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With this call type, the innovation program supports market-, society- or culture-related entrepreneurial projects in the context of digital transformation. The Founder Call is intended to contribute to the creation of spin-offs and start-ups in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors by employees and students of the partner universities.

The basic idea of the Founder Call is to provide low-threshold and early-stage start-up financing in order to advance the start-up process. This is to be done by financing the step from the pure start-up idea to the “proof of concept” of this idea. The aim is to demonstrate that a conceptually developed project can also be implemented in practice. Successful implementation of the project should convince participants, partners and investors that pursuing the start-up idea is promising.

Projects for the 1st Founder Call can claim up to a maximum of CHF 75,000 in funding from the DIZH Special Credit and may last a maximum of 12 months after the start of the project.

Application forms

Note: an updated budget template was uploaded on 7 July. Please use the current one.


The submission deadline has passed.

Only applications submitted via the portal will be considered.

The portal does not allow for caching and/or post-processing. We recommend that you have all information ready in advance.

It is mandatory that the following documents be uploaded to the portal as individual PDFs:

  • Application template (maximum three pages), including a link to a three-minute application video
  • Budget template


5 September 2023

Deadline for submissions ends at 12:00 p.m.

October 2023

Decision on the first round of submissions / possible invitation to the second round of submissions

November 2023

Contact persons of the transfer offices of the universities (see below) and submission of confirmation of employment by the university by the applicants (if students), who are invited for the second round of submissions (pitch presentations)

17 November 2023

Pitch presentations

December 2023

Funding decisions


Program Office DIZH
Dr. Helge Johannssen,
Gabriele Biller, Manuel Bamert:

For inquiries regarding matching funds and other questions regarding financing and the call, please contact: