What is Fongit?
FONGIT, the “Fondation Genevoise pour l’Innovation Technologique”, is Switzerland’s first startup incubator established in 1991. Our foundation supports early-stage tech ventures.
We are a private, non-profit foundation, supported by the State of Geneva.
Our mission is to transform technology into economic and social value.
What is Fongit's incubation program?
Fongit’s Incubation Program is designed to support your journey of transforming an idea or technology into a viable product, taking you to the first round of funding. Our objective is to de-risk your project and raise your valuation as fast as possible by achieving smart value inflection points. We incubate for 3 years and our startups often interact with us on a regular basis even after they have left our premises.
Over the past 25 years Fongit has incubated over 100 companies. Examples of how we have helped entrepreneurs include:
• setting up the company
• preparing the full pitch deck
• improving & pivoting your business model
• developing the financial plan and defining the funding needs
• negotiating term sheets
• elaborating the pricing strategy
• finding commercial partners
What are the requirements to apply to join Fongit?
We are looking for great projects 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 elevator pitch, an executive summary, or a slide deck on our application platform.
How do you evaluate the project?
We look comprehensively at the novelty, relevance and the business potential of your venture. The screening process takes up to 4 weeks depending on the complexity and maturity of the proposal. You must first apply via our application platform. After the review of your application file, we invite you for a formal presentation to our screening committee. Together, we explore how we can support you best, and assess if your project is best served by our incubation program. If your project does not fit in our program, we will redirect you to other programs and other support tools.
How mature do we need to be before we apply?
We accept applications from teams that are at various stages of maturity. Some have simply a new technical invention, 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 supported startups at all stages of their growth. We are positive that we can assist any tech startup.
Can you help us set-up our company?
Yes – we help set up several companies per year in Geneva. We provide all the legal documentation necessary to set up a startup right. We put you in contact with experienced notaries 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 applications 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.
Can you share some success stories or exits?
More than 10 Fongit startups have had successful M&A exits in the past ten years and many more keep well developing providing sustainable economic and social value for Geneva. You can know about them here. Their success rate is much higher than that of non-supported companies!
What level of comitment do you expect from entrepreneurs
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 dilemma of starting a business while having a family and bills to pay. We help you to evaluate your options, de-risk it, and grow at your own pace until you are prepared for the incubation program. Acceptance into our program can be just the encouragement you need to jump into it at full strength!
Do you accept single founders?
We do and we strongly support single founders to build a strong team after joining to the incubation program.
Will you sign an NDA?
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?
The majority of our companies choose to remain headquartered in Geneva as they find that our region provides compelling business incentives & opportunities.
Can Fongit get us work 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 coaching helps startups prepare for fundraising. Our process has enabled our startups and alumni to raise over CHF 150 M. We coach you in preparing a crisp elevator pitch, an investor pitch deck, a succinct executive summary, realistic financials and a reasonable valuation. After this we can facilitate introductions to angel investors, institutional funds and corporate venture capitalists & VCs.
We've already taken some funding. Can we still apply?
How much funding do you provide?
Fongit can provide access to seed capital to incubated startups. A total CHF 150 K can be invested per incubated company. This investment is made in tranches, that are milestone-dependant and matched by funds from an independent accredited investor.