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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

Top 23 Startup Accelerators & Incubators in Switzerland

Placing 12th in the world's global startup ecosystem rankings, Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the world's leading innovation hubs. Despite its small population, Switzerland has produced more startups and unicorns per capita than its larger neighbors (except Sweden). The country is exceptionally entrepreneurial - supported by a healthy startup ecosystem comprising actively participating incubators, accelerators, investors, universities, corporations, government entities, and so on.


With that said, if you're interested in starting out a venture in Switzerland, you might want to consider joining an incubator or accelerator. In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of startup incubators and accelerators in Switzerland. They have been subdivided into applicability for startups in their 'ideation', 'launch', or 'growth' stages, so whichever stage you're in, you will be able to find a program that suits you!






accelerators and incubators in Switzerland
accelerators and incubators in Switzerland

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FULL LIST OF STARTUP INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS IN SWITZERLAND


Ideation Stage Startup Incubators in Switzerland


The complete list of ideation phase startup incubators in Switzerland:





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Resource-light business models

  • Duration: 6 months

  • Application Link


The Catalyzer is a 6-month prototyping program to explore resource-light business models and their potential for scalability. They are dedicated to supporting ideas that encourage resource-conscious and responsible consumer behavior to reduce total resource consumption. Through coaching and professional guidance, participating startups will be assisted in testing their circular and sufficiency techniques, developing their businesses, and reaching potential customers. The program is facilitated by Circular Economy Transition, in partnership with WWF Switzerland and the creative design agency Reverse.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Industry 4.0

  • Duration: 6 months

  • Application Link

The i4 Challenge is a program for Industry 4.0 startups - startups that are using emerging technologies and data to introduce creative solutions and new products and services to consumers. The program accepts applicants with ideas or those with functional prototypes into two tracks: "New idea" and "Innovative Solution" respectively. In either program, startups will receive support in technology and model development, or business development and marketing visibility, among other benefits.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link


Runway Incubator is a sector-agnostic incubator for startups in the pre-seed and seed stages. Located in Technipark Winterthur, they are a member of the Zurich startup ecosystem with access to Startup Campus services such as workshops, training, and events. Since 2015, the Runway Incubator has undergone 42 incubation periods, 15 of which have successfully gained follow-on funding.



  • Who is it for: Aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea and seeking cofounder

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic, Refugee or Migrant background

  • Duration: 8 months

  • Application Link


Fostering refugee and migrant talent, the Capacity Zurich Entrepreneurship Programme is a specially dedicated entrepreneurship and labor market integration program for migrants or refugees. They offer a comprehensive program including personal and professional development for founders who would like to launch a business or sociocultural initiative in Switzerland. This includes training and workshops on the Lean Startup and Design Thinking Methods, mentoring and coaching by experienced local professionals, and networking opportunities with individuals and companies who are passionate about social justice and radical inclusion.




Launch Stage Startup Incubators and Accelerators in Switzerland


The complete list of launch phase incubators and accelerators in Switzerland:





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Climate, Multiple Sectors

  • Duration: 3 - 9 months

  • Application Link


Scaling startups for climate impact, the ClimAccelerator initiative helps cleantech startups to create, catalyze, and scale their innovative climate solutions globally. They offer a three-stage program that targets early to late stage climate-impacting startups, which will equip startups with the resources to effectively launch and grow. Among the benefits you can expect from the program are tailored growth coaching and mentoring, climate impact assessment and framework, financial support and funding opportunities, knowledge sharing, and a global reach to customers, partners, and investors.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Duration: 14 weeks

  • Application Link


Axelra is an accelerator and venture builder that develop, launch, and scale early-stage tech startups. They assist in the ideation, prototyping, and launching of an MVP within 100 days, after which they'll continue to complement the team in iterating the MVP to find product-market fit and scale it further. They offer two options of participation models, joint venture or cash and sweat, and will contribute up to 50% of total technological development expenditures as sweat equity in the projects.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Circular Economy, Resource Light

  • Duration: 3 months

  • Application Link


To expedite Switzerland's transition to a circular economy, the Circular Economy Incubator facilitates startups in their ideation, prototyping, MVP creation, and business validation processes. During the program, selected entrepreneurs will engage with advisors, experts, and investors through 1:1 mentoring sessions, workshops, and events to develop their businesses. Participants will work from Impact Hub Switzerland along with a community of corporations, public institutions, entrepreneurs, and creatives. Best of all, the program doesn't take any equity or fees.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Digital Health, MedTech

