Swiss start-ups founded over the past 10 years have created about 50,000 jobs. The national start-up ecosystem thus employs a number of domestic workers equal to the pharma industry with its two heavyweights Roche and Novartis. Most of these jobs are in companies in the IT and software development sectors.
The authors of Swiss Startup Radar, from Startupticker and the University of Lausanne, analysed more than 10,000 datasets on Swiss start-ups. The use of cross-border data sources, such as Crunchbase, allowed a sharp look at the international interdependence of the Swiss ecosystem. This showed that young high-tech companies have become major magnets for foreign direct investment. Year after year, foreign companies take over Swiss start-ups worth more than CHF 100 million.
The high level of innovation and competitiveness of local start-ups in an international comparison was also illustrated by an evaluation of European innovation promotion practice. In no country has the EU financed more start-up projects under the EIC Accelerator programme than in Switzerland; and not only per capita, but also in absolute terms.
In addition to the economic importance of young high-tech companies, the authors also examined the importance of the risk capital scene for Switzerland as a business location. It became clear that venture capital investment plays a crucial role, particularly in the growth phase of companies. Venture capital-financed start-ups create three times more jobs in the long run than companies that grow solely from their earnings.
Swiss Startup Radar has been published annually since 2018 and offers a quantitative analysis of the Swiss start-up scene in an international comparison. The authors are Michael Rockinger, professor of finance at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne, and Stefan Kyora, editor-in-chief of the news portal startupticker.ch. Swiss Startup Radar is supported financially by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, digitalswitzerland, Innosuisse, Seco, Basel Area Business & Innovation and the Canton of Zurich.
The report is available for download.