What is the Swiss Accelerator?
The Swiss Accelerator is a grant funding programme designed to accelerate the growth of highly innovative start-ups and SMEs based in Switzerland.
Who should apply to the Swiss Accelerator?
The Swiss Accelerator is looking for high potential, high risk and ambitious projects focused on developing, commercialising and scaling breakthrough technology.
Successful companies must have funding available to cover 30% of the project costs.
When to apply for the Swiss Accelerator?
The Swiss Accelerator is a highly competitive 3-step process.
Opening of the Innolink platform for the submission of the short application. Submissions by e-mail will not be considered
From 28 August 2023 until the submission deadline of 09 October 2023 at 12:00 CEST (at noon).
The short application is evaluated by three independent Innosuisse-experts, selected based upon their experience and knowledge in project management, technology and innovation, investment and finance, and entrepreneurship and business.
Only proposals receiving a GO from all the experts are invited to prepare a full application (Step 2).
If you have been invited by Innosuisse to submit a full application, you can do this on the online application portal.
Assigned by Innosuisse. (approx. 6 weeks after successful short application)
A due diligence of the application is performed by an external partner. Three independent experts evaluate the full application; applications receiving a GO on all the criteria are selected to the interview (Step 3).
Innosuisse will invite the selected applicants to pitch to a jury of experts and members of the Innosuisse Innovation Council. The online presentation should aim to introduce both the project and the team in person.
Interviews are expected to take place in autumn / winter.
Based on the presentation, jury members make a final assessment. The final decision on the application is made by the Innosuisse Innovation Council.
How is the Swiss Accelerator evaluated?
Swiss Accelerator projects will be evaluated against the following criteria, focusing on mature and ambitious projects:
- Degree of innovation: Does the innovation have a high degree of novelty compared to state-of-the-art? Does it have disruption potential?
- Scalability: Is the proposed business model scalable and with a high growth potential?
- Feasibility: Has the technology been sufficiently validated in a relevant environment? Have the risks been assessed?
- Intellectual Property: Does the company own the necessary intellectual property rights to ensure freedom to operate?
- Timing: Is the timing of the innovation right with respect to market conditions, social and technological developments?
- Market potential: Is the target market appropriate, well-defined and assessed?
- Competition: Is the competitors landscape properly assessed and unique selling points clearly defined?
- Marketing: Is the commercialisation strategy well thought-out? Are the business and revenue model clearly defined?.
- Sustainability: Is the technology contributing to the sustainable development of society, the economy and/or the environment ?
- Value creation in Switzerland: Will the implementation of the innovation create value in Switzerland?
- Project planning: Are the milestones, work packages, deliverables and resources for the project implementation well-defined?.
- Team: Does the team have the capacity and skills to implement the project and bring it to market?
- Risk management: Have the risks been identified and realistic mitigation measures defined?
- Key partners: Have the key partners needed to develop and commercialise the innovation been identified? Have the necessary partnerships been initiated or established?
- High-risk, high-benefit project: Will the company miss the ideal moment without the funding contribution from Swiss Accelerator?
Frequently Asked Questions
The Swiss Accelerator is a transitory measure to support companies that currently have no access to the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator funding programme. Depending on whether Switzerland will remain a non-associated third country in the EU’s Horizon Europe framework programme or not; there will either be a Swiss Accelerator call, or highly innovative start-ups and SMEs based in Switzerland will regain access to the EIC Accelerator.
The maximum Innosuisse contribution to the total project costs is CHF 2.5m. There is no minimum funding; however, supported projects are expected to be ambitious and mature, requiring an average funding of CHF 2m (this should not be considered as a strict target, but is intended to give a sense of scale).
There is no minimum or maximum duration. However, the expected duration of projects is approximately 2-3 years.
The required maturity level is at least TRL5 or higher.
Yes, as long as the company can sustain financially and administratively at least 30% of each project costs.
Only the costs that are necessary and related to the development of the innovation (products or services) to its competitive market readiness are eligible. The costs of activities that do not contribute to the innovation reaching competitive market maturity are not eligible, e.g. customer acquisition, marketing, building up a branch office in new market, etc.