A new interesting early stage startup support program was launched a few weeks ago and will probably attract a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs: the International Create Challenge (OK, the name isn’t so sexy, but keep reading!). This challenge is taking place in September 2012 in Martigny and is started by “Idiap Research Institute” and the “Association for Interactive Multimodal Information Management”. Think on it as a Startup Weekend lasting 3 weeks (so you have to be in a good shape!), where you also have the possibility to get early stage funding at attractive conditions in the end.
Focus will be mainly on the development of a Minimum Viable Product (that is, a first working prototype you can launch in order to test the market… before iterating until reaching the market fit) and has to be correlated to human-computer interaction, research domains of the initiators (which develops a wide range of interesting but still not marketed technologies). On the 10 selected teams, 3 will be granted with CHF 20’000.- (half as an award, half for 10% of your future company) completed with coaching and hosting support provided by TheArk… and an additonal grant of CHF 10’000.- and an interest-free loan reaching up to CHF 40’000.- (you have to establish your business in Valais, however). So the winners will get in total CHF 70’000.- to bootstrap their company during the 1st year (that should last for a binomial startup)… Not bad at all!
Here is the selection process (as displaid on their website):
This initiative is an excellent move (and the 3 weeks are free!) and I’m sure that will help to:
- launch some interesting startups (looking forward to the “Demo day” planned on 21st of September!)
- better use the technologies developed by researchers
- grow the web founders community in Switzerland in a whole!
You just have 10 days left to submit your application… so don’t wait! And don’t tell me that Valais is far away… Would you like to kickstart your business… or not ;-)? By taking part to the Challenge, you don’t have to establish there (but OK, you’ll miss the funding).