Not enough people, passion, capital?

12.06.2015 09:24

This time you will find several articles addressing critical issues of the Swiss start-up scene in our press review. Severin Hacker explains why he had not started Duolingo in Switzerland and Joe Scarboro reports in a guest post for about Switzerland’s complicated relationship with innovation.

Duolingo, known for its language education platform used by over 100 million students has made the headlines this week with the announcement of a new financing round. The start-up has closed a US$45 million investment round led by Google Capital, that values the company at US$470 million. Co-founder Severin Hacker was born in Zug and studied at ETH Zurich. He moved to Pittsburgh to study at Carnergie Mellon University and he co-founded Duolingo in Pittsburgh together with Luis von Ahn in 2009.

In an interview with Aargauer Zeitung Severin Hacker explains why he thinks that he hadn’t founded a start-up in Switzerland. In his view a start-up here will have problems to find enough employees and enough capital.

Aargauer Zeitung: Mit seiner App kann man sogar ausserirdisch lernen


A comprehensive article about the Swiss start-up scene was published by recently. The title: Can slow and steady win the race? Joe Scarboro spent 3 days exploring the Swiss innovation scene, spread across multiple cities. He shares his thoughts with in a guest post that highlights the differences with fast-paced hubs. Can slow and steady win the race?


At the moment a series about Swiss start-ups is broadcasted by SRF in its business TV show Eco. In one part Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier criticises the typical way of Swiss founders to present their project.

SRF Eco: Gute Tüftler, schlechte Verkäufer.


Swiss investors till hesitate to invest in Swiss start-ups. In a radio report experts are seeking explanations.

SRF Heute Morgen: Investoren scheuen Start-up-Risiken.


The blog of Oliver Flückiger is interesting too. He is not afraid of critical statements. In his current post he writes about software start-ups and why they don’t need patents to be highly successful.

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