17 June 2019. Since 2017, companies founded by individuals associated with the University of St.Gallen can apply for the "HSG Spin-Off label". Anyone operating a successfully established business or whose startup has been on the market for at least 12 months can apply to the Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE-HSG) for the seal of quality. The HSG Spin-Off label is highly prized, with 122 companies being awarded the label up until March 2019. 22 of these are headquartered in the metropolitan area of St.Gallen, 4 additional companies are located in the cantons St.Gallen, Thurgau, Schaffhausen and Graubünden, 67 in the rest of Switzerland and 29 abroad. The current list of companies bearing the HSG Spin-Off label can be found on the CfE-HSG website.
Direct contribution to regional value creation in eastern Switzerland
In spring of 2019, CfE-HSG carried out the second survey for the HSG Spin-Off Barometer, in which 76 companies bearing the HSG Spin-Off label took part. The survey revealed that the largest group of HSG Spin-Offs (40) have their headquarters in the Zurich region. In addition, at 22, the number of HSG Spin-Offs with locations in the St.Gallen region is disproportionately high. Findings from entrepreneurship research show that university spin-offs promote regional growth. This is confirmed by the above-average number of HSG Spin-Offs that are based in St.Gallen and thus make a direct contribution to regional value creation.
Half of all founders from HSG are "serial offenders"
From the 76 HSG entrepreneurs surveyed, 36 indicated that alongside their businesses with the HSG Spin-Off label they had founded at least one additional company. As such, almost half of the spin-off founders are "serial entrepreneurs". And successful ones at that: 81 per cent of the additional businesses are still active, and in 64 per cent of cases, the founders are still involved in the business. That we are dealing with successful entrepreneurs here is also demonstrated by the ranking of the business magazine "Bilanz": four founders of HSG Spin-Offs are represented among the Top 10 "Digital Shapers" in the category "Serial Entrepreneurs", namely: Marc Degen (modum.io), Adrian Locher (DeinDeal, Merantix), Dorian Selz (Namics) and Tobias Reichmuth (SUSI Partners).
HSG Spin-Offs enjoy above-average growth
Furthermore, the study revealed that 75 per cent of HSG Spin-Offs were able to increase their turnover by at least 11 per cent within a single year. Of those surveyed, 30 per cent were even able to double their turnover within a single year. In addition, HSG Spin-Offs appointed an average of 14 new employees for the year 2018. The average growth of the workforce was 65 per cent. According to the "Swiss Startup Radar 2018/2019", the average growth in employee numbers for Swiss startups is 6.7 per cent per year in the first 10 years, rising to 13.6 per cent in the following 10. Thus, the average growth of HSG Spin-Offs in the previous year was significantly higher than by non-university Swiss startups over 10 years.
Decisive support from Startup@HSG and the University of St.Gallen
More than a third of the 76 spin-offs of the University of St.Gallen surveyed received support in the foundation stage from the initiative Startup@HSG of HSG’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. Startup@HSG is the first point of contact for startups and entrepreneurship at the University of St.Gallen. The average satisfaction level of those using the service was rated at 8 out of 10. Other studies also show that early university support for startups contributes to later market success. The range of services and support offered by Startup@HSG includes coaching, office spaces, events and much more for HSG startups, and for those who wish to form one. In addition to this, as of 2018, the St.Gallen Startup Navigator is also available. This method, developed by the University of St.Gallen, supports prospective entrepreneurs in the successful step-by-step realisation of their startup.
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