SMI 20 Startup- and innovation monitor: mm1 presents a comprehensive overview

Large companies try to map the strengths of startups for themselves through special programs. A few months ago, mm1 presented an overview of the initiatives of the largest German stock corporations with the DAX 30 Startup and Innovation Monitor. Such an overview has now been compiled for the SMI 20 companies (Switzerland).

According to the Global Innovation Index, Switzerland is one of the most innovative countries in the world. But even here, established companies are under enormous pressure due to digitization and other mega-trends. Countless startups are entering the market with radical and disruptive business models and product innovations. That’s why more and more established companies are looking to combine their strengths with those of a startup. This should be implemented through special programs for startup and innovation activities. The SMI startup and innovation monitor overview confirms this. Around 80 percent of the SMI 20 companies have already initiated similar programs. This allows large companies to keep up with their German neighbors, even if their value is 90 percent higher.

Swiss companies mostly concentrate on accelerators

Just as in Germany, where around half of all initiatives are accelerators, this innovation program is dominating the Swiss market. Even more so, as around 60 percent of the 26 identified initiatives focus on accelerating existing product and business ideas. Significantly fewer, just 20 percent, are opting for the rapid start of new business models. Venture capitals are also less popular with the SMI 20 companies. Just six out of the 26 initiatives focus on purely financial involvement in startups. The Swiss Startup Monitor shows that there is enough venture financing at all levels in Switzerland. But there is a clear deficit when it comes to early growth stage funding.

External initiatives are clearly preferred

Innovation programs are either organized as internal company departments or spin-offs. The vast majority of Swiss companies opt for the latter in their incubators and accelerators. Only five of the programs are internal. This is where the picture deviates significantly from the DAX 30 overview, where internal departments clearly dominate. Even when it comes to venture capital companies (VCs), Switzerland shows a different picture. Only one of the six VCs is organized externally. External departments dominate the scene in Germany.

Zurich is the capital of innovation

Most initiatives are based in Switzerland, with Zurich the most popular location by far. As in Germany, the majority of initiatives came into being over the last five years.


The graph of the SMI 20 is available here as a free download.

To complement the swift implementation of business ideas, you can request free copies of the mm1 Lean Startup Poster, the mm1 Corporate Lean Startup Poster and the mm1 Design Thinking Poster.