SwissEF UpScaler Program


Due to the small domestic market in Switzerland, internationalization is an early priority for rapidly growing startups. The SwissEF UpScaler program supports participating companies in accelerating international growth and thereby making the commercialization of innovative technologies more successful. In addition to an extensive pool of experienced experts, the program also offers access to some of the most successful Swiss companies, which open up their international network to participating startups.

Access criteria

The SwissEF UpScaler clearly focuses on growth companies with international ambitions. The access criteria are designed accordingly. In order to be accepted into the program, the startup

  • generates at least CHF 1 million in sales annually,
  • has 10 employees (FTE),
  • shows at least 20% growth in the last 12 months



Procedure / Process

360° analysis
If the mentioned admission criteria are met, the startup is invited to a 360° analysis. The aim of this analysis is to identify the limiting growth factors. Using a structured process, the company, team, business model, growth plan, etc. are analysed and the entrepreneurs are challenged accordingly. Subsequently, the team of experts from SwissEF decides whether to include the startup in the programme.
Duration: 3 hours

If the company is included in the program, the findings of the 360° analysis serve as a basis for the first workshops. Based on the most important challenges and needs of the startup, SwissEF nominates a tailor-made team of experts who, together with the entrepreneurs, deepen the analysis and then define implementation-focused measures. 
Duration: 1 workshop per month of 3 hours

Clear and binding growth targets for the coming months are defined in the workshops. With the help of the measures defined in the workshops, the company tries to achieve the goals. With a voucher system, experts and industry network can be used for additional services between the workshops.

The SwissEF UpScaler usually takes 6 - 24 months. The program is terminated when

  • the agreed objectives have been achieved
  • the startup does not derive any added value from the workshops
  • the startup does not show the necessary commitment to achieve the growth targets.


The costs for the program are largely borne by the non-profit Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation. The startup company contributes CHF 1'000 per workshop. There are no costs for the preceding 360°-analysis.

For companies in which the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund has invested, participation is free of charge.

"Growth and success in international markets are central to successful Swiss entrepreneurship"

«Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a lot like being a world-class surfer. You have to pick a good wave, catch it at the right time and get off before it closes out.»