How to apply

Apply for the Digital Entrepreneur Fellowship

Please read the instructions and documents available on this page before you send us your application.

What are the prerequisites to apply?

  • You have a clear startup idea in the area of digitalization, digital transformation.
  • You have a strong motivation to develop a product or novel service based on UZH research and to transfer it to the market.
  • You hold a Master or doctoral degree. Master and doctoral students who plan to complete their thesis within six months after the application deadline can apply.
  • You submit the project as a single applicant.
  • An UZH researcher commits to support you as a mentor during the fellowship.
  • Readiness to fully dedicate your time to the funded project and for being employed at UZH for the duration of the fellowship.

How can the funding be used?

The fellowship funds can be used to pay salaries, materials and other project-related expenses. The adequate salary level depends on the education level of the applicant and on other costs expected in the project. Entrepreneur fellows are to be employed as Scientific Assistants (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeitende). Funding obtained or requested from other sources that is related to the project must be declared.

When is the application deadline?

The Digital Entrepreneur Fellowships are launched in 2021. Researchers can apply for the fellowships once a year. The deadline for new applications is April 15th every year.
The next call is closing on 15 April 2022 at 23:59 (CET).

How are the projects selected?

The projects are evaluated in a three stage selection process: expert-voting based on the video pitches, pre-selection and final selection by the jury.

The Digital Fellowships are awarded based on the following criteria:

  • The project clearly fits the domain of digital innovation
  • High innovation potential (e.g. unique technology or approach, unique business model, existing or envisaged intellectual property protection)
  • Compelling market opportunity and business case
  • Feasibility (convincing project plan, resources, competences, team)
  • Personal potential of the applicant (motivation, entrepreneurial spirit)
  • Project is based on knowhow developed at the UZH

Is a reapplication possible?

Rejected applications may be resubmitted. However, a project and/or applicant may not re-apply for the UZH Entrepreneur Fellowships more than twice. Furthermore, the jury expects to see a substantial progress of the project and/or business case in the reapplication.

Application checklist

Step I: Find your mentor

  • Once you have a project that you are all eager to proceed with, the next step is to find a mentor at UZH that commits to support you during your Fellowship. The mentor is a professor or senior researcher at UZH. If you have questions around choosing a mentor, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

Step II: Decide on your host institution for the Fellowship

  • Ideally you are employed at the same institute as your mentor. However, this does not have to be the case.

Stage III: Prepare to pitch your project

  • Prepare to present your project and your motivation in 3 minutes. Describe your idea, which problem you aim to solve, the market potential and your motivation to bring this solution to the market.

Stage IV: Record a 3 min video presentation

  • Record your video using the technology of your choice (smartphone, zoom etc.). The focus should be on how you tell your story, we want to see you and max 3 slides to support the argumentation.

Stage V: You are ready to submit your application

  • Prepare one pdf of your application documents: Project proposal (Form D1), Budget (Form A2), your CV including a brief outline of your career goals and a letter of intent from your mentor. Submit the pdf and upload your video via the application form.

Submit your application

Submit your application using the application form

General terms of the UZH Entrepreneur Fellowships