New funding scheme for deep tech start-ups

03.09.2018 08:56

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Gebert Rüf Stiftung launches InnoBooster. The goal of the new program is to substantially accelerate market entry of deep tech spin-offs, which have already entered the Venture Kick process. For this purpose, Gebert Rüf Stiftung reserved the sum of CHF 2.5 million per year, integrating the previous DesignPlus funding program.

A recent study showed that the number of Swiss companies which are developing market innovations decreases. Gebert Rüft Stiftung is seeking to counter this trend with a new program. InnoBooster aims at speeding up innovative, science-based deep tech business cases in the Venture Kick process, which promise high market potential. Up to CHF 150,000 for a maximum of 1.5 years can be granted to top talents with a clear plan and funding need for accelerated market entry.

Jordi Montserrat, co-managing director of Venture Kick, is convinced of the need for such a funding line: “In the deep tech field, founders are still struggling to get the necessary means in order to really work early stage with potential customers. For founders, InnoBooster will be an essential asset to speed up their access to the market."

Dr. Franziska Ullrich, CEO of medtech startup Ophthorobotics, Venture Kick stage 2 winner 2017, adds: “Especially a funding which lasts for 1.5 years, such as InnoBooster, would really help to close the gap between the academic project work moving towards a clinical prototype, that then also can attract funding from external sources."

Projects applying to InnoBooster must meet the following requirements:

  • The project must be in the Venture Kick process.
  • The project has to be rooted at a Swiss university or research institution (ETH Domain, cantonal university, university of applied sciences), funding goes to the university and not directly to start-ups already founded.
  • Applicants allow GRS the right to obtain information on assessments from Venture Kick.
  • Budget of a maximum of CHF 150,000 for no more than 1.5 years: No infrastructure costs or overheads are financed, only salaries and materials costs directly related to the project.
  • The project must provide the following proofs: Scientific quality through a letter of endorsement from a funding programme such as BRIDGE Proof of Concept, Pioneer Fellowships, Innogrant or similar; entrepreneurial potential through a letter of endorsement from (potential) customers, investors, industry partners.


Projects can be submitted to Gebert Rüf Stiftung by one of the quarterly deadlines, the first one being 1. December 2018. The next deadlines will be 1. February, 1. May, 1. September and 1.
December 2019.

More details about InnoBooster as well as a proposal form can be found at grstiftung.ch / venturekick.ch. Or get the flyer here.

A list of all relevant non-dilutive funding schemes can be found in Startupticker's Grants and Loans Directory

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