Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can apply to the >>venture>> competition?

The >>venture>> competition welcomes applications from anyone who has an innovative business idea and plans to set up a company in Switzerland or has already done so. Every startup team needs to have a minimum of one person 18 years of age or older and one person who is a resident of Switzerland. If you have a registered company, it shouldn’t have been registered before January 1, 2019. If this isn’t your case please contact us at and we will review your specific situation.

When can I submit my application for the 2021 competition?

Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2020 to the submission deadline on March 24, 2021

Is it possible to modify my business case after submitting it?

You can modify your business case anytime until the application deadline. After that, your application will be "frozen." If you are invited to pitch in the finals, you are free to update your presentation for the pitch.

What are the formal requirements for the business case/project dossier?

Once you register, we will provide you with clear content guidelines for your submission. The final business case must be written in English, should have no more than 20 pages and must be uploaded as a PDF.

How is the prize money distributed amongst the winners?

We offer a total of CHF 510,000 every year to our winners, which is distributed as follows: 1st place per vertical: CHF 50,000 2nd place per vertical: CHF 20,000 3rd place per vertical: CHF 10,000 Grand prize winner: CHF 100,000 in addition to the CHF 50,000 from their 1st place prize within their respective vertical. Audience Award winner: CHF 10,000

Will I receive a mentor or coach if I participate?

Only the finalists – that is, the participants selected as having one of the top ten projects within their respective verticals – will be granted access to our network of mentors. Finalists are then free to contact the mentors of their choosing for an introductory meeting. If both parties agree, they can individually decide on the terms that will govern their work together.

Is participation in the kickoff workshop mandatory?

No, but it is highly recommended, as you will have the opportunity to meet with investors, industry experts and the >>venture>> team.

How can I obtain a free intellectual property (IP) voucher from the IPI?

During our open competition season, (please refer to our homepage for valid dates) >>venture>> provides our competition participants, with an approved business case submission, with a free Assisted Patent Search voucher. To redeem, kindly submit your business case on our website and send us an email with your voucher request. Once your project is approved for submission, someone from our >>venture>> team will be in touch shortly with more information. About the Assisted Patent Search voucher: if you have an idea or an invention and are wondering if you can patent it, the Assisted Patent Search voucher, valued at CHF 300 will help you to find out. You can take advantage of the knowledge of a patent expert in your specialist field over the course of half a day with the IPI in Bern. He or she will provide you with information on patents and patenting and search together with you in public patent databases.

My business idea doesn't fit into one of the five verticals (Health & Nutrition, Industrials & Engineering, ICT, Finance & Insurance or Retail & Consumer Services). Can I still apply?

If you have any questions regarding the verticals, feel free to contact us at or +41 (0) 43 366 99 22. We can advise you as to which category is the best fit for your business idea.

I have participated in the >>venture>> competition before. Can I participate again?

If you want to re-submit the same business case, you may do so if the business case was not selected as a winner. If you want to enter the competition with a different business case, you are welcome to participate as many times as you like. You may also submit more than one business case per competition. If you participated in 2018 or before, you would have formed part of either the business idea or business plan track in the competition. If you are a previous business idea track participant, you may re-enter the competition, regardless of your winning status. If you are a previous business plan track winner, you are not allowed to submit the same business case. If you are a previous business plan track participant and were not selected as a finalist or winner, you may enter the competition with the same business case.

Do participants receive feedback on their submissions?

Yes, you will receive detailed feedback at all stages except the final round with the Advisory Board.

Does the whole team have to be present at the pitch session?

We recommend that the entire team attends. However, you can choose to have your team represented by one person only.

How are the 50 finalists selected?

Our team of carefully selected jurors, composed of industry and startup experts, reviews your submission and grades it according to a scale. Projects with the highest overall grades are selected to enter the next round.

Is the data I submit to >>venture>> confidential?

We take confidentiality very seriously at >>venture>>. All jurors, Advisory Board members and mentors sign a confidentiality agreement.

Can I submit models or prototypes as part of my application?

No. We can only accept PDF documents. If you have a functioning prototype, we invite you to embed of a video of it in your submission.

How is the prize money disbursed?

Winners will receive a lump sum payment within a month of the award ceremony. The funds will be transferred to your company's bank account (or your personal bank account, if the company has not been set up yet).

Are there any restrictions on how the prize money can be used?

No. We advise winners to spend their prize money wisely on the development of their startup.

How is >>venture>> funded?

>>venture>> is funded through the >>venture>> foundation by the organizers and sponsoring companies represented on the Advisory Board. Learn more about >>venture>> in our ABOUT page.

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