Embracing crowdfunding to share EPFL’s technology with the world

Embracing crowdfunding to share EPFL’s technology with the world

04.4.2022 – Every new startup faces numerous challenges on the road to success – they need to understand their core audience, develop viable prototypes, and validate the market opportunity. Funding, of course, is one of the biggest barriers – without the initial capital, many startups struggle to move their idea onto the next stage.

As a university that’s been at the forefront of innovation for over 50 years, EPFL is always looking for new ways to promote the transformative technology coming out of its laboratories. The EPFL Startup Launchpad was created to offer the support, tools, and skills entrepreneurs need to bring novel ideas and innovative technologies to the world. An important part of this is helping entrepreneurs share their pioneering and disruptive ideas with the wider world – not just restricting themselves to academic circles but helping the wider public understand the amazing ideas and potential that’s coming out of our laboratories.

A unique channel to showcase transformative technology to the world and secure initial funding

That’s why the EPFL Startup team launched an EPFL channel on WeMakeIt.com – an online crowdfunding platform which supports ground-breaking projects and ideas secure initial funding. Through our channel, we’re opening up the ideas, technology, and teams at EPFL to a wider audience – it is a unique opportunity for our entrepreneurs and startups to give everyone a chance to be part of shaping the future of society.

Our initiative is more than just about securing funding, though. Projects highlighted on WeMakeIt have a chance to engage with the people impacted by their technology. Teams can present their ideas directly to potential customers and future partners. They can bring a human face to technology and startups – sharing their passion and expertise – while at the same time, raising funds and visibility. The platform is open to all members of the EPFL Startup Launchpad, or any recently created EPFL startups who haven’t yet started making revenue or raised investment.

Each project sets its own campaign goal – it can be as much or as little as they need. The first set of projects will benefit from a CHF3,000 boost from the Startup Launchpad to help reach their target. If they miss their target, they also miss out on any funding under the campaign, but will have benefited from the wide visibility which goes along with having a campaign on WeMakeIt.

The CO2-free truck for the first campaign

 

One of the first EPFL startups to take advantage of WeMakeIt.com were Qaptis – a team who have developed a simple way for transportation companies to reduce their impact on the environment with on-board CO2 capture and storage. They already have over 80 backers from across Switzerland, Belgium, and even Singapore! If you’d be interested in learning more about Qaptis’ campaign.