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First Ventures

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Promoted by

Gebert Rüf Stiftung

Website
Description

Under the banner of «First Ventures» Gebert Rüf Stiftung promotes bachelor’s and master’s students of universities of applied sciences UAS who are developing an innovative business idea as their thesis topic. The support includes a financial contribution as well as an individually tailored coaching programme which will smooth the way to launching a start-up. For this focus programme funds of CHF 1.5 million p.a. will be made available.

Prizes/Offer
  • Gebert Rüf Stiftung aims to use «First Ventures» as a vehicle to encourage talented bachelor’s and master’s students not only to contemplate obtaining a degree, but also to look beyond that and embrace the idea of launching a start-up that turns their idea into new products and services. The goal is to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among students and strengthen business potential at universities of applied sciences.
  • The «First Ventures» programme not only provides financial support, but also individually tailored business training and coaching sessions designed to equip the potential company founders to successfully put their business idea into practice. The curriculum will include training in entrepreneurial practice, reviewing the business idea, concrete guidelines for setting up and running startup companies, as well as needs-led coaching from experienced experts in the respective sector. The training programme will be geared to the specific requirements of the selected project managers and is intended to give them access to a broad startup network.
Eligibility
  • University of applied sciences graduates from all specialist areas and disciplines are eligible to apply. Graduates of continuing education master's degree courses are not considered.
  • The ideal time to apply is while working on the bachelor’s or master’s thesis. Applications are accepted up to a maximum of 6 months after graduation.
  • The project application must be submitted by the project manager, that is the bachelor’s or master’s graduate. Project teams are welcome; formally, only one person can be project manager.
  • Ideally, the thesis supervisor or initial referee will assist the applicant to draw up the project application.
  • If provided for under the project, any assistance given by university of applied sciences teaching staff can be suitably reimbursed; such reimbursement is considered to be part of the project budget.
  • Project managers and any project team members will be employed by the university of applied sciences for the duration of the project. The UAS unity responsible for the engagement of the project manager support the project; the application should be accompanied by a covering letter endorsing the project.
  • Preference will be given to projects with a budget of CHF 50,000 to a maximum of CHF 150,000 running from one to a maximum of two years. Per project, additional course programmes and coaching services in an amount of CHF 5,000 may be availed of.
  • Funding will be used primarily for the salaries of the project managers and project team members employed by the UAS. The use of university funds is welcomed. Infrastructure, equipment and material should in any case be provided by the university.
  • Projects can also be co-sponsored by third parties (e.g. federal government, cantons, foundations, business). However, the object of this programme is not to plug funding gaps.
  • Concrete plans regarding financing after expiry of the grant funding period should also be submitted.
Terms & Conditions

More information clicking on the following link: 

https://www.grstiftung.ch/en/area-activity/first_ventures.html 

 

Application Procedure
  • Please note the two submission deadlines: 31 May and 15 November 2019.
  • Project managers interested in participating are recommended, prior to drafting an application, to contact the programme manager of Gebert Rüf Stiftung.
  • The application is submitted via the web portal of «First Ventures» and consists of two parts («Online Application» and «Project Proposal»). Please refer to the following steps:

1. Read the «Guidelines» carefully and fill in the «Online Application Form». You can save it at any time.

2. Download the project proposal form (Word template «First Ventures 2019 / Project Proposal»):

  1. Fill out all fields in the Word template (shaded background) and limit your project proposal to 6 pages (whole document/proposal, excl. attachments)
  2. The proposal must include one-page CV of all project team members and a letter of endorsement from the UAS’s Institute/Department Head responsible for the employment of the applicant(s).
  3. The project proposal form (word template) is to be uploaded as one single PDF file (incl. attachments) in the web portal of «First Ventures» (section «Proposal Upload»).
  • Applications may be submitted in German, French and preferably in English.
  • After the first selection round the preselected applicants are invited to the final selection where they present their project to the jury on 4 July 2019 (Call III) and accordingly 13 January 2020 (Call IV).
  • The project applicants selected for the final round can complete a pitching training. For Call III: 25 June 2019 in Lausanne (course language french) and 26 June 2019 in Schlieren (course language german); Call IV: 17 December 2019 in Lausanne (course language french) and 18 December 2019 in Schlieren (course language german). Applicants are requested to reserve the relevant dates in advance.
Application Deadline
Friday 31 May 2019
Contacts/For more information

Programme Management

Dr. Marco Vencato, Deputy Director, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, St. Alban-Vorstadt 5, 4052 Basel, marco.vencato [at] grstiftung.ch, tel. +41 61 270 88 20