Zurich is the largest city of a country that has topped the Global Innovation Index every year since 2011. This index examines a nation’s human capital and research, knowledge and technology outputs, and market sophistication.
These ideal conditions make the city ideal for launching innovative startup ventures—the following are 11 reasons why this global center for banking and finance may soon also be world renowned for its tech innovation.
11. A plethora of tax benefits.
Switzerland is often considered a tax haven because of its low tax rates and myriad of exemptions and reductions. Expats have it well in Zurich—they receive preferred tax treatment as well as special federal tax benefits.
10. A prime location in the heart of Europe.
Zurich is located in the heart of Europe, with major cities on the continent only hours away. Not only does everyone have high-speed internet, but almost all of the city has access to fiber optic internet connections.
9. Streamlined and modern public services.
Modernized processes minimize bureaucracy in Zurich—additionally, almost all public services are available on digital platforms.
8. The world’s most prestigious universities.
Where can you find the highest-ranked technical university in Europe and global leader in engineering, science and technology? ETH Zurich boasts an incredible 21 Noble laureates on its alumni and staff list.
7. Large presence of Fortune 500 companies.
The city is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies—Zurich Insurance Group, Credit Suisse, UBS AG, to name a few. Additionally, Google’s largest office outside of Mountain View is also located in Zurich.
6. A city that creates happy employees.
Employees not only enjoy the region’s high quality of living—a recent UBS survey of 72 cities revealed that Zurich offers some of the highest net salaries in the world.
5. Different industries and government/private entities working together to support startups.
Programs like Digital Zurich 2025 aim to support, promote, and offer guidance to local digital startups and talent through investor summits, educational programs, and more. This assemblage of enterprises, associations and political representatives work together to strengthen Zurich’s position as a digital hub around the world.
4. A global destination for fintech and digital currency entrepreneurs.
Fintech and digital currency startups are flourishing in Zurich—and 25 km south is the town of Zug, which has attracted a dozen bitcoin-based companies and is being referred to as the Silicon Valley of finance.
3. A world leader in privacy.
Privacy in Zurich doesn’t just apply to banking and finance—the city is also a global leader when it comes to data privacy. A myriad of hosting vendors offer private, secure server hosting and data storage—some even use former military bunkers as data centers.
2. A high level of digitization when compared with other world cities.
Zurich is on the cutting edge of digitization and technology adoption efforts. For example, 2015 Ernst & Young study showed that “swiss companies are planning the highest investments in digitalization in comparison to other countries.”
1. An environment of healthy competition.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEC), Zurich is the world’s most competitive economy. Competition is a requisite catalyst for innovation and creativity in all industries—especially technology. The WEC looks at factors such as a country’s financial and labour markets as well as its ability to harness existing technology.
In short, it’s no wonder that some of the world’s leading tech startups call Zurich their home. Check out 13 Top Fintech Startups from Switzerland to get to know some of its leading tech ventures—and be sure to keep this dynamic city on your radar.