Dr. | Manager Entrepreneurship
Tel. +41 61 295 50 23adrian. sprenger@baselarea. swiss
With the “New Venture Assessment” mentor programme, BaselArea.swiss makes the expertise and industry experience of its actively maintained network available to innovation-driven startups in the region. “New Venture Assessment” stands apart from other mentoring and coaching programmes because it is not integrated into an accelerator programme, so there is no competitive selection process. This creates flexibility so participants can be quickly and easily connected with the right mentors. An innovation-driven startup project with delivered proof of principle can seek advice from an experienced mentor through “New Venture Assessment”. Depending on the topic, one or more experts with the matching expertise are selected from the BaselArea.swiss network. Within two weeks of their enquiry, the young entrepreneurs can personally meet their mentors.
For example, if entrepreneurs have questions about buying in a substance from a pharmaceutical company to develop it further in a startup, they can pick the brain of an experienced pharmaceutical professional or successful biotech business founder in the region in no time at all. When a Kickstarter campaign was being planned for a battery-driven heatable lunchbox, an experienced founder from the e-skateboard segment was able to provide specific help. He passed on experience from his own successful Kickstarter campaign, and also pointed out pitfalls in choosing the battery supplier.
Free for innovation-driven startups in the region
The “New Venture Assessment” programme is free for participating startups, but there is a preselection process. Mentoring sessions are only arranged if a project is innovation-driven, can present proof of principle and is likely to qualify for a patent. As BaselArea.swiss acts as a location promoter for Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura in supporting firms from the three cantons, the startup must be founded in the region. The programme is roughly divided into three startup phases, involving business planning, marketing and financing. In each phase, the young entrepreneurs can connect with up to four mentors as well a staying in close contact with BaselArea.swiss between meetings. A business need not be already established, but the programme is not designed to help attract customers or broker free services from lawyers and patent attorneys.
Mentor know-how and experience are critical for innovation-driven startups
Innovation-driven startups have enormous added value potential for Basel as a business location. However, to develop technologies further, heavy investment is needed up to the break-even point, which involves a high level of risk for newly-formed businesses. In this respect, founders of hi-tech companies face some complex questions. These range from the competitiveness of their technology through business planning and marketing to financing their companies, and cannot be easily answered by means of internet research or seminars. The success of hi-tech startups therefore depends on their ability to dialogue with technology and industry experts and having access to a network of established entrepreneurs. This network with several hundred experts and established entrepreneurs is the core strength of BaselArea.swiss and is maintained through regular events.
Interested startups can apply by email to adrian.sprenger@baselarea. swiss