Startup Accelerator Spotlight: Swiss Startup Factory

Swiss Startup Factory

Swiss Startup Factory runs the #1 privately funded accelerator in Switzerland.

Name of Accelerator: Swiss Startup Factory

Location: Zurich, Switzerland


Founders: Mike Baur, Max Meister and Oliver Walzer

Swiss Startup factory

Founder, Oliver Walzer

Swiss Startup factory

Founder, Max Meister

Swiss Startup Factory

Founder, Mike Baur








This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.

In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.

SSUF runs the #1 privately funded accelerator in Switzerland. Our objectives are to bring startups from idea to market in 3 months.

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

First, and very important, is that we work very, very closely with our startups. Here the contact of the startups with our founders is nearly daily, which allows a strong interaction and fast access to experts. Experts are the second main point that SSUF has to offer. We offer several input sessions during the whole acceleration process, making sure that startups always have inputs that match the experiences they are facing at the moment.

Swiss Startup FactoryWhat is the most difficult part of working with startups?

The biggest challenge is to turn these passion-driven entrepreneurs that have a dream and a vision into business people that are capable of operating a fast-growing company. Many of the times, during early stages at our accelerator, these entrepreneurs tend to make decisions based on their passion and neglect the business element of their idea. So we bring them back to earth and make them capable of executing the business environment, which is definitely a challenge.

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What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?

The same passion that tends to be a challenge is also what motivates us to work with startups the most. Their willingness of making their products come to market and the fact that they see no barriers is a key driver. The energy is definitely stronger when startups are working in-house.

Tell us about your success stories; Which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

It is important toSwiss Startup Factory say that we just completed our first batch of startups in April, 2016. Among the first batch, it’s worth mentioning:

  • Velohub ( recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign. The team counts with several graduates from ETH (The Swiss equivalent to MIT) and they are on a very good track towards a second round of funding to grow sales in whole Europe.
  • Struckd ( is another startup that recently graduated. They just launched their product for iPhone and Android and are already obtaining high traction and very positive user feedback.

What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

  1. Do I believe in what I am doing?
    Without believing, there is no success. There will be those moments where everything seems to push you away from your dreams and if your vision is not clear enough, strong enough, you will end up losing yourself.
  2. Swiss Startup FactoryDo I have a reliable team?
    Apart from very special cases, there is no startup without a great team. The team is the main pillar of the visions that startups have. Strong communications between the team members, founders that challenge and complement each other and trust are essential for the startup to be a winner in the end.
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  3. Am I ready to fail and try again?
    At many moments, as an entrepreneur, we will face failures – moments where our convictions are challenged and we must acknowledge our mistakes and work with them. Several founders have proven to be unable to shape their decisions based on their failures and this is a prerequisite for any successful entrepreneur.

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What else would you like to share?

At the SSUF we provide all the tools startups will need to build, develop and expand a wide range of financing options, professional pitch trainers/coaches/mentors, a robust national/international network and much more. Apply online for our next accelerator batch. We start twice a year (January/September).

In search of an accelerator that aligns with your startup’s needs?  Find My Accelerator can help!


Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.