FAQ

What is Fongit?

Fongit is a Swiss startup incubator established in 1991. It is part of the of the governmental business incubator program of the State of Geneva.

We are a private, non-profit foundation, whose mission is to foster business opportunities and create wealth and employment in the region.

Our foundation supports early-stage, high-tech ventures.

What is Fongit’s Incubation Program?

Fongit’s Incubation Program is designed to support you in the journey of transforming the spark of an idea into a viable product and taking you to the first round of funding. Our objective is also to raise your valuation as fast as possible. Our startups remain on average 36 months in our facilities and interact with us on regular basis even after they left our premises.

Over the past 12 years Fongit has incubated over 50 companies. Examples of how our team of experienced Startup coaches have helped entrepreneurs include:

  • Setting up the company, improving and pivoting your business model and plan, defining the funding needs, negotiating term sheets, elaborating the pricing strategy, finding commercial partners, etc.

What are the requirements to apply to join Fongit?

We are looking for great ideas and fully committed teams.  A prototype should exist and the time-to-market should be less than 24 months. You can apply by submitting an executive summary or a business plan.

How do you evaluate the project?

We look comprehensively at the novelty, relevance and business potential of your venture. The screening process takes up to six weeks depending the complexity and maturity of the proposal. You must first apply by submitting an executive summary or a business plan. After the review of your candidacy file, the next step is to invite you for a formal presentation to our screening committee. Together, we then assess if your project is eligible for joining our incubation program. If your project is not fitting our program, we will redirect you to other programs and other coaches

How far along do we need to be before we can apply?

We accept candidacy files from teams that are at various maturation stages. Some have simply a new idea – natural candidates for the pre-acceptance program – while others are almost ready to incorporate their company, and some are incorporated and revenue generating. – Our incubation program has added value to companies in each of these stages.

We’ve already been working on our startup for a while. Is Fongit appropriate for us?

We have worked, and supported, a lot of startups like that and we especially appreciate them. We are positive that we can assist any startup that has not already raised a series A round from VCs.

Can you help up set-up our company?

Yes – we help setting up 5 or more companies per year. We provide standard statutes and put you in contact with experienced notary and lawyers, who provide a package to startups. Our services are provided free of charge. This will save you time and effort!

Do I have to be in Geneva to participate?

We accept application from all over the globe. To participate in the program, however, you need to come and be a part of our community. We can help you to incorporate your venture in Geneva, Switzerland.

Do you some success stories or exits?

Eleven of Fongit startups have had successful M&A exits in the past eleven years. Our success rate is double that of non-incubated companies.

What level of commitment do you expect from entrepreneurs?

Total! Our incubator is looking for teams where the founders are committed full-time to growing the business. If you are currently part-time – we understand the dynamic of starting a business while having a family and revenue streams to pay bills – then acceptance into our program should be just the encouragement you need to jump into it full strength.

If you cannot commit full-time at this time, but we perceive a great potential in your venture, you can apply for a pre-incubation program. We will help you evaluate your options, and help you grow at your own pace until you are prepared for the incubation program.

Do you accept single founders?

We do and we strongly recommend single founders to build a strong team prior applying to the incubation program. The pre-aincubation program is well suited for addressing this issue. Our intensive program is filled with mentorship, company and corporate building, and investor pitching. To get the most out of the experience, and to maximize your success, you must have a strong, balanced, and complementary team, and be fully dedicated to the program.

Will Fongit sign an NDA?

The informal commitment to secrecy on our application form is sufficient. We will not sign an NDA due to the large number of candidacy files we receive. All the verbal and written information is exchanged in full confidence.

Do I have to stay in Geneva after the program?

Since we are partially funded by the state of Geneva, the canton is keen in keeping the best companies. However, you can relocate wherever you think your company will thrive, as we are above all interested in your success. The majority of the companies choose to remain headquartered in Geneva as they find that this region provides compelling business incentives and opportunities.

Can Fongit get us visas?

We are sorry, we do not do that. If you are not eligible to work and live in Switzerland, then you must figure this for yourself. If you know people from previous companies who came from outside Switzerland, we suggest you ask them for advice. They often understand the options better than we do.

Does Fongit help in fundraising?

Our foundation provides significant mentoring, teaching, and facilitating introductions to venture capitalists, angel investors and institutional funds.

What is Fongit Seed Invest?

Fongit Seed Invest (FSI) is a private seed investment fund and Fongit is its major shareholder.  FSI invests in tech ventures which have an addressable market above CHF 50 million, and with projected revenue of at least CHF 5 million, within 5 years. FSI can provide series A capital to startups hosted at Fongit. More information on FSI can be found on their webpage: Fongit Seed Invest (FSI)

We’ve already taken some funding. Can we still apply?

Yes, Indeed!

How much funding do you provide?

Fongit can provide access to seed capital to incubated startups. This is done on a principle of fund-matching up to CHF 150 k per incubated company.

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