Production/Trade & Industry
The Swiss Economic Award has been singling out exceptional start-ups on an annual basis since 1999. Together with our partners we fund its prizes with the aim of fostering Switzerland's entrepreneurial spirit and next generation of business entrepreneurs. The prizewinning start-ups act as exemplars and motivators, encouraging other potential young entrepreneurs to venture towards independence.
The prize-giving ceremony always takes place during the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken. The winners are honoured on the main stage in front of 1350 decision-makers from business, politics, science and the media.
The winners of the Swiss Economic Award are given the high-quality award trophy, designed by Mario Tronza, Creaholic SA, as a symbol of their achievements. In addition, they receive a package of other one-time benefits, including:
• Substantial feedback from qualified experts
• Prize money of CHF 75,000
• Invitation to the Swiss Economic Forum 2016
• Wide exposure in the national media, with an enormous increase in recognition
• Prize award at the Swiss Economic Forum in front of 1,350 decision-makers from the world of business,
shown live on the Swiss TV channel SRF with more than 200,000 people watching
• Professionally made video portrait
• The possibility to participate more easily in the Growth initiative «Growth for SMEs» with new
opportunities for reviewing strategy and financing www.sef4kmu.ch
• Opportunity for membership in SEF.Alumni, the network for all entrepreneurs
who have been winners or finalists
Seize the opportunity and apply now for Switzerland’s most important prize for young entrepreneurs on the online platform.
It only takes 10 minutes to apply for the first level.
Applying for the Swiss Economic Award is a two-stage process. The achievements of the start-up company are given an overall assessment in a three-stage, high-quality selection process.
until 31 January 2016: Application first level
Registration on the user-friendly online platform. It takes about 10 minutes to register.
until beginning of February 2016: Evaluation of applications
Experts evaluate all applications and select the 100 best companies for the next round (second level).
until 29 February 2016: Application second level
Completion of the expanded questionnaire and submission of dossier
15-16 March 2016: Preliminary jury
The 15 best start-ups are nominated
21-24 March 2016: Visit by experts
The three finalists for each category are selected
21-22 April 2016: Main jury
Final presentation and voting on winners
10 June 2016: Award ceremony
at the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken carried live on SRF
Each year a stellar jury bestows the coveted Swiss Economic Award in three categories:
• High-tech / Biotech
• Production/Trade & Industry
All start-up companies with their head office in Switzerland and that were founded after 1 January 2010, or that were taken over through an MBO or MBI, may participate in the 2016 contest. If your start-up is enjoying above-average growth or if you are making a strong impact on your industry through innovation and creativity and have a vast future potential, you should definitely apply for the Swiss Economic Award in one of the three categories.
The Swiss Economic Award bestows prizes in the following three categories:
Switzerland's services sector is gaining in importance year by year. Making a mark in the marketplace calls for high quality and clear differentiation. We single out start-ups that successfully implement these key success factors.
Exports of high-tech and biotechnology are set to become increasingly important for the Swiss economy. As a country with a proud history of research and development, Switzerland can and must play to its strengths. We single out nascent companies that consciously and successfully venture down this route.
Makers of, or dealers in, tangible products often exhibit outstanding entrepreneurial acumen. Ingenious solutions and products demonstrating reliability, precision, user-friendliness and value for money do not come from nowhere. We deliberately single out young talent – for the success of tomorrow.
The quality of the three-stage assessment and judging process for the Swiss Economic Award is outstanding. It is certified by the Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems (SQS). The success rate since 1999 of the 38 companies that have won the prize is 97%. The winners have created a total of more than 2,050 jobs, and they generate annual sales of over CHF 2 billion.
How long does it take to submit the application?
The online application for the first level will take you around ten minutes. You can expect the compilation of a dossier for the jury at the second level to take around two hours.
What is the prize money?
The total prize money is CHF 75,000. The winners in the three categories each receive CHF 25,000.
How do I stand to benefit from the Award?
The enormous benefit is the national media presence, the access to investors and financial backers, and the hugely motivating aspect for the entire team. The Award is also an ideal instrument for attracting and recruiting good people.
Does the award bring me any long-term benefits too?
SEF.Alumni has been created as an interesting network of over 60 highly successful entrepreneurs, membership of which is open only to Swiss Economic Award winners and finalists. Membership is a sure way to find new business opportunities and a framework for intensive cross-industry knowledge exchange.
David Allemann, Olivier Bernhard, Caspar Coppetti (all founders), Martin Hoffmann (CFO), Marc Maurer (Head of Operations)
Dr. Manuel Aschwanden (co-founder/CEO), David Niederer (co-founder/VP R&D), Mark Blum (co-founder/VP R&D)
Alexander Mazzara (co-founder/CEO), Dominik Stroppel (co-founder/COO)
A distinguished principal jury chaired by Ms. Carolina Müller-Möhl is appointed to select the winners.
Chair of the jury
Dr. Thomas Bähler
Secretary of the jury,
Partner at Kellerhals Carrard /
Swiss Economic Forum
CEO NZZ Management AG
AMAG Automobil- und Motoren AG
Vorsitzender der Geschäftsleitung
IBM Schweiz AG
Dr. Felix Mayer
Head Corporate & Institutional Clients and Investment Bank Switzerland, UBS
Councillor, Head of Economic Affairs of Canton Bern
Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, BKW AG
CEO Micro Precision Systems AG
Hans Peter Wehrli
Chair in Marketing
University of Zurich
Dr. Marcel Widrig
Partner PwC Schweiz
Head of SME
Member of the Group Executive Board Swisscom Ltd
All applications received are analysed by a jury of experts and evaluated on the basis of the rating criteria. Following the visit by the experts three start-up companies per category are nominated for the final.
Dr. Peter Balsiger
Businessman and investor
Dr. Thomas Bähler
Secretary of the jury
Partner at Kellerhals Attorneys at Law/Swiss Economic Forum
Relationship Manager Multinationals
Dr. Bettina Ernst
CEO Preclin Biosystems AG
Dr. Alban Fischer
Institut für Geistiges Eigentum
Co-proprietor, Board Delegate, Frutiger AG
Senior Strategy Analyst
Group Strategy & Business Development Swisscom AG
Partner, Certified Auditor
Deputy Head of the Patent Department, Head of Patent and Technology Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
Head of Communication and Marketing, BKW AG
Head of Corporate Business
Head of Science and Technology
armasuisse Science & Technology