The start of your investor search should be with foundations - Many foundations fund start-ups, technology and innovation

Funding start-up through foundation

Which foundations support your start-up?
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There are 13,000 charitable foundations in Switzerland. Of these, around 7000 are under federal and 6000 under cantonal supervision. Many of these foundations promote start-ups, young companies, innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and research & development. Foundations are also behind many start-up programmes (e.g. Venture-Kick), funding vehicles and awards. It is worthwhile to clarify which foundations are suitable investors for your own start-up project.

With foundations, there is still a lot of room for improvement for young companies/start-ups

Foundations are attractive donors because they are non-profit organisations and therefore primarily focused on fulfilling the foundation's purpose. The profit motive is not as dominant as with venture capitalists. Funding by a foundation often also means access to the network behind the foundation, which is usually made up of established people in business and politics. Nevertheless, foundations are not so well known as funders in the Swiss start-up scene. There is room for improvement. Fundraiso.ch maintains a list of foundations that are active as investors. In total, there are hundreds of foundations that are active in various thematic areas. For a specific project, fundraiso can also provide a customised extract of relevant institutions to give you an overview of your potential investors. You can start a non-binding enquiry here.

Fundraising for foundations

If you are trying to win over a foundation as an investor, it makes sense to first select those foundations that are thematically suitable for your own project. Foundations are very strongly bound to their own foundation purpose and statutes and can therefore only act within these possibilities. Once the right foundations have been identified, each foundation should be contacted in the way it wishes. More modern foundations offer standardised application procedures via the internet. Traditionally held foundations still insist on a dossier by post. In addition to a management summary, the budget plan should also be included so that the foundation can immediately see what a financial commitment would look like.

Scope and nature of a foundation investment

Larger foundations are not active at all as long as a minimum amount is not exceeded. Often, commitments of less than 100,000 francs are not even considered. Smaller foundations, on the other hand, can donate larger amounts if they are convinced by a project. It is therefore not only worthwhile to approach the large institutions, but all thematically relevant organisations. Foundations are also happy to grant interest-free (or reduced-interest) loans. Foundations offer a great alternative to debt financing, especially in times of restrictive corporate credit. The rule, however, is that a foundation wants to participate in the equity. Some also pre-define what a minimum share must be for a commitment to take place.

fundraiso.ch can help

The daily updated database of fundraiso.ch enables timely and precise searches, which show you all funding opportunities from the areas of foundations, funds, awards and funding associations. Search yourself as a Premium Member or submit the search.