Berne, 28 May 2013
Swisscom has committed a total of CHF 10 million for an Early Stage Fund which will be used as of now to provide support and assistance to start-up companies in the information and communication technology, media and cleantech sectors. "This fund allows us to increase our commitment to young Swiss entrepreneurs. We will help them by providing them with funding and our ICT expertise", said Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Head of Swisscom's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Division. The first chance for interested companies to put themselves forward for financial support from Swisscom comes in the form of the Swisscom "StartUp Challenge", which is also just being launched.
Swisscom has supported young entrepreneurs for a number of years, e.g. through partnerships with regional funding organisations or via the recently launched online platform www.swisscom.ch/startup. The aim of the Early Stage Fund is to provide financing support to up-and-coming Swiss start-up companies in the areas of information and communication technology, media and cleantech. It also gives Swisscom the opportunity to work with innovative start-ups and establish a transfer of knowledge that benefits both parties. The fund totals CHF 10 million and will be managed by Swisscom Ventures.
The Swisscom "StartUp Challenge", which has also just been launched, offers companies a first opportunity to put themselves forward to Swisscom as a start-up . Innovative young entrepreneurs in the information and communication technology, media and cleantech markets have until 15 July 2013 to apply. The five most exciting and promising start-up companies will be identified in the Swisscom StartUp Challenge and invited to attend a one-week business trip to Silicon Valley – the world's most important location for the ICT and high-tech industries. Over the course of the week, the Challenge winners will take part in a programme tailored to their individual needs and meet with specialists from their respective industries to work on their business models. The programme is organised by the Swisscom branch office in Palo Alto in collaboration with Venturelab, the national training programme for start-ups.
Interested start-up companies can find the participation conditions for the Swisscom StartUp Challenge as well as further information on the Early Stage Fund at the following link: www.swisscom.ch/startup.
Swisscom Ventures seeks to acquire minority holdings in companies that operate in promising markets for information, communication and entertainment technologies. As a value-creating investor, Swisscom is able to provide companies with the technical know-how and strategic experience of an established telecommunications provider As part of the existing Strategic Fund, Swisscom Ventures has to date invested CHF 80 million in 23 international shareholdings. The Early Stage Fund is aimed primarily at helping Swiss start-ups that are in an early stage of development.
Venturelab was launched in 2004 as a national training programme for innovative high-tech start-ups. Many successful start-ups have developed out of the programme, including 82 of the “TOP 100 Startups“ in Switzerland. The free workshops are organised by the Institute for Young Entrepreneurs (IFJ) and financed by the Commission for Technology and Innovation as well as leading business partners.