Innosuisse Start-up Training: tailored support instead of a patent solution


This year, Innosuisse will offer training courses in Business Creation and Business Growth for various sectors. We talked to Jordi Montserrat, Philipp Winteler and Caroline Graf from Venturelab about how the courses help founders build their start-ups effectively.


Innosuisse’s start-up training programme ranges from motivational events to courses that help founders grow their start-ups. Two of the four modules were put out to tender again last year and the first redesigned courses will take place from the mid of March. Module 3 (Business Creation) courses are aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs with the strong intention to found a start-up; Module 4 (Business Growth) courses are intended for incorporated start-ups that already have a first proof of concept.

Until last year, the modules were organised regionally. Now national courses are on offer for the different verticals: ICT, Advanced Engineering, Biotechnology, Medical Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship. The tender for the first four fields has been won by Venturelab. The contract for the Social Entrepreneurship courses has gone to ZHAW School of Management and Law.

Jordi Montserrat, Managing Partner at Venturelab, explains the special features of the new courses: “There are many courses for those interested in founding a start-up, but only a few for the phase during and after the start-up. And not least, the courses are open to all founders, not just those who come directly from a university.”

In order to support the founders as effectively as possible, Venturelab courses are ‘mission-based’. “Entrepreneurial training goes beyond simply imparting information or skills to entrepreneurs or teaching a single way to build a business. We want founders to work on the concrete deliverables required to successfully execute their entrepreneurial mission, helping them with practical, implementable assistance in order to find the best way to move forward with their business,” explains Philipp Winteler, who is responsible for the new Innosuisse Start-up Training.

The start-ups are not only interacting with industry-specific trainer: every day, an additional entrepreneur and an expert make their experience and knowledge available, and each participant will have a personal coach on top of the training. Thus, founders may get different and possibly contradictory perspectives and opinions, but this is one of the aims: “Our goal is for the founders themselves to develop a coherent approach to their start-up,” says Winteler. The fact that entrepreneurs have to choose between alternatives is one of the characteristics of entrepreneurship.

In order for the training to be as effective as possible, the founders will also frequently present and then receive feedback not only from the coaches and experts, but also from the other students. A presentation in front of a panel from the regional start-up environment at the end of the course will allow founders to expand their network.

Meanwhile, the Venturelab has set the course dates for 2018. “A total of 29 Business Creation and Business Growth courses will take place in Zurich, Lausanne, Bern, Basel and Lugano,” says Caroline Graf, programme manager at Venturelab. Courses do not take place at universities, but in co-working spaces and similar venues. Registration for the five-day courses is now open.

The Venturelab courses cover ICT, Advanced Engineering, Biotechnology and Medical Technology. Information about the courses in Social Entrepreneurship can be found on Startup Campus' website.

(Stefan Kyora)

Picture: Philipp Winteler, Caroline Graf  and Jordi Montserrat (from left to right)