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Innovation

Switzerland imports startups, exports innovation

How did Switzerland position itself to become a global leader in nurturing the kinds of companies that will alter the shape of tomorrow?

Amid Switzerland’s snowy peaks, the future is being forged.

This small Central European country, long a hot spot in the luxury goods and financial industries, is rapidly emerging as a powerful entity in the race to create the products, technology and thinking that will shape our world in the decades to come.

Switzerland in an age of innovation

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has called ours the “Age of Accelerations” because the change and growth that have carried humanity through history are now operating at warp speed. Markets that traditionally would evolve over several decades, impacted by the normal ebbs and flows of capital and technological advances, are being sent reeling by new players who are embracing the headwinds of change, leveraging transformative technology and the power of connectivity to drive a new economic reality.

That Switzerland has sensed and responded to this new, rapidly shifting business climate fits with its history. Without much by way of natural resources and so little opportunity to form a heavy manufacturing sector, Switzerland instead focused on the making of intricate, expensive items, like watches, that required specialized skill. As the world moved forward and services became more valued, Switzerland once again pursued the development of a rarified field by (successfully) courting the financial industry.

Today, Switzerland is among the top nations in the world when it comes to hosting startups. This is thanks to:

  • A regulatory environment that nurtures small enterprises as they move into uncharted territory.
  • A robust intersection of venture capital, industry associations and global companies, in which connections and deals flourish.
  • A wealth of globally educated talent and top-notch energy, transportation, financial and telecommunications infrastructure.

Thomson Reuters in Switzerland

This July, Thomson Reuters officially opened our startup Incubator in Zug, a small canton (or municipality) that is part of Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. The region has been officially ranked as one of the hottest hubs for Fintech in the world.

The Incubator hosts early-stage entrepreneurs building next-generation products in Big Data, advanced analytics, distributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other transformational technologies. As part of the official program, startups receive access to our data and content sets, mentoring from experienced executives and networking opportunities for investment and commercialization.

To date, the Incubator has officially enrolled two startups focused on FinTech.

  • Open Mineral is an early stage Swiss start-up disrupting the commodities market.  The team has developed a multi-sided platform which will directly connect the mines and smelters of physical commodities such as copper, zinc and lead, increasing transparency and lowering fees. Learn about this collaboration.
  • WealthArc is a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for the $120 trillion investment management industry offering digital client interaction and real-time new generation investment management for family offices, wealth managers and private banks. The platform handles the integration of data, consolidation of assets and digital reporting as well as a robo-advisor offering to clients.

Behind the scenes at the Thomson Reuters Incubator


Get involved with the Thomson Reuters Incubator

The Incubator team is currently reviewing a robust pipeline of applicants to join the program. Learn more and submit an application.

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