Swiss start-ups: TOP 100 Award helps start-ups with financing

100 Swiss start-ups with great market potential 

The TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award picks the most promising startups in Switzerland and brings them to the attention of international investors. For startups, this can open the door to financing.

Great opportunity for start-ups

This year saw 33 Swiss firms make it onto the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award list for the first time, and at the Award Night on September 8 they were able to showcase themselves to the investor community. A place in the rankings provides a great opportunity for companies seeking capital, because it confirms that they have tremendous potential in the market place.

Startups cannot put themselves forward: Only those that attract the attention of investors and are nominated have an opportunity to be included in the rankings. A prerequisite is that companies are less than five years old. Investors choose their top 100 out of all 100,000 new firms set up over the last five years. A company can theoretically appear in the list up to five times before being eliminated again due to age. "However, there is no such thing as automatic participation for firms that are already on the list," says Stefan Steiner, Co-Managing Director of Venturelab and organizer of the event. "Year after year they need to reconvince the 100 members of the jury." 

International investors are looking at start-ups in Switzerland

The TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has existed since 2011. Since then, the event has become bigger and attracted international attention. The award-winning startups have raised a total of CHF 7.3 billion in investor capital and created more than 11,577 jobs. This has not escaped the attention of international investors from Silicon Valley, Boston, and China, who attend the TOP 100 Swiss Investor Summit in order to invest in the most promising startups.

The successes of the TOP 100 start-ups in Switzerland are impressive 


start-ups made it onto the TOP 100 list 


startups that have gone public


new jobs were created 


capital that has been raised by the startups (in billions of CHF)

As well as an investor vote there has also been a public vote for the last four years. This too can be a door-opener for startups. Fact is, they become familiar to potential future customers. "That's exciting for all those startups that are not primarily on the hunt for capital," says Stefan Steiner. This year ten startups – one per sector – were selected.

Start-ups from Switzerland are internationally competitive

Major international interest in the event shows that the Swiss startup scene can easily compete with Silicon Valley and others. "We have no reason to hide," says Stefan Steiner. Quality levels are high on the technical front in particular, thanks to ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne. The startups from these institutions are much in demand, and have often been acquired by tech giants such as Apple and Facebook.

The innovative skills of young Swiss entrepreneurs are also on show in other sectors. Among this year's TOP 100 startups are firms in the healthcare, biotechnology, life sciences, medical technology, cleantech, drones, and fintech sectors. Although startups from Zurich and Lausanne are over-represented, entrepreneurs from the whole of Switzerland also feature on the list.

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