Startup ecosystem

Successful startups in the fields of forward-looking technologies represent the innovative strength and competitiveness of a location. 2019 was a record year for the vibrant and diverse startup scene in Switzerland.

Rise of the Swiss unicorns

Never before were so many startups founded, and never before had so much been invested in startups as in 2019. In fact, nearly CHF 2.3 billion or over a billion more than in the previous year was invested (source: Swiss Venture Capital Report 2020). 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). Interestingly, the technology fields in which the most investment was made – information technology and biotech - are the same ones from which Greater Zurich Area Ltd (GZA) registered the most business settlements. This highlights the quality and dynamic of our region in these ecosystems.


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

With growth of more than 80% since 2012, investments in Swiss startups have now exceeded the CHF 2 billion mark. This is due to several large financing rounds of over CHF 100 million and a clear increase in investments in almost all sectors and funding stages.

With growth of more than 80%, investment in Swiss start-ups has broken through the CHF 2 billion barrier. This is due to several mega-rounds of over CHF 100 million and a clear increase in investment in almost all sectors and phases.
Source: Swiss Venture Capital Report


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 start-up 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 start-ups (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