New record number of spin-offs at ETH Zurich

In 2020, 34 spin-offs were founded at ETH Zurich, with a striking proportion in the areas of AI and sustainability. More founders start their companies already after their Master’s studies and more start-ups have been co-founded by women.

ETH Zurich can look back on a very successful year for spin-offs: 34 founding teams took the leap to independence. The number of spin-offs founded per year has increased steadily in recent years, culminating in a new record this year. As in previous years, many new spin-offs have been founded in the field of information and communication technology, with 11 based on artificial intelligence (AI). In addition to AI, sustainability also plays an important role for the new ETH spin-offs, six companies are developing products or services in this area.

Graph ETHZ spinoffs

An increasing numbers of ETH students are founding a spin-off straight after their Master's studies, demonstrating their business instinct for the market. The number of female founders has also risen slightly. Six companies were co-founded by women in 2020.

ETH spin-offs also performed well in the market in 2020, raising more than CHF 400 million in capital. GetYourGuide, Climeworks and Scandit, for example, closed financing rounds of CHF 129 million, CHF 100 million and CHF 77 million respectively. Snyk, a leading company in code security analysis, acquired the young AI spin-off DeepCode. Innovative textile and specialty material leader HeiQ, founded in 2005, began trading on the London Stock Exchange in 2020. It is the first listing of an ETH spin-off on a stock exchange outside of Switzerland.

New Vice President for Knowledge Transfer

Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research, has just handed this area over to the new Vice President for Knowledge Transfer and Corporate Relations, Vanessa Wood. Wood, whose research group members founded the ETH spin-off Battrion in 2015, looks forward to supporting future ETH spin-offs: "I know from experience how much courage and determination it takes to establish a company."

(Press release / SK)