• Our Interview @ Y Combinator – Guest Post by Ledgy
    Our Interview @ Y Combinator – Guest Post by Ledgy

    This is a Guest post by Yoko Spirig, originally published here. Yoko is one of the 3 co-founders of the Zürich-based startup Ledgy, created during Summer 2017. In this blog post, she describes their experience of being selected for an interview at the Y Combinator headquarters in Mountain View, California. And why she thinks it’s important for Switzerland that more Swiss startups apply to YC. Do you know how many Swiss startups have ever been funded by YC? 0, Null, Nada — and this needs to ch

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  • Being An Entrepreneur: What They Don’t Tell You!
    Being An Entrepreneur: What They Don’t Tell You!

      This is a Guest post by Dan Bowyer, originally published here. I couldn’t keep nodding as I’ve read this piece so I asked him the permission to reshare it here. Dan is a Tech Entrepreneur & Investor based in London. He has over 20 years experience helping people build businesses and implement digital. He enjoyed some spectacular failures and some delightful successes, while working with 300 or so businesses over the past 20 years. He has recently owned, managed or been a shareholder in

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  • Starting up @La Forge – Discover the Startups!
    Starting up @La Forge – Discover the Startups!

    The EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute for Technology) is one of the best engineering school in the world. In the last 10 years, I’ve been seing the massive change happening on the entrepreneurial/startup ecosystem there. The EPFL Innovation Park (initially known as the Parc Scientifique, rebranded back in 2010 or so) has expanded massively, from 3 buildings to 10… The entrepreneurial and events activity has also increased massively. For me, EPFL Innovation Park is the uncontested heart of the tec

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  • The 50 Best-Funded Startups in Switzerland in One Map (and What It Means For The Startup Ecosystem)
    The 50 Best-Funded Startups in Switzerland in One Map (and What It Means For The Startup Ecosystem)

    Back in 2012 as I’ve launched, I remember that almost nobody was blogging on the Swiss startup scene. Or most were abandoning the effort after a few posts. Fortunately, this has changed! Today I’m pleased to publish a guest post by Tatjana de Kerros-Budkov, who is currently the Startup Builder at Ricolab Innovation Lab (Ricola), Mentor, and 2x entrepreneur- with one exit under her belt- and has helped startups raise over $10M in the last 12 months. Previously, she was an entre

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  • Should You Write a Business Plan?

    Writing a business plan at the time of the lean startup sounds like a weird idea. No? Many people think that writing a business plan is no more needed. Which is true and… wrong, at the same time! Writing a complete business plan per se is not needed, especially if you: just have an idea; have not done your homework with the Value Proposition Canvas and the Business Model Canvas; are dreaming your project instead of starting it (yeah, there are many wannabe entrepreneurs around there)! have no

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  • 16 tourism startups to discover at World Tourism Forum 17

    Each year beginning of May, more than 500 CEOs, Ministers and investors from the tourism industry meet in Luzern for the World Tourism Forum. The Forum aims in gathering global leaders of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries to learn about the new development and brainstorm on how to adapt to the changes happening. And to meet startups ! This year, World Tourism Forum is organizing a Startup Innovation Camp (coaching day with presentation to the jury) the day before the forum. Among

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  • Why Your Daughter Probably Won’t Be a Startup Founder in Switzerland
    Why Your Daughter Probably Won’t Be a Startup Founder in Switzerland

    This is a guest post by Lea von Bidder, co-founder and President of Ava Science, a Swiss startup based in Switzerland and California.  Lea published this post originally  on her Linkedin profile on Thursday 8th of March, the Women Day, and I thought this kind of excellent content should be spread as widely as possible… Do not hesitate to comment and to contribute with your opinion or ideas on how to change the problem Lea is describing! As a female founder from Switzerland I am constantly pro

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  • 5 Years of Blogging
    5 Years of Blogging

    January 2012. January 2017. just turned 5 years old. It’s incredible how fast time is running out ! It’s time for celebration 😉 ! Why I started blogging In one of my previous life, I used to be a startup coach and business developer for a technology park, lost in Northwestern Switzerland (in canton of Jura). My mission was to discover promising startups and try to attract them there, with a local economic development mission: bring and create high qualified jobs there.

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  • Pitch Me If You Can! Startupolic Office Hours Are Back
    Pitch Me If You Can! Startupolic Office Hours Are Back

    As a reader of, you probably know that I’m a big fan of the pay it forward culture. Or said differently, give before you get. Last year, I did a first experiment by giving 30min to any founder (no selection here) who wanted to pitch me her project, or simply ask me some questions about starting up, about lean startup or about how to build a (digital) product. I’ve simply tried it for fun. And it was! It went beyond my expectations, as I was fully booked, even had to add extra

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  • Hack the Local Shops on 19th of November

    Switzerland is more and more active with startup activities. You often hear that the startup scene is nothing compared to renowned European hubs like Berlin or London. Yes, it’s true, at least in term of startups funded, of startups growing  quickly or in terms of successful exits. However, there are a lot things happening, and many new initiatives are popping up almost every week (making it harder and harder for everyone new on the scene not to get lost in the wide panel of activities). For