  • Duration: 3 - 12 months

  • Application Link


Ideally located in Europe's Healthcare Hub, DayOne is Switzerland's leading digital and medtech accelerator for early to mid-stage startups. They provide the tools and support you need at every stage of startup development, be it at ideation, prototyping, or launch. As part of the program, startups can receive 1:1 coaching and personalized mentoring with renowned experts in the field, tailored training and educational workshops, and access to workspace at Switzerland Innovation Parks. Most importantly, startups will gain the opportunity to connect and collaborate with key industry leaders, major pharma companies, researchers, academic partners, and patients to develop advanced technologies. All of these perks come with no equity or fee.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: HealthTech, InsurTech

  • Duration: 3 months

  • Application Link


Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, InnoPeaks is a next-generation innovation lab by Groupe Mutuel, a renowned Swiss health insurance firm. Their venture program will help healthtech and insurtech startups develop a world-class technology and go-to-market strategy. Throughout the intensive 3-months program, they'll help startups evaluate the market needs with your solutions, identify the areas of tech application, develop your product, and prepare for market entry.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Regenerative Medicine and Robotics

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link

Based at the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, Wyss Zurich is an accelerator that is committed to funding and supporting initiatives in the domain of regenerative medicine, robotics, and associated hybrid technologies. As part of the program, Wyss Zurich provides teams with support such as funding for personnel and research and development, access to specialized laboratories and infrastructure, and support for experimental design, data analysis, and commercial strategy from subject-matter experts.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic, Sustainable Food Solutions, Health Solutions, Climate Solutions, Food and Beverage

  • Duration: 4 months

  • Application Link


MassChallenge is a renowned early-stage accelerator program that accepts sector-agnostic startups as well as 3 specific industry tracks: Sustainable Food Solutions, Health Solutions and Climate Solutions. The perks they offer to participants are unrivaled access to over 15 worldwide business partners, world-class coaching from over 400 specialists, and opportunity to compete for up to CHF 1 million in non-dilutive cash prizes and other in-kind awards. They champion their tried-and-true program model and Switzerland-specific knowledge, proven by their track record of successfully accelerating 492 firms across diverse industries that have earned over $600 million capital since 2016.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Space Technology

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link


From Earth to Space, the ESCA Business Incubation Centre Switzerland aims to boost high-tech ideas to launch into space. Powered by the European Space Agency (ESA) and ETH Zurich, one of the world's finest institutions, the incubator provides a comprehensive assistance package to entrepreneurs with unique space-related technologies to grow their businesses. Some of the perks they offer are financial support of up to EUR 200,000 in non-dilutive funding, up to 80 hours of technical support, business support by ESA BIC CH team and VentureLab, and access to partners and ESA networks.




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Application Link

Made for innovators by innovators, Fongit is a premier innovation incubator that specializes in tech innovation across diverse industries in Geneva. Founded in 1991, they have a stellar track record of supporting over 100 startups and being awarded over 100 patents. Their incubator program is designed to help startups in transforming their idea or technology into a viable product, de-risk the project, and achieve the first round of funding with a high valuation. To join the program, startups need to have functional prototypes and be ready to launch within 24 months.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Duration: 10 weeks

  • Application Link


Bluelion is a Zurich-based non-profit incubator and accelerator that assist entrepreneurs in establishing fast-growing and long-lasting ventures. From zero to one, they offer various kinds of support to help early-stage startups in their journey. Their pre-seed acceleration program is designed to guide you through the startup development stages until your startup becomes investment-ready. Unlike other accelerator and training programs, they address the unique and crucial issues in the pre-seed stages such as team formation and fundraising as well as provide you with individualized support for your specific needs.





Y-START

  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Duration: 3 months - 2 years

  • Application Link


Y-PARC Swiss Technopole is Switzerland's oldest and largest technological park with an area of over 50 hectares housing over 200 enterprises. Within the park, they host the Y-START incubator for innovation and new technologies open to any sector. As a public incubator, they do not seek profit or equity investments in startups but have a sole focus on the creation of jobs and added value. Differentiating themselves through their diverse ecosystem and proximity to R&D institutes, Y-START provides its start-ups with exclusive access to specialists in a variety of professions and entrepreneurial themes. Their mentors are experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the field that can help address specific challenges in diverse topics.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology, Social Impact

  • Duration: 1 year

  • Application Link


Supercharging #ImpactTech founders tackling humanity's grand challenges (HCG), Hatch CoLab offers 12-month incubator and accelerator programs to empower entrepreneurs in building and growing their impact ventures. The HCG they focus on are energy (clean and sustainable), environment (land and water), food (zero hunger), sustainable cities and communities, clean water, disaster resilience, governance and international collaboration, health and wellbeing, quality learning, prosperity and equality, and security.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Therapeutics

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link


BaseLaunch is an initiative by the Basel Area Business and Innovation agency to promote the formation and growth of future biotech enterprises. To achieve this, they provide startups with up to $500,000 in financing, support in company and team building, and access to labs and related infrastructure. They also provide access to and collaborate with scientists, pharmaceutical firms, venture capital funds, and other significant participants in the biotech sector. They seek specifically therapeutics projects in the pre-seed to seed stages with a corporate presence in the Basel Area.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech, DeepTech, Web3, Sustainable Finance, LegalTech, CryptoFinance for Insurance, Multiple Sectors

