Scale-ups and large companies: the interest is mutual


The scale-up bootcamps from digitalswitzerland are a success. They show the progress that the Swiss ecosystem has made over recent years in building up collaboration between start-ups and large companies.


The scale-up boot camps will be carried out this year for the first time by venture kick on behalf of digitalswitzerland. Fast-growing young companies meet representatives of corporates at three events in Lausanne, Zurich and Bern. The process of the meetings is always the same: first, a presentation by the large companies, followed by the start-ups; then there is the opportunity to exchange information in 15-minute one-to-one meetings with finally networking and conversations at the start-up booths. In addition to the scale ub boot camps for Swiss start-ups a market entry camp for start-ups from abroad will be held in the first week of June. 

The success is remarkable: 80 one-to-one meetings took place at the bootcamp in Schlieren last week, for example. Each of the participating 20 start-up companies was able to arrange between four and seven follow-on meetings throughout the day. The satisfaction of the young entrepreneurs was accordingly high. “The benefits are huge. Although there are numerous good programmes for start-ups, Switzerland still lacks constructive programmes to support the growth of scale-ups. I’ve enjoyed every second of this bootcamp! Bravo to the team for the perfect organisation and the follow-up driven concept,” said Evelina Georgieva, co-founder and CEO at Pryv.

The entrepreneur addressed an important factor in the success of the bootcamps. The focus is on scale-ups that have successfully completed the first steps and in some cases achieved notable sales. In addition, many of them already have experience of working with large companies. All these factors make the scale-ups attractive partners for collaboration projects.

In addition, the three bootcamps are thematically structured, with Schlieren focusing on fintech and mobility/smart city. With a clear thematic focus and the selected scale-ups, 20 top-class corporates were attracted to the event in Schlieren – demonstrating how interest in start-ups has developed over the past two to three years. In addition, large firms have clear ideas on how to build collaborative ventures with start-up companies.

The basis of such collaboration is digitalisation, which today affects all aspects of large companies. For example, Stefan Henseler, Senior Executive Advisor Collaboration, Participations and M&A at CSS said of the bootcamp in Schlieren: “A very exciting event – it offered collaboration opportunities that at first glance did not necessarily relate to our core business, but with the potential for internal and customer-oriented process improvements – for instance, authentication, facility management, regulatory.”

The last scale-up boot campwill take place in Bern on 25 May. The market entry boot camp for start-ups from abroad - operated by Impact Hub Zurich - takes place from 4 to 8 June. The matchmaking day for corporates and start-ups is on 5 June. It is still possible to register for this market entry camp. Deadline: 23 May.


Picture: Venture Kick