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  • My Startup Events Selection for October

    This year has been completely crazy so far. And even more since August, as we’ve organized 2 Demo Days @Fintech FUSION and are preparing us intensively for the new batch of startups, entering the acceleration program on Wednesday (more information to come on FUSION blog). As I’m used to say, I’m in a “Grand Bleu” mode (that means, “Deep Dive holding my Breath”). That is, that I have not enough time to do all what I’d like to (like blogging ways more!). But do not worry, I have plenty of blog

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  • 5 Startup Events to Attend in September

    Summer is slowly coming to an end and it’s time for startup events to pop up everywhere again… The less I can say is that there are many, many events happening everywhere in Europe. It’s absolutely amazing to see the development and growth of the European and Swiss startup scene over the last 8 years. Now, even in Switzerland (which is still not seen as a relevant startup hotspot), you could attend an interesting event almost every day. Of course, that’s a big trap for first time entrepreneur

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  • Fintech Infographic: The Current State of Fintech
    Fintech Infographic: The Current State of Fintech

    At this period of the year, as always, I should normally be telling you to slow down and relax… (yes, you need to take some vacations!). What I will do on my side. But if you already had their holidays or have them later in the Summer, or if staying on the beach is boring for you, you may want to discover this interesting infographic made by Robert Hendriks, of DealSunny. And if nothing of this above is accurate for you, take some time once you’re back to discover this fintech infographic any

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  • Discover the « Startup Nation »
    Discover the « Startup Nation »

    Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of building bridges… For instance, between Swiss startup scene and the most advanced European startups hubs like London or Berlin. Even after the Brexit dramatic vote (for the London startup scene), I still believe that Swiss startups should still think about going UK. But we will see what happens in the coming weeks (at best) or months/years, which would be the worst thing ever: uncertainty is always bad for business! As an entrepreneur, y

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  • Why You Need to Know Media4Equity for Your Startup Growth
    Why You Need to Know Media4Equity for Your Startup Growth

    This is a guest post by David Hug, a Zürich-based professional startup investor, currently acting as  Managing Director at Ringier Digital Ventures. Innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital are almost synonyms of the Silicon Valley. Over the last years, this way of thinking is gaining more and more attention in Europe. Not only famous examples from the West Coast like Facebook, Twitter and Uber started dominating our life. Also European start-ups like Spotify, Zalando or Skype changed

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  • 24 Hints to Build A Lean Startup
    24 Hints to Build A Lean Startup

    Monday this week, I was organizing a meetup in my home city, Biel/Bienne. We had the pleasure of welcoming Dorian Selz, a very smart and serial Swiss entrepreneur (, Memonic and Squirro). I asked Dorian to present us his hints on how to build a startup. Dorian shared his entrepreneurial journey, from becoming partner at Namics, then being recruited to launch to his present company, Squirro. He explained the concept of freemium and its major hurdle when you build a startup: fr

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  • How To Learn About UX in Switzerland?
    How To Learn About UX in Switzerland?

    If you’d like to launch a new business, you may think about the optimal combination of founders. And how many is too many? And what skills do you need in your team? Many people find extremely hard to find cofounders, especially technical ones (who has never heard the following complaint: “I cannot find a technical co-founder”?). Fortunately, nowadays, there are many possibilities in Switzerland to find software developers who may want to join a startups: Startup Weekend, hackathons (the bigge

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  • The Zurich (Swiss) Startup Paradox
    The Zurich (Swiss) Startup Paradox

    Switzerland is a beautiful country to work and to live. Low unemployment rate and good salaries, a very stable politic system, data privacy, beautiful landscapes, a precise and working transportation system, a place in Central Europe and very good international flights connections. Swiss people are also among the happiest people in the world (see here). Switzerland is even one of the most innovative countries in the world (mostly due to all patents submitted by pharmaceutical giants). But who

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  • Happy Easter Fintech Egg Hunt!
    Happy Easter Fintech Egg Hunt!

    It’s almost already Easter… and a long weekend to relax and maybe do some Easter Egg Hunts? Next Thursday, a big fintech event is happening in Zürich: The Fintech 2016 Conference. A wide panel of fintech experts, financial executives and investors will present and debate about innovation in the financial industry. From banking innovation to blockchain, from learnings out of the Silicon Valley to a debate on how to accelerate innovation, there will be a lot of knowledge to collect during this

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  • Does Switzerland Now Have Its Startup Event?
    Does Switzerland Now Have Its Startup Event?

    We often hear that Switzerland lacks of a big startup event. Dublin had one with Web Summit (now moving to Lisbon), Paris had one with LeWeb (now kind of “replaced” by the The Rude Baguette events or the new Viva Technology event), Vienna has Pioneers, Münich has DLD Conference, Amsterdam has The Next Web, Barcelona has many startup events around the Mobile World Congress, Berlin and London have PLENTY (NOAH, etc.). And how about Switzerland? It is not the pompously named WorldWebSummit which

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