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link


F10 Global is the largest worldwide innovation platform in the FinTech and InsurTech domains. Bringing in all players in the ecosystem, they foster early cooperation between entrepreneurs, incumbents, and investors to support innovation through collective knowledge, experience, and insight sharing. They have two flagship programs: an incubator in Switzerland and Singapore, and an accelerator for global startups. Their incubator program is designed for early-stage founders to validate their prototypes and build their ventures, whilst the accelerator program is targeted at growth-stage startups looking to grow and collaborate with F10 corporate partners on concrete innovation challenges.






  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: HealthTech, Climate and Earth, US Expansion

  • Duration: 1 year

  • Application Link


DART Labs is a mission-driven accelerator supporting European founders and technologies that positively impact the people and planet. Combining purpose with profit, they are driven to assist founders to profoundly enhance the health of the people and the planet. Their 12-month specialized accelerator helps startups develop their solutions, strategy, culture, and finances to be ready for US expansion. This includes investments up to CHF 500,000, hands-on support, access to strong networks in the US and Switzerland, and access to the US market through their team and space in San Fransisco.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Blockchain

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link


CV Labs offers a one-of-a-kind, ten-week hybrid acceleration program for early-stage blockchain startups. Throughout the program, startups learn from the most successful entrepreneurs, visionaries, experts, and mentors in the blockchain space and beyond by completing rigorous workshops and webinars. The program is split into 4 sections: Bootcamp week, blocks 1 & 2, which dive into areas such as marketing, legal, product development, branding, and more, and Graduation, which features a demo day. 


CV VC, the investment arm of our company, invests up to $135K in great startups in return for 7% equity and/or tokens. So far, we have accelerated four batches with a total of 34 startups from over 15 different countries. One of these startups has already quintupled its valuation, and three have doubled. Another startup is now an official CERN spinoff. 





Growth Stage Accelerators in Switzerland


The complete list of growth stage startup accelerators in Switzerland:





  • Who is it for: Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: UN SDG, Food Systems, Infrastructure and Built Environment, Health, Energy

  • Duration: 4 - 6 months

  • Application Link


Based in Geneva, Accelerate2030 is a global initiative to scale entrepreneurial solutions towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative delivers a custom curated scale-readiness program that incorporates the circular economy's "future-fit" company concept into the curriculum; ensuring the incorporation of circularity concepts into the design of solutions and business models. Thus, the program is suitable for early-stage startups in 4 specific sectors: Food Systems, Infrastructure and Built Environment, Health, and Energy. For founders with the greatest international scaling potential, they will join the Global Scaling Program to access markets and connect with the UN, private sector, and impact investors.



  • Who is it for: Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Finance & Insurance, Food & Retail, Health & Wellbeing, New Work & Learning, Smart Cities

  • Duration: -

  • Application Link

Kickstart Innovation is an accelerator for later-stage startups with innovations that are creating a more sustainable future. Through their open innovation ecosystem, they bring together public and private organizations, startups, investors, and experts that foster collaboration to deliver next-generation products and services. Founders will gain networks to prominent Swiss figures as well as the opportunity to launch a proof of concept trials and other partnership projects to expand their businesses. Throughout the program, the founders enjoy free coworking space at Zurich's innovation venue Kraftwerk. Kickstart will also fund up to CHF 10,000 for company development expenditures without charging any equity or fees.





  • Who is it for: Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sanitation

  • Duration: 1 year

  • Application Link


As the name aptly suggests, the Toilet Board Coalition is an initiative dedicated to solving the global sanitation crisis, with the goal to make the Sanitation Economy be circular and smart by 2030. The Coalition enables critical collaboration between SMEs, corporations, NGOs, investors, and governments to accelerate commercial sanitation solutions and achieve the UN SGD 6.2. To support technological innovations that make sanitation safe and suitable for all, their accelerator program assists founders serving the low-income markets with business model design, corporate mentorship, and access to financing.




Closing Thoughts on Joining a Startup Accelerator or Incubator in Switzerland


In this article, we have introduced you to the top 22 startup accelerators and incubators in Switzerland. As previously discussed, Switzerland is one of Europe's fastest-growing innovation ecosystems that fosters collaboration and open innovation among its members. Joining an incubator or accelerator will not only assist you in launching your ideas and accelerating your startup development but also connect you with the most important local and global players. A lot of these programs also do not charge any equity or fees; they are purely created to support the growth of startups. As such, if you're building a startup in Switzerland, it is always a good idea to join any of the programs listed above.






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