START Summit

Business, fun and inspiration at START Summit 2017

More than 2000 entrepreneurship enthusiasts form over 86 nations participated in START Summit 2017 at OLMA in St.Gallen. This once again means tremendous growth in the total number of participants of more than 30%. START Summit has positioned itself not only on a national but rather a European Level for entrepreneurship, Innovation & tech.

Not only in terms of number START Summit has managed to improve itself. Contentwise we were able to accomplish the following: START Summit 2017 hosted renowned speakers from all over the world such as Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPod and eventually the whole iPhone and iPad line and later sold his company Nest Labs for $3.2bn to Google. Aubrey de Grey, a futurist from Silicon Valley based SENS Institute, researching in the field of infinite life, Roland Siegwart as Director of the autonomous systems lab at ETH Zurich or Matthias Schranner, a former FBI hostage negotiator are only a selection of dozens of inspiring personalities we were able to acquire. Furthermore, START Summit 2017 strongly promoted the topic of “women in entrepreneurship”. Besides organizing a specific panel on exactly this topic with Petra Ehmann, one of the founders of WeShapeTech – a Zurich-based initiative, and Lu Li, founder of Blooming Founders, START Summit’s female speaker line-up almost reached 30%.

Our event formats ensured productive networking between investors & startups, startups & students
and corporates & startups. From our very exclusive background sessions over START Speeddating to
1-1 meetings we launched several new formats and conducted numerous adaptions to our old formats
such as START Factor to increase the benefit of all participating parties. Moreover, we moved START Summiteer – our flagship pitching competition over three days with 20’000 CHF of prize money for the winner - to remote locations except for the Grand Final broadcasted from the mainstage on Saturday right before the closing event. The global phenomenon “entrepreneurship” with its frame
START Summit has greatly contributed to the local anchorage - the canton St. Gallen! Economically
speaking we generated revenue at Swiss (mostly St. Gallen based) firms - hotels, catering, etc. - of
almost 300’000 CHF for the two day conference.


Additionally, participants had the chance to actively participate in START Summit 2017 which was
conceptualized through an engaging event experience. During the event, START Summit offered games and hands-on experiences to the participants enabling them to completely dive into the world of innovation and get to know the latest tech milestones. We are already looking forward to START Summit 2018 with an even bigger impact on the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem.

HSG Alumni is proud to have supported START Summit 2017 with a grant.