Taking off for new horizons

Thanks to the backing of our partners, you can benefit from our services free of charge.

In addition to the validation of their business model, strategy and the awarding of the SEF.Growth High Potential Label, SEF.Growth is characterized by targeted support modules that help start-ups to address their challenges in a targeted manner and to be more successful more quickly. In addition, participants of the program benefit from services in the area of networking and from the various platforms of NZZ Connect.  


Business Model Check

The SEF.Growth Business Model Check is a newly created virtual stage giving (young) entrepreneurs the opportunity to discuss their growth strategy and obtain valuable feedback from an expert audience.

Take advantage of the opportunity to present your business model to a high-calibre panel of entrepreneurs and strategy experts from the network of the Swiss Economic Forum and its partners.

You receive direct, professional feedback on your pitch, giving you a rapid, straightforward review of your growth strategy and validation of your strategic options via a discussion with experienced specialists who can offer a neutral outside view.

Format and process: Every month, SEF.Growth offers selected young enterprises, scale-ups and SMEs, ideally ones who are preparing for a forthcoming funding round, a new opportunity to present their company and have the quality of their growth strategy challenged during a 60-minute online meeting. In return for a small investment of time, participants can leverage the combined knowledge and expertise of our experts, free of charge as ever thanks to our partners.

Companies wishing to participate must register for the SEF.Growth programme, submit an investment presentation and have an existing market presence with one or more products and a diversified customer base.

An overview of current dates and our contact details will be available soon on our events pages.

Strategy Assessments

The “Strategy Assessments” module provides you with an in-depth analysis of your growth strategy. We grant selected companies that are in a growth and scaling-up phase access to an in-depth, personalised three-hour strategy coaching session. An expert team of experienced entrepreneurs and independent experts will be assembled based on your company’s specific needs. Wherever possible we will visit your premises in person; otherwise the session can take place virtually.

During the three-hour company visit, critical success factors can be discussed openly with the expert team, whose composition is tailored to the company and industry in question. The findings from the company visit are set out in a detailed expert report. In addition to a comprehensive assessment of the company, the report also highlights the key success factors and areas with potential for optimisation.

Benefits for you: The detailed outside-in approach enables you to identify the value drivers, success factors and scenarios underpinning the success of your business model. The expert report also forms the basis for the decision on whether to award a company with the “SEF.High-Potential SME” quality label.

Quality Label & Awards

Companies that perform especially well in the SEF.Growth Strategy Assessment may acquire the “SEF.High-Potential SME” quality label, which strengthens their market position vis-à-vis customers, suppliers and funding partners. They also gain access to exclusive funding offers from the SEF.Growth programme’s founding partner, UBS.

Find out from SEF.High-Potentials that have generated added value as a result of the award and discover which aspects of our programme were particularly beneficial for them.

The Swiss Economic Forum also offers additional advantages for SEF.High-Potentials and their founders, such as access to the SEF.Founder network.

They also gain easier access to the Swiss Economic Award, one of Switzerland’s most prestigious and best-known competitions for entrepreneurs. In addition to the “Swiss Economic Award”, the Swiss Economic Forum is responsible for the “Swiss Technology Award” and now also the “SEF.Women Award” (in German).



You have invested a lot in your company and your products. Protect your intellectual property and your innovation in the market. Our Innovation Protection growth module offers extensive support with this challenging task.

This support is made possible by the Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), the main partner of the SEF.Growth initiative. The IPI is the Swiss Confederation’s centre of competence for all issues relating to patent, design and trademark protection, indications of source and copyright.

The IPI offers the following support to help you protect your innovations and your intellectual property:

  • An introduction to intellectual property (patents, trademarks, designs, copyright), worth CHF 300.–
  • Help with patent research, worth CHF 900. Over half a day, benefit from the expertise of a patent expert to carry out preliminary research into the state of the art and obtain information about the patentability of your idea or invention.
  • A patent environment analysis, worth CHF 1,800. The one-day analysis and discussion will provide you with meaningful information about competitors and developments in a particular technological area.

The module IP-Strategys offered in cooperation with:


The Scaling module comprises four sub-modules.

Optimisation of business and financial plan

Put your business and financial plan on a secure footing. Benefit from the experience and comprehensive knowledge of the financial experts of our partner FS Partners AG.

Within the framework of this module, we offer you support in:

  • the optimal preparation of your business plan
  • the preparation and plausibility check of your financial plan
  • the stringent formulation of the business areas and their drivers.
  • the plausible presentation of investments and capital requirements in line with the business plan.


Grow efficiently. Our Industrialisation growth sub-module offers valuable support, helping you scale your production in line with your existing resources.

