Startup ecosystem

Successful startups in the fields of forward-looking technologies represent the innovative strength and competitiveness of a location. The Swiss start-up scene is very diverse and this has proved to be a strength during the coronavirus crisis. 

Innovative strength of startup ecosystem fosters resilience

The Swiss startup ecosystem proved to be resilient during the coronavirus crisis thanks to innovative strength in a variety of technology fields. Although financing rounds of more than CHF 200 million were missing in 2020, startups generated more than CHF 2 billion for the second consecutive year (source: Swiss Venture Capital Report 2021). Investments in biotech even grew by more than 30% in comparison to the previous year. The innovative strength of Switzerland and Greater Zurich also offers the ideal breeding ground for unicorns. At least five privately held startups reached the prestigious "unicorn" status with a valuation of over one billion US dollars, including four from Greater Zurich: GetYourGuide (travel platform), Wefox (insurance marketplace), Numbrs (banking app) and Acronis (cybersecurity).


Das ETH-Spin-off GetYourGuide betreibt einen Online-Marktplatz für Reiseerlebnisse
The ETH spin-off GetYourGuide runs an online platform for travel adventures.


Innovation and business-friendly environment

The three most important ingredients for a thriving startup ecosystem are talent, capital and customers. In addition, there are leading universities, renowned companies, mentors, incubators and accelerators, innovation support programs, associations and special events. An innovation and business-friendly environment and a sense of entrepreneurial spirit round off the package. Greater Zurich has developed into a very attractive location for successful startups.


Das ETH-Spin-off Climeworks hat die weltweit erste Technologie zur Entfernung von CO2 aus der Atmosphäre auf den Markt gebracht.
Climeworks, a spin-off from ETH Zurich, has launched the world's first technology for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The gas can be used, for example, to produce synthetic fuel or carbon dioxide for beverages.


As a digital health startup, we have greatly benefited from Greater Zurich, especially when it comes to hiring highly qualified and talented people in complex areas such as data science.
Lea von Bidder, Ava
Lea von Bidder - Co-founder and CEO of Ava
Roger Federer stieg beim für seine Technologie bekannten Laufschuhhersteller On als Investor ein.
Roger Federer invested in On, a running shoe manufacturer known for its technology.


Startups are looking for three key assets: capital, customers and talent. Zurich is very attractive in all three.
Stefan Steiner, Co-Managing Director, Venturelab
Stefan Steiner - Co-Managing Director at Venturelab

Investments break new record

The Swiss start-up scene is very diverse and this has proved to be a strength in a crisis. Investment in Swiss startups was surprisingly robust in 2020, with the threshold of CHF 2 billion in venture capital exceeded again. Although financing rounds of more than CHF 200 million were missing.

Startup investment 2020
Source: Swiss Venture Capital Report 2021


TOP 100 Startups by canton


Startup ecosystem canton by canton, cluster by cluster
Source: IFJ, Venturelab
Greater Zurich is an ideal location for us investors. New startups with brilliant ideas are emerging almost daily from ETH and the University of Zurich. And the wide range of large and small companies directly on site, offer founders direct access to potential first customers.
Pascal Mathis, Mitgründer von Wingman Ventures
Pascal Mathis - Co-founder Wingman Ventures

Recent webinars on startup topics

VC Funding in Switzerland (webinar of May 20, 2020)
Scale in Switzerland - Accelerator Programs (webinar of April 15, 2020)
Meet the unicorns – Greater Zurich as the preferred location for successful startups (webinar of November 7, 2019)

Contact us

Can we put you in touch with a peer company or research institute? Do you need any information regarding your strategic expansion to Switzerland's technology and business center? Give us a call or drop us a line. 

+41 44 254 59 59