovative process. All products are cold-pressed to preserve vitamins and contain no additives.

05 2020

SwissEF UpScaler Financing Module

As a result of the Corona-crisis, questions concerning the financing of startups are even more in focus than before. SwissEF has adapted its UpScaler program and now offers a specific financing module. Previous participants included ANYbotics from Zurich.

Last week the Federal Council communicated its liquidity support for startups. Applications for support must be entered on the EasyGov website. They are then forwarded to the responsible cantons for examination. If necessary, the cantons can call in a commission of experts under the leadership of Innosuisse. On the part of SwissEF, CEO Peter Stähli and Foundation Board member Pascale Vonmont are represented in the team of experts.


The Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund invests in another promising Swiss company with great potential. The Lausanne-based startup produces innovative equipment for cancer research and tissue diagnostics. Additional information can be found in the corresponding media release.


The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation has a broad network of proven experts who are involved in our UpScaler program. Due to the exceptional situation, SwissEF has decided to make this know-how and experience available to startups and SME's that are suddenly facing the biggest challenges.


Following the founding of the Parliamentary Group on Startups and Entrepreneurship by National Councillors Judith Bellaiche and Andri Silberschmidt, the Swiss Entrepreneurs & Startup Association (SWESA) was launched today in Berne. The new association is intended to significantly strengthen political work to improve the framework conditions for startups and innovative SMEs.

02 2020

Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch new member of the SwissEF Advisory Board

We are very pleased to welcome the Head of SECO (Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs) to our Advisory Board. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch has a wealth of unique experience, which is very valuable not least for the political work of the Foundation. The multilingual lawyer has been Director of SECO and the Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate since 1 April 2011. Previously she worked for the consulting firm McKinsey and the World Bank. We look forward to working with her in the future.

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01 2020

SGS is a new member of the SwissEF industry network

The internationally leading goods testing group SGS SA, based in Geneva, has joined the SwissEF industrial network. SGS supports the successful internationalisation of growth companies in SwissEF's UpScaler programme. With its entry, the company is adding its international network, with 2,600 locations in over 140 countries and the extensive experience of over 90,000 employees, to help develop the next generation of internationally successful Swiss SMEs and startups.

The Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund launched in February by the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation has successfully completed its second fundraising phase. At a quarter of a billion francs, the target for 2019 has been achieved. Initial investments have already been carried out.


On the initiative of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin met representatives of the most successful Swiss start-ups in the Federal Palace. The discussions focused on the current framework conditions for entrepreneurs in Switzerland and the key factors for successful internationalization.

10 2019

Short interview with Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin

Following the successful pilot at the end of 2018, the SwissEF UpScaler growth program is now being launched on a broad basis. Growth companies in the internationalisation phase will be supported by a pool of 50 renowned experts and an international industry network. By clicking on the picture you get detailed information, a factsheet and the registration link for interested start-ups.

09 2019

New Board Members

The Foundation Board and Advisory Board were supplemented by other well-known personalities. Claudio Cisullo, IT entrepreneur, investor and board member with various mandates, was newly elected to the foundation board. Rémi Walbau, Chief Innovation Officer of EHL Lausanne and President of Innovaud, supports the Advisory Board of SwissEF with immediate effect. We look forward to our future cooperation.

The Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, launched in February this year by the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation, has successfully concluded its first round of fundraising, in an amount totalling CHF 190 million. In consequence, the fund can from August start investing in Swiss start-ups and growth-stage innovative SMEs.

06 2019

1st Advisory Board Meeting

Last week the 1st Advisory Board Meeting of SwissEF took place. In addition to an interesting and multi-faceted discussion, Aude Pugin reported on the challenges facing Swiss companies in terms of framework conditions and internationalisation. Daniel Gutenberg gave us an insight into the start-up nation Israel. You can find some impressions of the meeting in the video.

