Form of support
We fund newly founded technology firms with a onetime interest-free loan of up to 150’000 Swiss Francs.
A proposal is required
Funding will only be granted after a written proposal has been submitted. Proposals can be submitted at any time during the year however, assessment cycles are conducted only twice a year. To be considered for one of the two semi-annual assessment cycles, proposals must be submitted by either April 15th or September 15th. In the following June or November respectively, the foundation’s board decides upon whether or not to grant the requested loan. A proposal will only be assessed once. Submitting a proposal with the same business intention more than once is not possible. A venture will only receive funding once.
Each year between four and six proposals receive funding through an interest-free loan of approximately 100’000 Swiss Francs. The applying candidate must be willing to sign a loan agreement detailing the conditions of the loan.
The following requirements must be fulfilled by the applying venture in order to be considered for a loan:
- The venture must commercialize a technology developed at a Swiss institution of higher learning. Thus, there stringently needs to be a technology and/or know-how transfer from a Swiss institution of higher learning into a private enterprise.
- The venture must be a start-up company. At the time of the first loan drawdown, incorporation as a legal entity is required.
- A robust business plan that describes the business model in detail is required.
Reasoning behind the criteria
Seed money is typically required for the financing of founding costs, obtaining patents, initial purchases, building prototypes, target market assessments etc. The foundation intends to help cover costs of this nature. The foundation also funds the required contributions by a venture to its CTI projects. The foundation does not sponsor wages nor basic research or development. We only offer support under the condition that a technology and/or know-how transfer out of Swiss institutes of higher learning is evident.
We do not offer support to businesses that are established and seek financial support for growth and market expansion purposes. This includes businesses that may already have existed for quite some time but still are in their “building” phase.
At the time the proposal is submitted, the founding of the legal entity may not be more than twelve months past. It is, however, not necessary that a legal entity already exists at the time the proposal is submitted for consideration to the foundation. Loans may only be granted to legal entities, not to private individuals. This means that shortly after a loan has been granted, it is necessary to establish a legal entity (AG or GmbH) if this has not already been done previously.
Although not required, it is recommended that the founders of the applying venture are involved personally as well as financially in the venture.
The foundation expects the repayment of the granted loan by the date specified in the contract (24 months after a first drawdown), or as soon as long-term financing is locked up, for example via an equity infusion.