The Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) has been helping startups since 1994. It encourages entrepreneurship, supports innovation and bolsters the local economy by providing appropriate financial assistance. The FIT grants help to projects that possess an innovative or technological character and those tied to a university in the county of Vaud (i.e. HES, EPFL, Unil, HEIG-VD…) . In order to complete all of the criteria, the projects are also expected to have high chances of success in creating or developing a company.
The Innovaud association, the front door of innovation in the county of Vaud, tightly collaborates with the FIT. She transfers information to the candidates that asked the FIT for support and effectuates a pre-screening of the newest demands in function of the FIT’s criteria of eligibility. Thus, the application forms for a FIT grant or loan can be found on the website of Innovaud.
The FIT supports the projects based on ICT, cleantech, life science and industry at different development stages. In 2017, life science represented 40% of the projects while information and communication technology corresponded with a third of the supported projects.
Since 1994, the FIT has provided 35 grants to projects deemed trustworthy, whose main goal is to create a business. Furthermore, she has granted 195 loans to 161 innovative companies, adding up to a total amount of more than 33 million Swiss Francs.
The FIT is allowed to flaunt her choices for the supported startups because 74% of the companies are still active and some matured into true SMEs. One of those startups, Mindmaze, even became the first Swiss unicorn (i.e. a company valued at more than 1 billion Swiss Francs).
In total, more than 1’000 jobs were created in the county, and the Romandie monopolizes the top of the ‘best Swiss startups’ rankings.
Additionally, the rankings of the Top 100 of the best swiss startups regularly notices the supported firms by the FIT monopolizing the very top. In 2017, they were 21.