The Ecosystem: inside ETH Zurich’s spin-off factory

30 Apr 2024 | News

After a record-breaking year for company formation in 2023, the university is launching new initiatives to maintain this momentum

ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Photo credits:  Shepard4711 / Flickr

By the standards of most universities, ETH Zurich produces a lot of spin-off companies. In the past decade the total has ranged from 22 to 34 new ventures each year, with a record-breaking 43 new spin-offs created in 2023.

As for how the university does this, Frank Floessel, head of ETH Entrepreneurship, gives the credit to its researchers. “We cannot influence the number of spin-offs that come out of ETH that much,” he said. “It’s very much a grassroots movement. It comes from the PhDs, master’s students and professors who think that one of their technologies might be right for the market.”

Yet ETH Zurich is clearly doing something right for so many of its academics to…