Impact Academy

The Impact Academy targets (Swiss) impact-driven entrepreneurs to support them in getting impact-investment ready over a five-month support program.

  • you get coaching support targeting your special needs by two different experts from a large corporation
  • the senior coaches can not only support you with knowledge and experiences on the business side, they can also be a door opener according to your challenges
  • you get webinars and support to develop and establish an impact measurement framework
  • you get the opportunity to pitch in front of an expert community and potential impact investors

Apply here for the next cycle

After your application, we will assess the stage of your business and decide on your admission to the Impact Academy.

Who is it for?

  • Impact-driven businesses
  • Swiss-based (in certain cases, we accept Europe-based applications)
  • At least proof-of-concept is required

Please note that this program is flexible and offers online and offline options. However, it also requires a high level of commitment. Attendance is required on certain dates (see Timeline).

What are the benefits? 

  • Followed up goal oriented program for efficiency and maximum impact
  • Individual matching of entrepreneurs’ needs and senior corporate managers’ skill sets
  • Input sessions led by experts with topics such as Impact Management, Impact Finance, and Success Factors.
  • Access to supporting tools on impact investing and a network for impact driven entrepreneurs
  • Possible investment opportunities for suitable participants after the program

Please note that this is not a financing program and participants will not be allowed to ask for financial support from their coaches.

    February 14th: Deadline for applications for impact startups

    February 14th – March 1st: Selection of suitable applications (SEIF)

    March 1st: Coach the Coach Session (online)

    March 2nd – 10th: Selection phase coaches

    March 10th – 17th: Matching and announcement of the selected participants

    March 22nd: Coach the Startup Session (online)

    March 27th, 18:00-21:00: Kick-off event (mandatory)

    August 23rd, 18:00-21:00: Pitching event (mandatory)

    During the cycle, SEIF will organise online input sessions on topics related to impact management, impact finance and success factors.

    Who are the coaches?

    Our coaches are employed by our corporate partners – UBS, Credit Suisse, Julius Bär and PwC. They are all in upper level management positions and have a wide range of backgrounds. Previously, we’ve had coaches with backgrounds in marketing, communications, business development, sales, legal, project management, IT, financing and investment and others.

    Can you explain what you mean by “proof of concept”?

    We want to be able to see that there is a clear need in the market for your product or service. Although your startup might always be evolving and innovating, we expect you to be past the ideation phase. Providing information about your partnerships, current sales, or even testimonials from people who would be potential customers are some ways to show that your product/service is filling a need.

    Is the Impact Academy free? 

    Yes, the Impact Academy is free for all impact startups.

    Is the Impact Academy open to startups outside of Switzerland? 

    We target Swiss-based startups and in certain cases we accept Europe-based applications.

    Are non-profit organizations and NGOs eligible for the Impact Academy?

    Unfortunately not. However, we are constantly adapting our offer and programs to the needs of the entrepreneurs. Subscribe to our LinkedIn channel and keep yourself updated!

    Can I submit my application in German? 

    Unfortunately no. The program language is English and some of our coaches have international backgrounds. Therefore we ask that your application and business description be in English.

    What should be included in my business description? 

    Your business description can either be in the form of a pitch deck and/or a business plan. Please make sure it is in English.

    How is the matching between the coaches and startups conducted?  

    Startups are required to list their coaching needs in their application. We do our best to pair each startup with coaches that have skill sets that best match those needs.

    Are the events held online or offline? 

    The kick-off event and closing pitch event will most likely be held offline. More detailed information about each event will be communicated to participants closer to the time.

    Can I apply for the Impact Academy if I’ve already participated? 

    Yes. We understand that not all coaching needs can be satisfied in one cycle. Therefore, startups are encouraged to apply for a second or third cycle if they want.

    When do I hear back from SEIF? 

    SEIF will announce the selected participants one month after the application deadline.

    We continuously update the FAQs.

    What former participants say

    You recently got acquired by Farmy. How does your participation in the Impact Academy in 2020 contribute to this big new step?

    «We stayed in regular contact with our coach after the SEIF program ended. Of course, we could not tell her the details about the sale process, but since it was a pretty stressful phase for us three founders, it was important to have someone at our side with an outside perspective – also to calm us down sometimes

    Which word of advice would you offer to any entrepreneur who is considering applying to the next Impact Academy cycle?

    «Try to think of bigger topics to tackle during the program, a problem that you cannot just google (…). Think about the bigger picture of your business.»

    «The SEIF Network offers great support, visibility as well as sense of community – exactly the things you’ll need to leverage your impact!»

    Startups in the current cycle

    Contact person 

    Zoé Dumont de Chassart
    Impact and Project Manager

    Contact Zoé here