How ETH Zurich spin-offs strengthen the Swiss economy – Chemie.de

How ETH Zurich spin-offs strengthen the Swiss economy - Chemie.de

As well as generating more jobs on average than other Swiss start-​ups, ETH spin-​offs are also acquired more frequently. A decisive factor, according to University of St.Gallen’s comprehensive analysis, comes from the institutional support for entrepreneurship.

With around 500 ETH spin-​offs now in existence, these businesses play a key role in the transfer of knowledge to the Swiss economy. In order to estimate the performance and economic added value of these companies, a detailed analysis was performed for the third time after similar analyses in 2008 and 2015. The analysis assessed four categories: human resources factors, influence on the economy and innovation, financial matters and operational aspects.

More Swiss Jobs

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 analysed as part of the study was shown to have created around 4,500 full-​time equivalent (FTE) jobs. Each company provided about 30 positions on average, more than twice the average number for Swiss start-​ups. ETH Zurich spin-​offs also demonstrate clear signs of growth: in 2008, such enterprises generated only seven new jobs on average.

Major differences are evident between the sectors, too. Companies in the field of electrical engineer-​ing and electronics – with more than 2,000 FTEs – are the frontrunners when it comes to the number of jobs created. The number of patents per company – an indicator of innovative strength – is also highest in the electronics sector.

Creating a Value of Almost CHF 5 Billion in Equity

The group analysed – 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. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies receive by far the most investor funds.

ETH spin-​offs are much more likely to make an exit
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