EPFL spin-offs flourish in a finely tuned ecosystem

The EPFL Innovation Park hosts many spin-off of the EPFL.

The EPFL Innovation Park hosts many spin-off of the EPFL.

A recent report by EPFL's Vice Presidency for Innovation (VPI) shows just how effective the school’s startup ecosystem is by looking at standard benchmarks such as the number of jobs created, funds raised, and the buyout rate for campus startups. Moreover, successful spin-offs invest in – and even buy out – nascent ones, contributing to the efficiency of this ecosystem hub.

Summary :


  • Startups active in the Lake Geneva region employ 5–6% of the labor force.
  • Number of jobs created by these companies has expanded non-stop over the past ten years. Companies founded in 2007 and 2008 currently employ 600 and 800 people, respectively, while companies created in 2016 employ around 50 so far. 
  • More than 60 spin-offs formed in health care, IT and hardware (e.g., robotics, sensors and energy), in near equal numbers across the three fields, in the past three years.
  • The survival rate among EPFL and ETHZ spin-offs is 90% after five years, far above the usual rate of around 50%. 
  • Lausanne and Zurich have put in place effective structures to help startups get through the difficult growth stage, when they are not yet ready to market their wares – and these cities have been mentioned by the founders of Skype as key players on Europe’s innovation scene.

Read the full version on the EPFL website