Under the patronage of Federal Councilor Johann Schneider-Ammann, the Swiss Entrepreneur Foundation has already received pledges amounting to CHF 300 million. The donors include UBS, Credit Suisse and Mobiliar amongst others, said Schneider-Ammann in an interview with the NZZ am Sonntag. Around 15 companies and individuals have signed statements of intent for a fund, he claims, and the goal is to raise half a billion francs by the end of 2017.
The funds are intended not for the initial invention and research, but rather to help start-ups to bridge the difficult phase through to a product's market maturity. "I don't want the good ideas that are developed in Switzerland to be exported to California to create jobs there. They should be created here, instead," says Schneider-Ammann. The idea is that successful start-ups subsequently channel a share of their profits back into the funds as investors.