The Seed Round Guide: Is Big Always Better Than Small? (I/III)

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Some time ago, I discussed with Penny on the different challenges of raising money for an early stage tech startups. She has gathered a lot of practical experience of startup investments, both in her professional activity at Swisscom and in private, by doing angel investments on her own. Startups are hard. Raising money is even harder. And even if there is a lot money in Switzerland, most of it is “sleeping”… So if you’re a startup entrepreneur and you need to raise funds (best way is to close commercial deals, of course, and you may not need financing early on – but that’s a different debate!), you’d better manage the process wisely and without doing too many mistakes. Once you have managed to raise interest of potential investors, you should be aware of how to do. As a first-time entrepreneur, …

Why Switzerland needs the Swiss Investment Fund

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Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be an expert for a Bachelor thesis about the European Investment Fund. The student, Daniel Poffet, now graduated (congrats, btw!), did a great research in explaining what the European Investment Fund (EIF) is. Basically, the EIF is a public-private partnership founded in 1994 aiming to allow a better access to (venture) capital. It is mainly owned by the European Investment Bank and by the European Union. The activity of the EIF is to invest indirectly in startups and companies in the European Union. The EIF doesn’t invest directly, but provides more funds to Venture Capital funds (hey, well, VC’s do also need to raise funds – like startup entrepreneurs… And it’s not easier for them, too!). And it can represent up to 30% (if I remember correctly) of the total fund. So …

Apply to SICTIC Investor Day Lausanne!

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The 22nd Investor Day will take place on November 9th 2015 at Chambre Vaudoise du Commerce et de l’Industrie in Lausanne. Apply to be one of the 8 selected startups who will have the opportunity to pitch to an interesting audience comprised of business angels, professional investors and startup enthusiasts. The public will select 4 startups based on their 90-seconds elevator pitch. The finalists will then have 7 minutes (and 5 minutes Q&A) to present their startup. A jury comprised of entrepreneurs and investors (Alexandre Peyraud, Thomas Dübendorfer, Patrick Barbey, Sal Matteis) will elect the winner of the competition, who will go home with a Samsung tablet offered by Innovaud and some free hosting at coworking space „UniverCité“ in Renens. Finally, startups and investors will gather around a cocktail in a relaxed atmosphere. The SICTIC Investor Day will start on …

2 Interesting (Swiss) Startup Awards

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In Switzerland, there is a common joke that there are more events and awards than… startups! Of course, it is not true. But there are many, many startup awards and competitions. Most of them (if you win) give you some « free » press coverage (if you consider the time wasted in applying, it is not completely free) and the most interesting ones provide you cash money. As an entrepreneur, I think they are the only ones really worth applying (I’m not speaking about applications to pitch to events, this is different)! Startup awards are compelling because it sounds as free financing for your startup. You normally don’t have to share equities with the award organizer. Yes, it a great idea to apply. But you also have to consider the chance of winning (as you would do with every kind …

5 Startup Competitions to Apply for in April

In Fundraising, Startup Scene by Sébastien FluryLeave a Comment

Time to apply for startup competitions is back! OK, not all use the same application form (check my post on the topic: “Startup competitions, don’t waste entrepreneurs’ time“), unfortunately… but anyway. These competitions are worth the time. Here are 2 startup acceleration program and 3 pitching competitons you should consider applying for: Pioneers Challenge, Vienna (deadline: April 3rd): Pioneers Festival will take place on May 28-29th this year (therefore no more colliding with WebSummit!). Be one of the top50 startups selected and compete to win EUR 100k in pre-seed investment. APPLY HERE! SICTIC Investor Day Lausanne (deadline: April 12th): the 20th SICTIC Investor Day will take place in Lausanne on May 11th, at Debiopharm. 8 selected startups will pitch the audience (90 seconds, 1 slide) and then the audience will vote for the 4 startups that can make a longer …

Discover the 10 (+26) startups from Seedstars World Competiton

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This Wednesday, it wasthe grand final of Seedstars World. Seedstars World is a global competition todiscover promising startups from emerging countries and gathered 36 (!)startups here in Geneva. These startups were the winner of their national Seedstars competition and all had a booth at Lift Conference. 10 of them were selected by the jury to pitch to the whole Lift audience. Here they are: 6 degrees (Singapore) is a connected, self-updatingphonebook that helps you search your friends’ networks, get introductions to new people, shops & businesses. Busportal (Lima, Peru) is a online tool helping customers to find, compare and buy bus tickets in Latin America in a efficient way. Krowdpop (Seoul, South Korea) is the world’s first concert crowd funding platform dedicated to the increasingly popular K-pop music. OkHi (Nairobi, Kenya) is solving the problem of 4 Billion people who …

9 Learnings from The Swiss Venture Capital Report

In Fundraising, Startup Learnings by Sébastien FluryLeave a Comment

This week, the Swiss startup newsportal startupticker and Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA) published their report on Venture Capital in Switzerland. You can download it here. The total Venture Capital raised in Switzerland in 2014 (or at least, the fundraising deals that were published) reached CHF 457M, 10% more than in 2013. A big, huge success? Sounds so, but… there are a lot of learnings here, confirming what a lot of startup entrepreneurs are experiencing on the ground: The 5 biggest rounds sum up to CHF 205M. Almost half of the total amount. Exclusively in Biotech. The 2 biggest, Biocartis (78M) and NovImmune (60M) are responsible of 30% of the total Venture Capital raised… 78% of this total amount is going in Life Sciences (Biotech and Medtech). Only 19% funds flow to Information & Communication Technologies (what …

Get Free Funding and Mentoring: the Hello Tomorrow Challenge

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The Hello Tomorrow Challenge is back! Launched in 2014, this challenge is a unique opportunity for European early stage startups to win the Grand Prize of EUR 100’000.-, and for 5 other startups to collect a EUR 15’000.- prize. And the great news is that the 30 finalists will get free mentoring during 3 months by prominent tech figures! Founded by French entrepreneurs Xavier Duportet and Arnaud De La Tour in 2011, Hello Tomorrow is a non-profit organization aiming at creating bridges between scientists, investors and entrepreneurs in all major technological fields. The challenge is open to anyone  trying to solve major problems with technology in the following categories: Foods & Agriculture Materials & Manufacturing Transport & Mobility Healthcare Energy & Environment Information technologies The conditions to apply are pretty simple: Your startup has to be less than 2 years …