Entrepreneurship at the ZHAW
Many successful spin-off companies come about as a result of applied research and development carried out at the ZHAW. These companies make their specialist knowledge available to business and society and thus contribute to the ZHAW’s knowledge and technology transfer. The ZHAW also supports spin-off companies with its “Innovation to Business” programme, (I2B) within which promising innovations arising from ZHAW research are selected and then accompanied to the spin-off stage. The aim of the programme is individual coaching and custom-made support for selected young entrepreneurs by a personal coach. More information on programme I2B is available at Entrepreneurship@zhaw.
One of the roles of any university of applied sciences is to function as a training centre for young entrepreneurs. There are three main areas where a university can offer support: with appropriate regulations and practice as regards intellectual property, with advice in the difficult phase when the business idea already exists but the young company is not yet strong enough to meet up completely with market requirements, and finally and importantly, with opening doors and providing access to investors and sponsors. The ZHAW has already achieved a great deal in this respect and will continue to work at its future-oriented and successful business start-up culture. The Entrepreneurship@zhaw programme was founded to this end.
Technopark Winterthur (TPW) promotes and supports the rapid transfer of know-how from scientific research to business. This takes place on the one hand through research and development projects carried out by the ZHAW and private business, and on the other through the promotion of innovative companies. Since 2002, various companies have profited from the competitive advantages provided by contacts with other renters, with the ZHAW and with other “Technoparks”. Thanks to the unique concept, many creative ideas and ground-breaking projects have come about literally in passing at Technopark Winterthur, over a coffee in a corridor or lunch in its restaurant. Most of the start-ups that began at Technopark have grown and successfully established themselves on the market. Technopark itself was once a start-up and then enlarged substantially in 2010 when it moved into its new building.
Grow (Gründerorganisation Wädenswil) promotes business concepts in the areas of life sciences, facility management and computer science. Grow was started by the ZHAW, the town of Wädenswil, “TUWAG Immobilien” and other partners. It has a modern infrastructure and highly specialised equipment. On the Grow site, a wide range of companies and organisations meet with a view to working together. This allows and promotes cooperation through various channels. A business concept is only good if it is feasible, so Grow supports companies at the implementation, financing and personnel planning stages. In addition, Grow offers companies the possibility to use the infrastructure of the University, with its laboratories, teaching rooms which can be rented at a low price, and its international academic network.