ETH-EPFL Sciencepreneurship Summer School 2023

An overview on the results of organizing the first entrepreneurial ETH-EPFL Summer School.

3 minute video giving highlights of the ETH-EPFL Sciencepreneurship Summer School 2023.

Going 0️⃣➡️1️⃣ can be very hard but very rewarding: starting from an idea 🌱, partnering up with my long-time collaborator Julia Wagner 🤝, and in April 2023 successfully delivering the first ETH-EPFL Sciencepreneurship Summer School in Zurich, Switzerland, has been exactly such a rewarding journey! 🚀

🔥 This is a story of intersecting supportive #innovation communities and setting them up for #success. We succeeded in bringing together an exclusive but diverse group of 30 of the most entrepreneurial graduate #students from globally leading #universities with experienced #sciencepreneurs and ecosystem players.

Going from an idea & 2 co-founders (Arnout & Julia) ...
... to a vibrant summer school and community!


The program is foremost about bringing together a community of students, experienced sciencepreneurs, top academics, and ecosystem players.

Part of the community are a unique selection of experienced sciencepreneurs and ecosystem players.
The participants selected who took part in the summer school program.


The program consisted of (1) interactive lectures & workshops, (2) panel discussions, (3) bonding socials, and (4) final pitches & prizes. In what follows, I will go in more detail on what these parts exactly included together with some pictures!

Interactive lectures & workshops 🤓

The 1 ECTS credit program and its lecturers were definitely not your average course experience:

  • day 1:
    • #opportunity identification by Anil Sethi (ETH Zurich)
    • #vision by Alex Ilic (ETH AI Center)
    • #team by Antonia Albert (Wingman Ventures)
    • #pitching design by Isabelle Siegrist (Sandborn)
  • day 2:
    • tech #commercialization by Jana Thiel (ETH Zurich)
    • #legal by Umberto Milano (Kellerhals Carrard)
    • #business models by Réginald Bien-Aimé (Mindstone)
  • day 3:
    • #go-to-market by William R. Cockayne (Stanford University)
    • #venturefinancing by Cynthia Jurytko (Ebay)
    • #IP & #equity by Alex Ilic (ETH AI Center) & Claudia Scheckel (Oncobit)
    • #pitch finetuning by Stephan Seyboth (Mo Unicorn Coaching)
  • day 4:
    • selling to #customers by Georges Khneysser (QBIT Capital)
    • selling to #VCs by Thomas Meier (Lightbird Ventures)
    • #society & #diversity by Nettra Pan (Bayes Business School)

Panel discussions 🎯

Almost every day there was a panel, moderated by Réginald Bien-Aimé, with three inspiring discussions on:

  • “going from idea to exit” with Murielle Schreck, Pascal Weinberger, Herbert Bay
  • “funding opportunities & risks” with Karim Maizar, Antonia Albert, Georges Khneysser, Gabriele Schwarz
  • “unconventional sciencepreneurs” with Christophe Moser, Roland Siegwart, Hervé Lebret
Sciencepreneurs: From Idea to Exit
Funding: Opportunities & Risks
Academics: Angles of Impact

Socials 🥂

Work hard, play hard: hotel 🏨, drinks 🍹, and all food 🍽️ at the faculty club covered. Boat apéro trip on Lake Zurich ⛵ & partner apéro at the new ETH AI Center 🦾.

Boat apéro trip
Restaurant dinner
Apéro at ETH AI Center

Pitches 🎤 & Prizes 🏆

All these learnings culminated in team project pitches with jury Christophe Moser, Roland Siegwart, Hervé Lebret, and Tomas Brenner.

Acknowledgements 🙏

Next to thanking foremost the best possible co-organizer Julia Wagner, there are many people and organizations to thank here, including:

  • EPFL and ETH Zurich for providing the EPFL-ETH Summer School framework!
  • Our official partners: ETH AI Center, EPFL CIS, Gebert Ruf Stiftung, Kellerhals Carrard, Wingman Ventures, QBIT Capital.
  • A special mention goes to our formal academic supporters and reliable professors Christophe Moser (EPFL) and Hans Gersbach (ETH Zurich).
  • I acknowledge funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754354.

Conclusion and Future 🔮

I am incredibly grateful for all the spontaneous positive oral, email, and text messages as well as the participants’ unexpected tasty gift to us, the organizers! 🍫

👍 Follow, like, comment, and repost for more updates. Register your interest on What’s next? Please connect and reach out if you are interested in getting involved in the future as an organizer, student, sciencepreneur, or ecosystem player! 🚀