General

Fusion is a 12-months FinTech acceleration program to boost your startup moving from Beta to Revenues. Our aim is to fuse the best of Switzerland with the most promising FinTech talent to lead innovation in financial services.
Fusion is different from other similar projects and adds additional value to its startups by facilitating access to a broad range of corporates and mentors and by concentrating on those areas where Switzerland is a world leader such as wealth management and asset management.

FUSION’s unique multi-sector and multi-partner approach, which not only gives the opportunity for startups to be mentored by leading companies in their field, also takes NO upfront equity stake.

Switzerland is a world leader in both innovation and financial services such as wealth management, asset management, insurance and commodities trading. Financial services account for 15% of the country’s GDP (the highest worldwide). About 6% of the country’s workforce works in the financial services (the highest worldwide). Moreover, Geneva is one of the most competitive financial center in the world. Therefore, we believed it was the perfect place to launch our accelerator.
FUSION coaches your startup to help you refine your strategy, improve the quality of your product and your pitching skills, introduce you to relevant people in the financial industry, help you raise funds etc… We help you launch your product in Switzerland and then expand to others markets. FUSION also creates and manages an ecosystem where several corporate and resources partners as well as mentors bring additional value to the acceleration program as regular contributors.
We do not provide accommodation. However, we can give you recommendations as well as sharing advice.
We take NO equity in your company!
FUSION itself doesn’t provide funding. Polytech Ecosystem Ventures, founding partner of FUSION, will invest on a case by case basis.
We have created a working environment conducive to creative thinking, to getting things done and to having fun. Over 650 square meters of premium city centre space, largely open plan but with plenty of break-out areas for brainstorming, chill out zones, recreational areas, all with state-of-art IT infrastructure.
Our corporate partners are Temenos, Notz Stucki, Swisscard and BNP Paribas.
Capco, Kudelski Security, Arcanys, Insign, Idiap, id est avocats and Interactive Data are our resource partners.
Our mentors are drawn from all areas of financial services, such as banking, insurance and commodity trading. We also have academic sponsorship from some of world’s top engineering research institutes such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). (see Community)
Corporate partners provide sponsorship and mentoring. They test your products, discuss your strategy, share their expertise and provide feedbacks. They can potentially buy your product and even invest in your company.

Resources partners provide technology consulting through specific coaching.

Mentors help refine your strategy, provide insights to ensure your products meet market needs and assist in developing a viable operating plan.

And, of course, all FUSION partners and mentors may open their contact book and bring you to their own customers.

The acceleration program is divided into three main stages:

The lab: first 4 months of intensive coaching and training, networking and learnings. Goal is to test the main assumptions underlying the business case.

The Factory: following 7 months of customer validation. FUSION organizes regular checkups, workshops and presentations during the second part of the program. The main goal to go on the market.

The Wrap: the last month of the program is focused on the Final Demo Day, while preparing for growth.

Yes. For companies willing to stay in Geneva, we can offer a tailored solution within FUSION offices or close by. So you can stay close to your mentors and your clients as well as take part in the emergence of a new FinTech ecosystem.

Eligibility

We will consider applications from startups transforming any area of financial services, although we consider the following areas to be of particular interest: cyber security, data privacy, Blockchain, asset and wealth management, artificial intelligence, insurance, mobile and  peer-to-peer platforms.

Moreover, we are mostly looking for start-ups performing in the B2B segment.

There is no problem, as we don’t take any equity. We have the same interest as you: closing deals!
Our acceleration program can only help you if you have at least a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which means you already have a functional prototype you can test on the market.

If you don’t have a prototype yet and are still working on your idea, we can help you turning it into a project: we are partnering with a fast-track program in the Swiss Alps, hosted by Idiap, The International Create Challenge. Go visit their website and apply to the program!

Moreover, If your startup is already growing fast and you would like to enter the Swiss market, please get in touch with us for a custom program.

Yes and no. The first 4 months will be very intensive, with plenty of training and coaching sessions, workshops, experience sharing events, networking opportunities, etc. You have to be on-site to attend these sessions and get the most benefits out of it.
If you’re based in Europe, you can easily commute every week. We do our best to allow you to do it!
The following 8 months, we don’t expect you to be at FUSION offices on a permanent basis, even though we strongly believe that being very regularly at the offices foster innovation and networking through interactions and discussions with people involved in the local FinTech industry.
We host startups from all over the world. Moreover, we will guide you through all the necessary administrative procedures in order to obtain your VISA and your Swiss work permit (EU citizens don’t need VISA for Switzerland).
No. However, you need to have a legal entity registered in a “safe” country.

Application process

We open the applications every year early April. We advise you to apply as soon as possible, so we have more time to review your project. We start reviewing the submitted projects until the early application deadline at mid-May and will start the first Skype interviews with the pre-selected startups afterwards. Finally, we will review all projects and set up Skype interviews for the pre-selected teams after the final application deadline in June.

We will inform the selected team towards end of July. Selected startups have to start the on-boarding process (work permit, FUSION agreement, relocation, etc.). In September, we officially announce the selected teams and the acceleration program finally starts in the beginning of October. (see Program)

No. Don’t worry about NDA: execution matters!
Yes. However, we advise you to concentrate on one idea instead of losing focus on two ideas.
We don’t review any late applications. Don’t forget: we are in Switzerland, we love to be on time!
The application and the program are free, There are NO fees to apply or join the program!
We will assess the quality of your idea, your team, your business model and the progress you made so far. Your startup must also fit with the market and with what Switzerland has to offer in terms of financial services (wealth management, asset management etc.). As previously mentioned, we are mostly looking for startups performing in the B2B segment. Finally, make sure you have a Minimum Viable Product we can accelerate and bring to the revenues phase. If you are still not sure of what stage your product is at, please take a look at (see link Right Stage).