Information for Applicants

In the world of startups we often talk about unicorns, referring to companies with potential for exponential economic growth. Unicorns are fascinating, but not often sustainable. Especially sought after by impact investors, zebras represent sustainable businesses that aim to have social and environmental impacts as well as an adequate economic return. We believe that Ticino can be a very fertile ground for bringing out this type of business. For more information on the meaning of “zebra” enterprise, check out this website.

  1. We offer an incubation program and a support network for impact-driven projects to create sustainable solutions: zebras, not unicorns! 
  2. We give the opportunity to investors and philanthropists close to the territory to discover and choose projects to support in Ticino. 
  3. We measure the impact of each project using a monitoring system based on the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  4. We work with an inclusive, collaborative and iterative approach.

The deadline is Friday, May 6 at 8.00 pm.

The Impact Club incubation program is aimed at impact-driven projects based in Ticino or the Italian part of the Grigioni. 

If you are not sure you are eligible, please attend one of the two webinars proposed in the month of April (20 and 26 April). We will be happy to answer your questions. If you still have doubts, submit your proposal anyway! The main point to consider is this: Are you working on a project that aims to address a social or environmental problem and do you think your project can help solve it? To sign up to one of the webinars, click here.

We are looking for structured business projects (for profit and non-for profit) that have a hypothesis for achieving economic sustainability. We are particularly interested in projects that need coaching and support to optimize an economically sustainable business model.

Participation in the incubation program is free of charge. Any travel, board and lodging costs are borne by participants.

We are looking for teams of at least two people. If you are not ready with a team, you can participate in 2023: the incubator will be offered annually.

The incubation path is open to for-profit and non-for-profit projects. There are no criteria regarding the legal form, what’s important is the will to build a project that can become economically sustainable.

Our program caters to any sector, as long as there is an explicit desire to generate social and/or environmental impact. Projects can cover topics such as: agriculture and biodiversity; services in peripheral areas; education and empowerment; labor and social integration; wellness and health; sustainable tourism; and everything related to the circular economy and improving our impact on the environment, from mobility to decarbonization, from innovative energy projects to regenerative innovation, and so on.

You can apply by completing this short form. The application deadline is May 6, 2022.

We will review each proposal by considering the following criteria: potential for impact; project feasibility and relevance; team composition; and matching with investor priorities. The projects that will participate in the incubator will be announced in early July.

In 2022, between 7 and 9 teams will be selected to participate in the incubation program.

We believe it is essential to connect project teams and possible investors from the beginning, and for this reason we have invited 9 investors and philanthropists to participate in the first edition of our incubation program. Together, we have defined the thematic areas, the focus and the type of projects, and together we will select the projects that will be accompanied in the incubation process. During the incubation program, investors will actively participate in the activities and will be available for mentoring and support.

If you weren’t selected for this edition of Impact Club, but you want to be part of the Impact Hub network, contact us! We will be happy to tell you how to become a member of our community, participate in weekly activities and events, work at our coworking space and be supported by selected coaches and mentors.

The incubation program will run for a period of 5 months, from September 2022 to February 2023. There will be regular events held in-person and if needed online. Remember, by participating actively in this incubator you can give yourself the most valuable gift: time to develop your dream project!

The modules will take place in presence at Impact Hub Ticino in Lugano, with remote access when necessary. The presence of the whole team is required during these meetings.

Each team will have a mentor and will be able to take advantage of team and network support.

In addition to the dedicated incubation meetings and individual coaching, each team will have access to the Impact Hub Switzerland community, to the coworking spaces (nomad membership worth 360CHF/month) and to the weekly and thematic events proposed by Impact Hub Ticino. Particular attention will be given to peer-to-peer learning, to meetings with investors and philanthropists but also to personal development and team wellbeing.

The support services provided by Impact Club have a value of CHF 15,000 per team. Impact Club is supported by the Migros Pioneer Fund, Impact Hub Ticino and a group of local investors and philanthropists. This means that you will not be charged anything for your participation in the incubator and that the project you develop will remain entirely your own.

The program will be conducted primarily in Italian, with the possibility of having some meetings in English. 

Impact Club facilitates the contact between investors and projects, and it is not an investment fund. At the end of the incubation program, each team will have defined how much and what kind of capital they need, and will have had the opportunity to interact with investors. Our goal is that at least 70% of investors will find interesting investment opportunities.

Impact Club investors are entrepreneurs living in the Italian part of Switzerland, interested in making impact investments and philanthropic donations to sustainable projects with growth potential.

Impact-driven projects and non-for-profits often need different financing than classic start-ups. It is important that we find funding options for each company and define the right funding strategy together with each team.

Yes, one of Impact Club’s goals is to support impact-driven projects in finding the right type of funding.

Impact Club is a program of Impact Hub Ticino, which is part of a network of more than 100 hubs in the world with more than 30 incubators and accelerators. Impact Club was established in 2022 and is therefore in its first edition! The Impact Club team has 30 years of experience in the field of impact investing.

At the end of the incubation program each team member will also receive a community membership (value 120CHF/year) valid for 1 year in order to participate in the activities of Impact Hub Ticino. 

Each project that receives funding will be accompanied by the Impact Club team in the measurement of its impact for at least 12 months. The cost of 1’200 CHF will be borne by the teams. This system will allow teams to have a clear view of the impact of their project and will help investors measure the impact of the project they have invested in.