EPFL Innovation Park unveils matching platform for start-up boards

EPFL Innovation Park unveils matching platform for start-up boards

31.1.2019 – EPFL Innovation Park (EIP) in collaboration with Startup Campus launches a platform to help startups, scale-ups and technology SMEs to strengthen their Board of Directors or Advisory Board with highly experienced and accredited people. A first in Switzerland!

Because good governance is not only a concern for large corporations!

The entrepreneurship ecosystem has matured. Many young technology companies feel the need to establish a professional Board of Directors or a high performance Advisory Board in order to accelerate and sustain their growth. It makes the company more attractive to investors, helps to avoid the typical pitfalls of growth, facilitates management of crises and ultimately significantly improves the performance of the company.

However, it can be difficult for early stage companies to identify Board members who not only understand the world of startups and scale-ups, but also are aware of the requirements, duties and responsibilities of Board members. Indeed a performing board should have a certain degree of seniority, independence and diversity, which makes this search even more difficult.

Hence in 2015, the EPFL Innovation Park and Startup Campus created the Board Academy program, which has since trained about 500 high-level Board members and advisors on Swiss governance rules and the role and duties of Board members of fast growing, high-potential startups and technology SMEs. Jean-Philippe Lallement, director of EPFL Innovation Park, explains: “the goal of this platform is to facilitate the matching of these Board members and advisors with the pool of approximately 4’000 technology startups and scale-ups in Switzerland, including many spin-offs from EPFL and other research institutions that EIP and Startup Campus support on a daily basis. We believe it will help accelerate the growth of many of them thanks to experience transfer and a better governance, which should enhance investor confidence. ”

Using a matching algorithm built on performance matrix analyses of Boards of Directors, the platform will suggest, for free, relevant profiles of Board members or advisors.

The matching process takes into account the development phase, growth potential, current composition of the Board as well as the experience and skills of current Board members and advisors of the company. Virginie Verdon, head of the Board Academy program, says: “One of the goals is to optimize the diversity, seniority and independence of the Board of Directors, three key elements of a high-performance Board.”

Launched officially this January 31st 2019, the Board Matching Switzerland platform already counts about fifty members with high-level profiles of Board members and/or advisors. With the ambition to quickly position the platform as the reference in Switzerland for entrepreneurs looking to strengthen their Board of Directors and Advisory Board, the EIP and Startup Campus intend to expand the platform internationally in the coming years while always striving for the highest selectivity and quality.

Board Matching Switzerland Platform:   https://boardmatching.ch