05 2019

ScaleUp Network Switzerland

In order to optimally promote the scale-up of start-ups in Switzerland, EPFL Lausanne, EPFL Innovation Park, Innovaud and SwissEF have joined forces to form the ScaleUp Network Switzerland. The synergies between the individual funding programmes and the respective pools of experts are exploited in a targeted manner, experience is continuously exchanged and start-ups from all over Switzerland are systematically networked in the scale-up phase. The aim of the new cooperation is to accelerate the growth of Swiss start-ups in the internationalisation phase and thereby significantly increase the success rate.

[Translate to english:] ScaleUp Network
02 2019

Statement of Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin

02 2019

Media Conference 7.2.19

The FINMA approval for the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund was communicated at the media conference held on 7 February in Berne. Urs Berger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, stressed that investing in the fund not only generates a return but also an important "impact" for Switzerland.

02 2019

New Members for the Foundation Board

The foundation board warmly welcomes further important members. We are delighted with the commitments made by Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL Lausanne, and Beat Vonlanthen, Member of the Council of States CVP. In addition to a great gain in experience and know-how, the two new members have also strengthened the representation of Western Switzerland in the Foundation Board.

01 2019

FINMA Approval

Thanks to an efficient FINMA process and our motivated, interdisciplinary and hard-working team, we were able to obtain approval for the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund at the end of January. An extremely important milestone in the history of the SwissEF.

[Translate to english:] FINMA
01 2019

Honorary President

Former Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann was one of the initiators of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation and made a significant and committed contribution to the successful establishment of the non-profit foundation and the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund within just over a year. Schneider-Ammann was appointed Honorary President of SwissEF by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Urs Berger, at the media conference on 7 February 2019 on the basis of his great merits.

01 2019

Pilot Project

The UpScaler program for growth companies was tested in a pilot project with two Swiss start-ups. Both are in the midst of internationalisation, i.e. exactly in the phase on which the SwissEF UpScaler is focusing. The four-month test phase provided important insights. Thanks to the valuable experience and feedback from the experts and the growth companies, we will intensify the program even further.

11 2018

1st Parliamentarian Meeting

During the winter session, we were able to successfully hold the first parliamentary event. SwissEF President Urs Berger and the SwissEF Foundation Councils Ruedi Noser and Pascale Vonmont discussed the issue with the Councils of States and National Councils. The taxation of employee shares and options as well as the quotas and administration of qualified employees from third countries were the main topics of intensive discussion. Karim Maizar, Partner at Kellerhals Carrard and Mathias Haussmann, CEO of Ueepa AG, underlined the need for action with practical examples.

11 2018

Hearing @ Federal Palace

Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann and SwissEF have invited 30 start-up representatives from all over Switzerland to a hearing at the Federal Palace. An intensive two-hour hearing was held with the aim of identifying and prioritising the most important needs for improving the framework conditions for start-ups and entrepreneurship. The two topics "Taxation of shares and options" and "Qualified foreign workers" were discussed in greater depth.

10 2018

Female Entrepreneurs

The SwissEF Advisory Board was further strengthened. Three successful female entrepreneurs were recruited as new members. Annette Heimlicher (Contrinex AG), Bettina Ernst (Preclin Biosystem) and Lea von Bidder (AVA Science) will make their extensive experience available to SwissEF in the future.

Annette Heimlicher Contrinex
06 2018

Alain Chuard

The successful Swiss entrepreneur, who sold his startup Wildfire to Google in 2015, will become a member of the Advisory Board of SwissEF. Alain lives in Silicon Valley and visits Switzerland regularly.

Alain Chuard
04 2018

New Managing Director

Peter Stähli – founder and long-standing CEO of the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) – takes on the role of Managing Director at the Swiss Entrepreneurship Foundation (SwissEF).

12 2017

Establishment SwissEF

The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation is founded under the patronage of Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, with Urs Berger as President.


Urs Berger
07 2017

Letter of intent

Declaration of intent for establishing a Swiss fund for venture and growth capital signed by Credit Suisse and UBS, two major Swiss banks. It is now planned to establish the fund in the coming months and conclude the extensive authorisation process with FINMA by December 2018.


Christian Wenger