Alain Chuard, one of Switzerland’s most accomplished entrepreneurs and founder of Wildfire which was acquired by Google for $450M in 2012, and Christian Hirsig, founder of Atizo which was acquired by HYPE, are announcing today that they are launching Swisspreneur.org, a nonprofit that’s focussed on promoting and advancing entrepreneurship in Switzerland.
“In a first step towards our mission, we are launching a video series of in-depth, candid conversations with some of Switzerland’s most successful founders, business leaders and innovators. By getting to the heart of these leaders’ stories – their successes, their failures, their must-have advice and greatest regrets – we hope to both inspire and guide the next generation of Swiss entrepreneurs. Each episode deconstructs and showcases one person’s personal and professional background and provides advice and recommendations for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Switzerland” explains Hirsig, who’s the host of the show. Swisspreneur.org is launching with three episodes featuring Myke Näf, the founder of Doodle, Dania Gerhardt, the founder of Amazee Labs and Alain Chuard himself.
All episodes are available free of charge in video and audio format at Swisspreneur.org and more episodes will be added on a regular basis. Chris adds “once we started looking for interview candidates we found there are so many Swiss people doing innovative, game-changing things; and yet their stories are not well known. We’re super excited to introduce these Swiss movers and shakers to a broader audience”.
Chuard was inspired to help grow the Swiss entrepreneurial ecosystem as a result of his time as a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute which encourages fellows to launch initiatives that enact positive change in the world. In 2014, after speaking at the Swiss Economic Forum, Chuard met Hirsig and they started to kick around ideas for how to support Swiss entrepreneurs; the end result was Swisspreneur.org.
“Although Switzerland is one of the most innovative countries in the world, Switzerland hasn’t produced many startups that play on the global stage and I think that’s mainly due to the risk averse culture of Swiss people” Chuard remarks. “In Switzerland the common definition of success is completing university and getting a well paid, stable corporate job. Starting your own venture or joining a startup is typically not encouraged and starting a venture that fails is viewed as a black mark on your resume. As the global economy changes and as technology alters the kind of jobs that are available to people, I believe that it’s critical that young Swiss people have a more open and adaptable view towards their careers. I think helping to instill a more entrepreneurial mindset into Swiss youth is critical to Switzerland’s ability to compete in the global economy. We hope our video series will be a catalyst for more young Swiss people to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.”
The first three videos are available starting today. Future episodes include Toni Schneider, co-founder of Automattic and Venture Partner at True Ventures and Daniel Graf, founder of Kyte and head of product at Uber, and will be released on a regular basis.
Swisspreneur.org is a Swiss nonprofit focussed on promoting and advancing entrepreneurship in Switzerland. The nonprofit produces the Swisspreneur Show, a series of conversations with successful Swiss founders, business leaders and innovators to inspire the next generation of Swiss entrepreneurs. All episodes are freely available in video and audio format at Swisspreneur.org. The nonprofit was founded in February 2016 by two Swiss entrepreneurs, Alain Chuard and Christian Hirsig.