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Now, more than ever, the world needs entrepreneurs to build the future.

At the Founder Institute, we know times are tough, but we also know that economic downturns are a great time to start a business. This isn't just conjecture - the Founder Institute was started in April of 2009 (during the "Great Recession"), and world-leading companies like Microsoft, Tesla, and Apple also took advantage of cost savings during a recession to launch and get their initial traction.

That's why we are excited to announce today that applications are now open for the Switzerland Virtual Fall 2020 program.

If you could use a structured process and a lifetime of support from Zurich's top investors and entrepreneurs to build something meaningful, then apply to the Switzerland Virtual Fall 2020 Founder Institute today.

Local COVID-19 Update: In an effort to #StopTheSpread and ensure everyone’s health and safety, this program is planned to be held online. Learn more on our Virtual Program FAQ page.

We will be hosting several free startup online events in Zurich over the coming weeks, where you can learn from top entrepreneurs from the comfort of your home:

Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 185+ cities worldwide, the Founder Institute provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the devoted support network and structured growth process needed to get to traction and funding. Participants in the 4-month core program also get access to a lifetime of support through the Founder Institute's industry-leading post-programs.

The Zurich program is led by some of the region's top startup leaders, including Athanasios Ladopoulos (Mr, MOOCTORS ), Axel Kramer, Christina Senn Jakobsen (Vertical Lead Food & Retail Tech, Kickstart Innovation), Daniel Boehi (., .), Ingeborg Gasser Kriss (21st century innovation agent, Agent21 GmbH), Thomas Ackermann (Managing Director, Glowbase GmbH).

In addition, some of Zurich's top investors, entrepreneurs, and CEOs will be participating in the program, providing them with expert feedback and evaluation. The list of startup mentors for the Zurich Founder Institute includes:

  • Adeo Ressi: Founder/CEO, Founder institute
  • Alejandro Garcia: CEO & Founder , AI Retailer Systems
  • Alex Von Mühlenen: Founder & CEO, Chainwork
  • Alexandra Pastollnigg: Founder, Fair Voyage
  • Alexandre Bastos: Global Director Innovation, Givaudan
  • Alice Sachova Kleisli: Partner, Vendbridge AG
  • Anja Willms: Founder & Managing Director Shileo GmbH/ Venture Architect for Sparrow Ventures, Shileo GmbH
  • Armin Fricke: Managing Director, CGC Capital-Gain Consultants GmbH
  • Aron Braun: Founder / Co-Founder, Epigenomics AG / Arpega AG / Zimballo GmbH
  • Athanasios Ladopoulos: CEO | Founder, MOOCTEAS
  • Balthasar Wicki: Senior Partner, Wicki Partners Ltd
  • Barbara Rübel: Managing Partner, Brand Essence AG
  • Beat Scheidegger: Co-Founder, Company Factory AG
  • Birgit Coleman: Connections Explorer, Swissnex San Francisco
  • Camille Bossel: Co-Founder and COO, FoodHack
  • Carina Freundt: Consultant / Former Director Strategic Planning & Analytics, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health
  • Carlos Da Silva: Director, Founder Institute Portugal
  • Carlos Ruiz: CEO & Co-Founder, Flatev AG
  • Cédric Waldburger: CEO, tenderloin ventures
  • Chevonae Walcott: Analyst, Relay Ventures
  • Christian Bärtsch: CEO and Co-Founder, Essento
  • Christine Gould: Founder & CEO, Thought For Food
  • Christoph Laib: CEO, Founder, ViOS GmbH
  • Christoph Kellenberger: CEO and Co-Founder , DrinkPure / Novamem
  • Claudia Keller: Legal Expert IP, Wenger & Vieli
  • Daniel Michael Böhi: Founder, FoodPrint
  • Denise Loga: Founder , Beyond & Co GmbH and Sustainable Food Academy
  • Devesh Kothari: Technical Program Manager, Google
  • Dr Mark Post: Founder , Mosameat
  • Erika Darmstaedter: Global Chief Client Officer, FCB Global
  • Erin Chen: Founder& CEO, Gilly, Inc.
  • Eszter Tanczos Olver: Partner , EJ Capital AG
  • Fabio Ziemssen: Director Food Innovation, NX-FOOD (METRO AG)
  • Flavio Rump: Entrepreneur and Investor, Nossa Labs
  • Florian Nyffenegger: Founder, Agedo
  • Frank Mertens: Founder & CEO, FM Consulting GmbH
  • Fraser Doherty: Founder/Co-Founder, SuperJam |
  • Georg Greve
  • German Ramirez: Co-founder & Chief Relevance Officer, THE RELEVANCE HOUSE AG
  • Guillermo Söhnlein: Co-Founder & CEO , Blue Marble ExplorationBlue Marble Exploration
  • Gulnaz Khusainova: CEO & Founder, EasySize
  • Herman Gyr: Member of the Board, Eligma
  • Ingeborg Gasser Kriss: Board Member, Advisor , Diverse
  • Jan Fülscher: President / CEO, Senozon AG
  • Jana Thiel: Senior Researcher ETH Zuerich, ETH Zuerich
  • Jean Philippe Spinas: Principal, Kienbaum
  • Jill Allemang: Founder and Managing Director, jallé
  • Joanna Demkow Bartlomé
  • Julia Devecchi: CEO/Founder, naanu Foods AG
  • Julien Lepetit: Director Europe, The Business of Trust
  • Jürg Stuker: Consultant, Namics
  • Kartik Buddha: Co-Founder/CTO, MOOCTORS
  • Katharina Kurz: Co-founder & MD , BRLO craft beer
  • Kezia Cottrell: Senior Innovation Consultant,
  • Lea Von Bidder: Co-Founder and CEO, Ava Science
  • Lidia Zabala: Co-Lead , Lean In Zurich
  • Lydia Bronze: Founder, Linie7
  • Magdalena Tarasinska: CFO/Investor, WealthArc
  • Manuel Gonzalez: CEO and Managing Partner, Global RIFF
  • Marcus Kuhn: Co-Founder, Viable Labs
  • Mariella Goebl: Founder, SeeHow
  • Marina Helm Romaneschi: President and Co-Founder, foodward
  • Mark Leinemann: Founder & President, - the 1st AgriFood/-Tech Startup Association in DACHLI
  • Mateja Kramar: Serial Entrepreneur / Project Lead, ETH Zuerich / Swiss Smart Farming
  • Matthias Käch: Senior IP Trainer, Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
  • Micha Verhagen: Coach & Consultant & Program Manager, StartupBootcamp / ng Strategic Programme Management
  • Michael Baier: Start-up-, Venture Capital- & M&A-Lawyer, Wenger & Vieli
  • Michael Blank: Investment Manager,
  • Michelle Grant: Committee Member and Lecturer, ETH Zuerich World Food System Centre & Swiss Committee of UN FAO
  • Mike Abegg: Lawyer, Wenger & Vieli
  • Mine Uran: CEO and Founder, Alver
  • Morgaine Gaye: Founder, Dr Gaye
  • Naomi Mac Kenzie: Co-Founder, KITRO
  • Nicolas Egger: COO, Poinz
  • Nicolas Burer: Managing Director, Digital Switzerland
  • Nimrod Vromen: Partner, Yigal Arnon
  • Nina Portier Reinhart: Managing Director
  • Noam Tamari-Wekser: Growth Investor, TheCircle
  • Oliver Flueckiger: Entrepreneur, Lecturer, Startup, University of Zurich
  • Oliver Stahl: FOUNDER, Snackbox Express / Früchtebox Express / Hofladen Express / Dalou
  • Otto Freijser: Co-Founder / Lean Innovation Lead, Perpetulon
  • Pascal Brunner: CEO, Vatorex
  • Patrycja Pielaszek: CEO/Founder,
  • Philippe Küng
  • Pierre Alain Ceralli: CEO & Co-Founder OriginFood / Former Executive Ambrosus, OriginFood
  • Rachel Sheppard
  • Ralph Mogicato: Member of the Advisory Board, Swiss Finance Startups
  • Ralph Walter: CTO, Assentis
  • Raphael Tobler: CEO, eduwo
  • Réginald Bien Aimé: Founder & Managing Director, Veelab
  • Robert Boer: Program Director UBS Global Visionaries, UBS
  • Rolf Van De Velde, Undagrid
  • Rusty Schwartz: CEO, KitchenTown
  • Ryan Bethencourt: CEO, Wild Earth
  • Ryan Micheletti: Head of Global Operations, Founder institute
  • Sandro Kunz: Co-Founder & CEO, Pingen
  • Sébastien Flury: Co-founder & CEO, Coteries SA
  • Simon Heinzle: CEO and co-founder, Crowd
  • Stavros Pavlidis: Managing Director, Sentifi AG
  • Sunnie Groeneveld: CEO & Founder, Inspire 925
  • Susanne Lauber Fuerst: Founder & CEO , InnoNext
  • Søren Bjønness: Partner, Catapult Capital GmbH
  • Tatjana De Kerros: Head of Venturing @RicoLab, RicoLab
  • Thomas Straessle: Managing Director , Kienbaum
  • Thomas Baer: Chief Operations Officer, Koch & Gsell
  • Thomas Boesch: Co-Founder, Earlybird Food
  • Tim Reinermann: Senior Projektmanager Digitales Marketing, Schwyzer Kantonalbank
  • Timo Hahn: Founder, Wydr
  • Tobias Gunzenhauser: Co-Founder and CEO, Yamo
  • Ulla Fletscher: CEO, HEYLIFE
  • Wendelien Loopik: Director Digital Innovation, Royal Haskoning DHV
  • Willy Bischofberger: MSc Computer Science ETH, MBA INSEAD, Serial Entrepreneur
  • Yaniv Lavi: CEO and Co-Founder, fitto
  • Yury Melnichek: Co-founder & ex-CEO, MAPS.ME

  • And many more to be announced.

Since 2009, the Founder Institute has helped over  4,300 Alumni raise over $950M funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more (see the FI 10 Year Impact Report here).

Join us in Zurich and help build the future. 

Apply to the Switzerland Virtual Fall 2020 Founder Institute today, or learn more at  


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