Campus - 04.03.2011 - 00:00 

One year of "Startfeld"

60 initial advisory meetings and eight project supervisions in the first year: Startfeld – which means “starting square” – the project for the support of start-ups in Eastern Switzerland, is celebrating its first anniversary.


7 March 2011. In the beginning was the idea of providing regional start-ups with intensive support. In 2009, the former President of the University of St.Gallen, Ernst Mohr, asked the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CEE-HSG) to set up an incubator. After talks with Mayor Thomas Scheitlin, representatives of the tebo technology centre and the St.Gallen University of Applied Sciences, the joint platform Startfeld was established at the beginning of 2010.

From lifestyle to fitness
Since then, more than 60 initial advisory meetings have taken place, a third of them with founders hailing from the HSG. Eight projects are being supervised at present – from the lifestyle bicycle Schwingding to an individual online training programme called Frame Fitness.

Advice – coaching - funding
Startfeld is based on three pillars: the association, the foundation and the planned physical base. Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller, of HSG, is the executive director of the association. Every start-up support drive begins with advice and with the founders being coached by experienced entrepreneurs from the region, who are on hand with help and advice for three years. The Startfeld Foundation sounds out funding possibilities. Founders who are able to persuade the expert committee of their business idea will receive a support package equivalent to CHF 10,000. This includes a project sponsor and an entrepreneurial coach, as well as a booklet of vouchers that enables founders to obtain support from accredited service partners: from lawyers to public accountants and marketing specialists. Added to this, there is a brokerage service for favourably priced office premises.

The Startfeld base
This is where the third pillar of the platform is being erected: in early 2012, new temporary premises for founders are intended to take shape in the grounds of Empa in St.Gallen. In 2010, architects were invited to participate in a competition. In March 2011, the decision will be made for construction work to start in 2012. 

Photo: Photocase / Neelz

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