As part of the Industrialisation module, our partner Helbling Technik offers you an initial, non-binding discussion to assess:

  • your product’s roadmap to industrial maturity
  • technical milestones
  • optimisation opportunities
  • cost reduction potentials
  • the necessary financial resources

Legal Advice

In the “Legal Advice” module, you will receive, in cooperation with the lawyers of our partner Prager Dreifuss, a personal initial consultation and analysis of selected legal problems in the context of your business activity and your growth plans, tailored to your needs. 
In addition to a discussion of the issues raised by the participants, the module also offers access to information that is very often needed by young entrepreneurs.
This includes, among other things, professional analysis of their terms and conditions and data protection guidelines, as well as advice on labour law and company law issues, such as support in the introduction of employee share ownership programmes.


As a SEF.Growth participant, you will receive individual support for your internationalisation project in cooperation with our partner Switzerland Global Enterprise. You will have access to the experience and expert knowledge of S-GE consultants for recommendations on how to proceed with your internationalisation. They also receive helpful contacts from S-GE’s international network and can enter into personal discussions with country experts from their target markets.”

Banking & Funding


Free of charge banking package for company incorporation & everyday business

With our all-you-need package, you’ll get the right bank accounts and card to help your business grow. As a start-up, with the founder platform UBS Start Business you are entitled to a capital deposits account, a business account in CHF and the UBS Business Prepaid Card free of charge in the first year. Apply now

Your business is already doing pretty well and you aim to make your administration smarter, secure payment obligations or are ready to grow your business abroad? Get comprehensive advice today from our experienced client advisors and product specialists. Arrange appointment 


Our founding partner UBS makes it easier for selected companies to access external funds and equity. It also provides advance payment guarantees, allowing them to improve their liquidity during periods of strong growth.

Based on our expert appraisal carried out as part of the Strategy Assessment, UBS offers attractive growth loans that are geared strongly to growth opportunities and future operational and financial prospects.

Suitable companies gain access to investors, with the opportunity to raise additional growth capital. The UBS Growth Advisory offers valuable support in bridging the gap between young enterprises in need of capital and emerging SMEs, and professional private and institutional investors looking to invest directly in growth-phase companies.

UBS evaluates attractive Swiss growth companies with annual sales of around CHF 1 million and puts them in touch with professional private and institutional investors. Over the past few years, the scheme has facilitated investments of more than CHF 200 million in fast-growing young enterprises and SMEs.

The module Banking & Funding s offered in cooperation with:



Access to the Swiss Economic Forum conference portfolio

As the organiser of various national conferences, the Swiss Economic Forum encompasses a wide range of topics and an extensive network of industry representatives. All conferences offer a limited number of presentation opportunities for selected young enterprises and SME in the form of an exclusive SEF.Growth initiative stand and as part of specific zones at the conferences.

Opportunity to apply for limited free tickets

We also issue a limited number of conference passes to selected young enterprises and SME with business models that are a good match with the topic of the conference in question.

Are you interested in receiving an invitation to one of our national conference platforms?

If so, contact us and let us know which conference you are interested in.

You can find more information here.


The annual SEF.Growth programme also includes various free networking events that allow young enterprises, SME and programme partners to exchange knowledge and ideas in an informal setting. These events include:

SEF.Growth networking lunches

These start with an exciting business talk and end with a mutually beneficial networking lunch for entrepreneurs in an exceptional atmosphere.

SEF.Growth best practice events

In association with our partners, we give young enterprises and SMEs the opportunity to take part in events focusing on specific topics. Topical issues are discussed with representatives of our partners, guests from politics, wider society and selected companies, and examined from a variety of angles. The events are also an opportunity to get to know our partners, find out about the services they offer and meet their representatives in person.

SEF.Growth @ SEFspecial event for young enterprises and SMEs

This highly sought-after and exclusive special event, part of the SEF.Growth initiative for young enterprises and SMEs, takes place during the annual Swiss Economic Forum (SEF). Following the event, participants have the chance to attend the popular SEF networking evening, one of the highlights of the main conference.

Relevant and practical discussions and talks with entrepreneurs and experts

The Swiss Economic Forum organises regular virtual or face-to-face roundtable discussions featuring first-class guest speakers, along with panel discussions on relevant topics in the areas of business, politics and society that give young entreprises and SMEs in particular the opportunity to learn and share ideas about current trends and best practice.

Exclusive access to the SEF.Founder network

Graduates of the SEF.Growth programme have the opportunity to become a member of the Swiss Economic Forum’s exclusive SEF.Founder network.

You will find all the relevant information and registration options for our forthcoming events in our Events section, or contact us directly at info@sef-growth.ch.

Meet Industry Leaders

Young enterprises and SME often lack direct access to the key decision-makers within an industry. This network of leading representatives of the business community, politics and society is one of the Swiss Economic Forum’s core competences. With this in mind, we have established the “Meet Industry Leaders” module.

Through our platforms, we bring business and politics together and create the basis for new ideas to be developed. Our strong position means we are able to get an industry’s opinion leaders together around a table, giving emerging young enterprises and SMEs the opportunity to present their case at exclusive roundtable discussions and make the right contacts.

The following roundtable discussions are currently available: general management, real estate, sustainability, technology and innovation.