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Start up: what are the advantages of launching into Ticino?


According to Steve Blank's well-known definition, "a startup is a temporary organisation that aims to seek a scalable and repeatable business model".

The start-up has to face an obstacle course, which can be made easier with the right knowledge of laws and financing. In some cases thanks to the support of trained consultants, who not only know the subject, but also have offices in areas where it is possible to find favourable conditions. There is no doubt that, in this sense, Ticino and Switzerland represent a great opportunity to create a start-up, develop it and make it successful.

 According to the experiences of entrepreneurs who have created successful start-ups, the basic ingredients to overcome the start-up phase are: 

  • An idea that meets a market demand
  • An A-team
  • A momentum
  • Financing
  • Optimal execution

The chances of a successful start-up therefore depend on these subjective variables, linked to the founder (or more founders). But there are also objective variables: there are Countries where it is easier to find funding, find the right staff to develop the idea, meet investors, contacts, contacts and consultants who can help in the delicate start-up phase.


Why choose Switzerland to launch a start-up

The Swiss Confederation is an extremely dynamic and efficient Country, which does not create obstacles to business activity and financing, whether institutional or private, provided that the legal framework is respected. 

Recognising the value of innovation, the Swiss legislator, whether federal or cantonal, has over the years promulgated a series of measures to encourage innovation and the development of start-ups, considered the ideal vehicle for responding to the technological challenges posed by automation, the arrival of artificial intelligence and the digitisation of services. In Switzerland, technical, legal and financial support can be found thanks to the collaboration of private companies, credit institutions, universities and local administrations. 

From the state's point of view, Switzerland has approved the establishment of a special Commission for Technology and Innovation, which aims to attract capital, investment, specialised professionals in order to combine ideas and funding, to create successful start-ups. Six regional systems for technological innovation have been identified, including the Canton of Ticino. 

There are numerous financing opportunities offered by local banks, which have launched calls for proposals to finance ideas. Universities and research institutes, which act as guarantors of the goodness of the most advanced projects, marked by a particular technological innovation.

 Forms of financing for start-ups

If as an entrepreneur you have a particularly innovative idea that you want to develop in Switzerland, particularly in the Canton of Ticino, you can rely on various forms of support and financing, including: 

  • Guarantees for SMEs, including start-ups. The Confederation provides funding in turn to guarantee cooperatives, which finance small and medium enterprises and start-ups throughout the confederation's territory. The task of these cooperatives is economic promotion. The guarantee covers bank loans of up to CHF 500,000 granted for business start-ups. 
  • CTI startup label - the innovative federal agency that encourages and promotes scientific innovation in Switzerland by providing funding and professional support. 
  • Other companies, not necessarily start-ups, can access funding for: technology funds for companies that innovate in the field of reducing gas emissions (global warming). The guarantee covers financing from 3 to 10 million Swiss francs. 
  • If SMEs invest at least 10% of their turnover in research and development, they can access the Eurostars funds: the financing has a maximum limit of CHF 500,000. 
  • Finally, the SECO Start-up Fund (SSF) programme is available to Swiss companies wishing to support start-ups abroad. It is dedicated to Swiss entrepreneurs wishing to invest in developing countries, which are considered strategic. A loan of up to 50% of the initial start-up costs can be obtained, with a maximum of CHF 500,000.

The Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency (Innosuisse) reserves two specific programmes for start-ups:

  • Startup coaching
  • Startup training

The purpose of these programs is to learn how to do business, develop an idea, implement it and promote it. The Canton of Ticino provides for the financing of costs for those companies that have been included in the programmes, up to a maximum of CHF 25,000. Training courses are also planned to acquire knowledge about business ideas, growth and expansion. Thanks to the presence of coaches and professors in the field. 

Young entrepreneurs who have set up start-ups, who have launched products "or plan to do so in the next 6-12 months" can take part. 

Supporting technological innovation in Ticino

Article 12, third paragraph, of the Law on Economic Innovation (Linn) states that "the Canton may provide a framework credit for supporting innovative start-ups". 

The Regional Innovation Agency of the Canton of Ticino is responsible for taking action. Its aim is to support entrepreneurs who launch particularly advanced, technologically innovative ideas in various sectors.

In particular, it aims to: 

  • To promote knowledge by networking research and development centres and industrial activities in order to transfer technological innovation.
  • Support research and development (R&D) projects at all levels (such as cantonal programmes, the CTI/KTI programme).
  • Develop new products, optimize production processes and the business model, thanks to the collaboration of experts, entrepreneurs and business coaches.
  • Promote partnerships with innovation and competence centres
  • Networking at every level (national and international) to seize new business opportunities.
  • Enter the so-called accelerators thanks to the startup incubator "CP Start-up". 

What does the opening of a start-up involve?

As we have seen, there are many opportunities, but of course the opening of a start-up is no different, as a whole, from the establishment of a company in Switzerland. So, for the immediate phases of establishment and operation, as well as for everything related to obtaining financing, facilities, guarantees, you can refer to our advice. The team of professionals with experience in business, accounting, tax and commercial matters will be at your side to transform your business idea into a company able to impose itself on the market. 

Ask us now for a free consultation for a tailor-made service.



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