Under its «BREF – Brückenschläge mit Erfolg» area of activity, Gebert Rüf Stiftung has been promoting selected research and development projects as exemplary drivers of Switzerland’s universities of applied sciences since 1997. In cooperation with «swissuniversities», annual call for papers are issued for this purpose. The focus is on creating a bridge between science, business and society. It is at this interface that universities of applied sciences can develop innovative solutions.
The support programme «First Ventures» is focusing on young UAS graduates using their bachelor’s or master’s thesis to develop project ideas with business potential that they wish to pursue further after graduation. The project grants are intended to smooth the way for selected UAS graduates to set up their own company.
Gebert Rüf Stiftung aims to use «First Ventures» as a vehicle to encourage talented bachelor’s and master’s students not only to contemplate obtaining a degree, but also to look beyond that and embrace the idea of launching a start-up that turns their idea into new products and services. The goal is to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among students and strengthen business potential at universities of applied sciences.
The «First Ventures» programme not only provides financial support, but also individually tailored business training and coaching sessions designed to equip the potential company founders to successfully put their business idea into practice. The curriculum will include training in entrepreneurial practice, reviewing the business idea, concrete guidelines for setting up and running startup companies, as well as needs-led coaching from experienced experts in the respective sector. The training programme will be geared to the specific requirements of the selected project managers and is intended to give them access to a broad startup network.