The government of the canton of St.Gallen is keen for the canton to make a name for itself as a start-up hub. To this end, the cantonal government is to issue a special loan of an estimated 10 million Swiss francs. According to a press release, the canton is seeking to further strengthen the successful start-up scene across the St.GallenBodenseeArea with this measure, in addition to putting in place an attractive and competitive environment for such businesses. For example, start-ups are to be financially supported via the Startfeld Foundation, while an acceleration program for national and international start-ups is additionally intended to support them in establishing a business presence in the region and preventing migration. This loan is part of the canton’s priority planning for the years 2021 to 2031.
The concept can be seen as a response to a study carried out by the Global Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). This showed that the canton of St.Gallen is still lagging behind other cantons in some areas pertaining to the development of start-ups and spin-offs with scalable business models. However, businesses of this kind are of particular interest due to the high-level potential they offer in terms of value creation, job creation, development and innovation.
The press release outlines how the concept takes into account the fact that, thanks to the work of research institutions based in the canton of St.Gallen including HSG itself, as well as OST - Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and the Cantonal Hospital of St.Gallen (KSSG), the canton has already enjoyed some success in establishing a lively start-up scene. An IT education offensive and the good availability of skilled workers have also contributed to this development.