Startups, like good ideas, are the lifeblood of the knowledge economy. This is why Switzerland needs to do a much better job attracting proven start-ups at the point where they are about to scale. This matters as the country looks to maintain its position as a global hub for innovation and IP.
Today, a large cohort of multi-national firms benefit from Switzerland’s first-class technical universities, research institutions, and tax consolidation. Basel, Bern, and Zurich, etc., are readily found on the shortlist of places that multi-national companies consider when planning new research facilities, in a diverse range of fields from computer sciences, material sciences, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. Switzerland leads today, but what about in five years from now? What about in ten years?
As the shift into digital accelerates, it’s becoming clear that no one part of the world has a monopoly on the next stage of innovation. Switzerland needs to do more than offer patent friendly legislation or visa friendly policies. Swiss accelerators struggle to compete with the world’s best spin-outs from the US or Asia; they even struggle against the best spin-outs from Europe. This has to change, and its why Cognizant placed its Connect initiative here in Switzerland.
Connect is an enabler, designed to encourage the world’s best start-ups to consider Switzerland as a global center for digital innovation. Connect enables international startups to see solutions rolled out at speed and with precision. Speed from the experience that startups have gained to date, and precision through a curated, partnership approach designed to bring the best ideas into the country. Switzerland needs to become the most attractive place for agile startups to book their business activities—everything from applied patents, newly created IP and deployment of solutions for some of the world’s largest corporations here in Switzerland.