With the Digital Entrepreneur Fellowships funding, training and expert advice are provided to recent graduates from Master programs and young researchers who intend to start up a company based on UZH research.
Digital fellows will be given the opportunity to further develop a technology or novel service towards a marketable solution and to evaluate the potential for the commercialization thereof.
The goal of the Fellowships is to lay the basis for university spin-offs and to support motivated researchers to gain the skills and experience needed to become confident digital entrepreneurs.
The Digital Entrepreneur Fellowship supports entrepreneurial projects with the potential to make a real impact. We are looking for projects based on novel technologies, software or business models that have their origin in findings and insights from UZH research projects.
Projects may propose solutions for Fintech, InsurTech, LegalTech, digital health, logistics, publishing, security, language processing, logistics and more.
The Digital Entrepreneur Fellowship amounts to CHF 100’000 and is given for a period of 12 months. The funding must be used for reaching the goal of the approved project but as a fellow, you are free to decide on how to best use the money (e.g. for your own salary, the employment of co-workers or for consumables).
Mentoring & Coaching
Every fellow is supported by a mentor and a dedicated business coach throughout the fellowship period.
The mentor is a professor or senior researcher at UZH suggested by the applicant. We recommend to choose a mentor with previous experience in technology transfer.
When the fellow starts the project he/she can further choose a coach from our network of experienced entrepreneurs.
To make the most of the fellowship, all fellows are encouraged to visit an entrepreneurship training to gain knowledge about the process of starting up a company, get hands-on advice from experienced coaches and build network.
The following modules are recommended:
Digital Entrepreneurship Bootcamp – business idea development & validation
Digital Ventures – fundamentals for founding and management of a startup
Innosuisse Start-up Training – modules 2 and 3
Entrepreneur fellows are employed at the UZH and hence have access to all the IT and library resources offered by the university. The fellows moreover can register as members of the Digital soceity initiative. Entrepreneur fellows have access to the DSI co-working and event space. However, no permanent workdesk can be guaranteed.
Applications for the Digital Entrepreneur Fellowships can be submitted once a year until April 15th.
For the application you need to submit a description of your project, the project budget, a 3 min pitch video, your CV and a letter of intent from your mentor.
Find more information on how to apply for the fellowships here.
Selected candidates will be invited for an interview with the expert jury.
Bea Knecht, Founder Zatoo, Co-founder Genistat and Levuro
Harald Gall, Professor for Software Engineering, Jury head
Jessica Anderen, CEO IKEA Schweiz
Sara Fabrikant, Professor for Geographic Information Visualization
Tobias Zehnder, Co-founder Webrepublic AG