Why Zurich Is the Place to Be for Startups

February 26, 2019

The closeness to established institutions in finance, banking and insurance as well as the availability of well-educated and experienced employees and the high quality of life make Zurich the most attractive place in the region to run a FinTech, RegTech or InsurTech Startup. In April 2019, the F10 FinTech Co-Working space will open and bring innovative Startups, future clients, potential investors and industry experts together under one roof in the heart of the innovation hub Zurich.

Innovation is more than just a buzzword in Switzerland: despite being a small country, the Alpine nation has been labelled one of the most innovative countries worldwide numerous times. According to an index by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Switzerland is top in the world when it comes to innovation. In 2018, the country with a population of about 8.4 million had been ranked number one in innovation for the eighth year in a row. Switzerland scored particularly high in the category ‘knowledge and technology outputs’ as the Swiss have the highest ratio of European patent applications to the population and over 40,000 new companies are founded every year in Switzerland.

But great ideas alone are not enough. Entrepreneurs need to build up a network in their industry to succeed. Zurich being the financial centre of Switzerland is an ideal place to meet potential investors, corporate partners, clients, industry experts and other FinTech enthusiasts: apart from numerous banks, the biggest Swiss city is home to Fortune Global 500 companies in sectors such as financial services, insurance and technology. Multiple international companies and organizations established their global, European or EMEA headquarters in Zurich. Prominent examples are Google with its largest office outside of Mountain View, the FIFA with its international headquarters and IBM as well as Disney with international research labs in Zurich. Swiss ICT and FinTech Startups achieved 685 million francs of investment in 2018 - which is 120 percent more than in the previous year. It was the first time that ICT Startups received more investments than their counterparts in Life Sciences.

Swiss dual education system provides well-trained and experienced professionals

Growing Startups are often in need of a well-educated workforce. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (German: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) is amongst the world’s top universities for sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics while Zurich University and Zurich University for Applied Sciences educate the next generation of finance and banking experts in the region. The accessibility to high-quality schools and universities in combination with the Swiss dual education system in which many professional qualifications for the finance sector are obtained during so-called apprenticeships ensures a permanent supply of well-trained and experienced professionals.

F10 has recognized the need for scalable office spaces for high-potential Startups in Zurich. THE HOME OF FINTECH is currently under construction and will soon offer more room for innovation: we are opening the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space designed especially for the needs of growing FinTech, InsurTech and RegTech Startups in April 2019! The F10 Co-Working Space is not just an inspiring and stylish office, it is the place where members of the FinTech ecosystem come together. Key representatives from banks and insurances are regular guests at F10 and Startup entrepreneurs can thus meet future customers, potential investors as well as industry experts and other FinTech enthusiasts under one roof.

Political stability and safe-haven currency

While the political situation in Switzerland’s neighbouring countries has changed significantly in the last year and months, according to the news platform Swissinfo, the balance of power between the main Swiss parties remains broadly stable. Corruption does not impede business in Switzerland. The business anti-corruption portal GAN states that interactions with public officials are transparent and corruption is not common. The Swiss law criminalizes active and passive bribery, while bribery in the private sector is criminalized under the Unfair Competition Act. The Swiss tax administration is not known to be affected by corruption. Political stability and the low degree of corruption make Switzerland a safe, predictable and transparent place to do business.Switzerland is also one of the world’s most stable economies with the Swiss franc being one of the strongest and stable currencies. The franc’s independence has proved critical during turbulent times, including throughout the eurozone debt crisis which saw tremendous fund flow from the troubled European nations to Switzerland. The franc’s stability attracts Swiss and international investors.

Zurich has been ranked second-best place to live in the world

As life not only consists of work, the high quality of life in the biggest Swiss city needs mention. In most surveys, Zurich ranks among the best places to live in the world. The Mercer Quality of Living study 2018 saw the biggest Swiss city retain second place after Vienna, which took the top spot for the ninth year in a row. In addition, Switzerland performs very well in many measures of well-being relative to most other countries in the OECD Better Life Index, ranking above the average in subjective well-being, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, health status, social connections, environmental quality, education and skills, work-life balance, housing and personal security.

F10 – THE HOME OF FINTECH – is opening the F10 FinTech Co-Working Space designed especially for the needs of growing FinTech, InsurTech and RegTech Startups in April 2019! We have 60 workplaces on 500 square meters to rent out, ranging from single variable desks to your own desk with the opportunity to have privacy in small teams. The F10 FinTech Co-Working Space is located in the heart of Switzerland’s innovation hub and can be easily accessed by public transport from both within and outside of Zurich.

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