7 July 2022. Meat substitute from plants, sustainable fashion and an online surgery for skin problems: these are only three of the many business ideas on the basis of which HSG graduates established start-ups. HSG students regularly found successful start-ups, as the present “100 under forty” ranking published by Bilanz (Paywall) reveals: besides wealthy (sports) stars, as well as heirs and heiresses, the business magazine lists the 61 most successful Swiss entrepreneurs under 40 years of age, among them two women and eight men who studied at the HSG:
• Pascal Bieri, 36, founder of Planted Foods (vegan meat substitute)
• Andreas Brenner, 35, founder of, among others, Cleanhub (plastic recycling) and Avrios (vehicle fleet platform)
• Dorina Bührle, 33, co-founder and CEO of Piavita (sensors/software for veterinary medicine), HSG Founder of the Year, 2021
• Nicholas Hänny, 30, co-founder and CEO/CMO of Nikin (sustainable fashion label which plants a tree for every product sold)
• Fabian Hediger, 30, co-founder Bitcoin Suisse
• Jeremias Meier, 35, founder of, among other things, Bexio (SME software)
• Lea Miggiano, 27, co-founder and CMO of Carvolution (car subscription with full service)
• Iman Nahvi, 36, founder and CEO of Advertima Vision (retail media in physical sales outlets)
• Basil Weibel, 34, co-founder of Wingtra (development of drones)
• Tobias Wolf, 33, co-founder/chairman of OnlineDoctor (online platform for dermatology)
HSG provides support from the business idea to the foundation
“The Bilanz ranking reflects the great significance which entrepreneurship enjoys at the HSG,” says Prof. Dietmar Grichnik, Director at the Center for Entrepreneurship (Startup@HSG). “Many of the ten ranked founders were supported in the context of the Startup@HSG initiative.” Thus Tobias Wolf, for example, the co-founder of the OnlineDoctor service, which is now the market leader in Europe, participated in the HSG’s Entrepreneurial Talents incubator programme, which prepares start-ups for their entry into the market while students are still engaged on their degree course. “We support students at all entrepreneurial levels – from the development of their business ideas right down to the foundation and the growth of their enterprise,” says Grichnik. This is also reflected in the fact that six of the ten companies mentioned bear the official "HSG Spin-Off label. Since the establishment of this label in 2017, 160 companies have received the HSG Spin-Off seal of approval.
This entrepreneurial support is appreciated by the students: according to a study of student entrepreneurship in Switzerland in 2021 (GUESSS), the HSG occupies first place in the fields of “entrepreneurial climate and learning” among 56 universities and other institutes of tertiary education. The study was based on a survey of approx. 7,000 Swiss students.
HSG contributes towards the establishment of a national start-up fund
The HSG is also involved in important projects in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship at a national and political level: at the behest of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Chair of Entrepreneurship assumed the responsibility for an analysis of public start-up funding programmes in twelve countries. On the strength of this survey, among other things, the Federal Council decided in late June to set up an innovation fund for start-ups with growth potential in all industries. These resources will in future be invested with a focus on digitalisation and decarbonisation.