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hero-image-Youngsters – first seen at startup days

Youngsters – first seen at startup days

Experience a transformative journey with our refreshing pitching format: Youngsters. It is designed to discover Switzerland’s hidden startup gems who are on a promising track and ready to be shown to the world! Ventures in the seed or pre-seed phase will showcase their innovation on our national stage to approach investors and receive consultation from experts and valuable market insights.

Unlock hidden treasures to boost innovation in Switzerland!

Calling Youngsters to the spotlight

We’re on the lookout for Swiss innovators who fulfil the following facts:

  • Your startup is in the seed or pre-seed phase and founded within the last 24 months.
  • You are pursuing a scalable business model based on technology and innovation.
    • DeepTech: Transform expensive research into groundbreaking solutions.
    • AppliedTech: Showcase your general software or tech-based solutions.
  • You have achieved initial success already, for example with the team, the service or product, financing or in the market.

Nominate a startup or directly apply yourself.

Submit application

All applicants

  • Fill in the application form.

All selected Youngsters

  • Participate in the pitch training.
  • Prepare yourself for the pitch on our national stage.
  • Promote your participation at #SUD and publicise the session.
  • Make time to join #SUD24 on 30 May 2024.

Apply now

All selected Youngsters

  • Be present with your logo on our website and platform.
  • Gain visibility within our community (newsletter and Social Media presence).
  • Be trained to elevate your pitch to new heights.
  • Access all #SUD24 participants on our app.
  • Join the startup days on 30 May 2024 in Bern as our guest.
  • Showcase your startup to the whole Swiss startup ecosystem in Bern.
  • Network with key players like investors, enablers (mentors, coaches) and corporates.
  • Gain insights in sessions.

Catch of the Jury

  • Access the alumni group.
  • Be featured in one podcast episode by Swisspreneur.
  • Be our guest at the Secret Launch in the following year – our exclusive pre-event gathering for invited key players only.

Youngsters journey

1 February, 2024
Application window opens

30 April, 2024
Application window ends

6 May, 2024
Jury evaluates applications

8 May, 2024
Announcement: which Youngsters will pitch?

15 May, 2024
Pitch-Training #1

Participation is mandatory: Each startup can choose one preferred date (#1 or #2).

21 May, 2024
Pitch-Training #2

Participation is mandatory: Each startup can choose one preferred date (#1 or #2).

30 May, 2024
startup days: Youngsters live on stage in Bern

Announcement: “Catch of the jury”


  • For us startup days is the most important event of the year because it’s the place where the entire ecosystem meets to network annually.
    Muster Muster
  • The 1:1 meetings are such a great tool to talk to potential partners face-to-face. Especially when getting in touch for the very first time it’s helpful to build the base for a potential business res
    Carin Lightner, CEO and Co-Founder, ENANTIOS

The jury


Dr. iur. Thomas Bähler

Partner, Kellerhals Carrard; President Youngsters Jury


Franco Chicherio



Olivier Chuard

Founder and Chairman Of The Board at Nau Media AG (Ltd.), Member of the Board of Livesystems AG (Ltd.)


Dr. Manuel Fankhauser

CEO, Seerave Foundation


Maria Friedrich

Entrepreneurship Manager, ETH Zürich


Daniel Gerber

Corporate Development, Post CH Communication Ltd.


Dr. Dominik Isler

Co-Organizer, startup days


Fadoua Jemmali

Technology Consultant, Olive Oil Entrepreneur


Angus Muirhead

CFA, Managing Director, Head of Equities Credit Suisse Asset Management, Member of the Evaluation Board at the Wyss Foundation Switzerland


Dr. Siew-Veena Sahi

CEO & Founder, Testmate Health


Cédric Schlosser

Co-founder & CEO, MYI AG


Andrea Silberschmidt-Buhofer

Managing Partner, @EquityPitcher Ventures


Stefan Troller

Senior Vice President, Partner, Helbling Technik Bern AG

Thomas H.-Zurbuchen

Prof. Dr. Thomas H. Zurbuchen

Professor and Director, Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich


Youngsters FAQs

Who is eligible to apply for Youngsters?

Swiss startups in the seed or pre-seed phase founded within the last 24 months. The venture works in two key areas – DeepTech or AppliedTech – and can demonstrate an initial success, e.g. team, service/product, financing or market.

What are the focus areas for innovation in this format?

We welcome startups in two key innovation areas:

  • DeepTech: solutions and products based on very expensive basic or applied research
  • AppliedTech: general software or technology-based solutions
Can startups outside of Switzerland apply?

Currently, Youngsters is dedicated to startups within Switzerland. That means your startup is founded in Switzerland, your headquarter is in Switzerland or one of your founders is Swiss.

What’s the benefit for investors?

Investors will discover the latest newcomers with innovative ideas in the Swiss startup ecosystem. Explore ventures in seed or pre-seed phase founded within the last 24 months and which hasn’t been on any stage before.

What makes Youngsters different from other pitching events?

Youngsters focuses on early-stage startups who are on the market for not longer than 24 months. The startups have the chance to present their innovation for the first time to the whole Swiss startup ecosystem. Additionally, the refreshed pitching format provides Youngsters a platform to approach investors, gain visibility, and receive personalized feedback.

What criteria will the jury use to select the startups?

The jury selects young companies that stand out in a promising technology which is scalable, and at the same time the startup has already built up a motivated team.

What’s the “Catch of the Jury”?

Among the few startups selected to present their innovation on stage at the startup days, there are a handful of “catches” that particularly impressed the jury. We call this group “Catch of the Jury” and they are chosen after the live pitches and receive an extra portion of support, e.g. mentoring, coaching, alumni group, featuring in podcast, guest at the Secret Launch 2025.

Is there a fee to apply or participate?

No, there is no application or participation fee. We believe in providing equal opportunities for all qualifying startups.

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