How ETH Zurich spin-offs strengthen the Swiss economy

Congratulations to Simon Hofer, Luca Fricker, Barbara Schmidt, Dr Barbara Burkhard and Hanna Brahme for publishing their report on the economic impact of ETH spin-offs on the Swiss economy!

Read the whole study here.


A summary:

As well as generating more jobs on average than other Swiss start-​ups, ETH spin-​offs are also acquired more frequently. With around 500 ETH spin-​offs now in existence, these businesses play a key role in the transfer of knowledge to the Swiss economy.

Ninety-​five percent of the spin-​offs are still located in Switzerland, with the majority based in Zurich, thus enabling them to boost the country’s economy and capacity for innovation. The group of 145 ETH spin-​offs analyzed as part of the study was shown to have created around 4,500 full-​time equivalent jobs. Each company provided about 30 positions on average, more than twice the average number for Swiss start-​ups.

The group analyzed – a good third of all ETH Zurich spin-​offs – generated almost CHF 900 million in revenue in 2017. The financial figures therefore clearly show that ETH spin-​offs represent an attractive investment option, with the money multiple at 3.6 on average. The overall equity value of this group is almost CHF 5 billion – extrapolated to all ETH spin-​offs, the value would be closer to CHF 10 billion. ETH spin-​offs are much more likely to make an exit than other Swiss start-​ups.

ETH Zurich built up its support for spin-​offs early on, in part through ETH transfer, e.g. with the technology transfer office founded in 2005. Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations, states «We want to keep improving our support services for spin-​offs over the next few years – in close dialogue with the companies».