The Complete Winterthur Startup City Guide

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Switzerland is a world champion in innovation, and Winterthur an important part of it. Check out our Startup City Guide to discover the full potential of starting a business in this Swiss city!

Winterthur is Switzerland’s 6th largest city, with over 113’000 inhabitants. Being part of the Greater Zurich Area, it profits from infrastructures such as the Zurich Airport, the ETH (Federal Technical University, top-ranked on a world-wide scale), the industry clusters, and the excellent public services.

As an industrial and business location, Winterthur is an important center for mechanical engineering, mechatronics, vehicle manufacturing, medical technology/life sciences and digital sciences. It is also leading in the insurance and healthcare sector.

Important innovations have already been developed here: the first factory in Switzerland, the turbocharger, the first artificial hip joint or the largest battery-powered car in the world. Today, multinational companies such as Sulzer, AXA, Rieter, Givaudan, Kistler, Zimmer Biomet, Autoneum, Burckhardt Compression and many more invest in centers for technology and innovation. Many startups are set up here, while SMEs appreciate the personal environment and the quick access to a specialized workforce.

Winterthur is ranked #3 among all Swiss cities, for living (only behind Zurich and Zug, both with lakes). The availability of qualified staff, the universities in Zurich, Winterthur and Eastern Switzerland, the availability of land for construction, the reasonably priced apartments and condominiums for living, the rich cultural activities, and the many green city parks make Winterthur a top choice for founders and their teams.

But most important for startups: Winterthur has a booming startup community. The main drivers are the Technopark Winterthur (10000 m2, 50 Startups, 80 events per year, large coworking space, Fablab maker space, Bistro) and the Entrepreneur Club Winterthur (free membership, events, and offerings – mainly at the Technopark). The over 10’000 students of the University of Applied Sciences do the rest to make Winterthur a very easy-going city.

More about Winterthur on Wikipedia.

GPS Direction: Winterthur

Winterthur, although it’s the 6th largest city in Switzerland, is very easy to get around: Central train station, well-developed city bus lines, dense bicycle path network, splendid old town, booming startup community, student cafés, and shops can be found all over town.

Advantages Of Building A Startup In Winterthur:

  • Vivid startup community with lots of support activities and events
  • Excellent infrastructure for setting up a startup (in particular at the Technopark Winterthur)
  • Personal atmosphere – easy and fast networking
  • Reasonable costs for living (compared to other large Swiss cities)
  • Super-fast and super-frequent means of public transportation, an international airport in close vicinity (18 min. by train)
  • A pool of students of all disciplines for recruiting and hiring staff and freelancers
  • R&D cooperation possibilities (some of them funded) with various institutes of the University of Applied Sciences
  • Winterthur people love to ride their bicycles; as a result, there are well-maintained bike tracks, abundant parking space for bicycles, and lots of bike shops

What Founders Have To Consider:

  • The language spoken in the city is Swiss German, which is very different from the formal (written) German language. As a foreigner, it can be difficult to understand locals. However, most Swiss people, and the younger generation anyway, speak decent English (and some also French and/or Italian).
  • Although close to Zurich, Winterthur is not as international as Switzerland’s largest city, and far from being as international as London or Berlin. Winterthur is still a bit like a village, where everybody knows everybody, and where the news is spread mouth-to-mouth. Maybe not a disadvantage!

All in all, as a founder of a startup, you are very welcomed everywhere and will get to know the relevant locations and people very easily.

First Stop: Discover Winterthur’s Startup Community

Winterthur Startup City Guide StartUs Magazine

In Winterthur, the startup community meets at events of the Entrepreneur Club Winterthur and at events at the Technopark Winterthur or at the University of Applied Sciences. For newcomers, a directory of important organizations, locations, and services helps tremendously for the first steps: the Startup-Guide-Winterthur.

Find Info About Upcoming Events, Meetups & Other Occasions:

Regular Events & Meetups:

  • Monthly breakfast meetings at the RUNWAY (early-phase incubator), open to guests.
  • Trainings and workshops for founders and entrepreneurs at Technopark Winterthur (see the event directory of Technopark Winterthur)
  • Quarterly “Innovation Apéro” with guest speakers and (sometimes) technology demonstrators at the Technopark Winterthur (see the event directory of Technopark Winterthur)
  • Seminars and Workshops of the ZHAW University of Applied Sciences (continuing education program)

Yearly Or Major Events, Festivals, Conferences:

Volunteering Possibilities:

Second Stop: Park At A Coworking Space In Winterthur

Winterthur Startup City Guide StartUs Magazine

Coworking is still a new trend in Winterthur. Most places just opened recently. One of the pioneers in bringing Coworking to the city of Winterthur is Technopark Winterthur with their coworking space WORKERIA.

Coworking Spaces In Winterthur:

Winterthur’s important coworking spaces are mostly listed in the Swiss Coworking Directory. Here is a current list:

  • WORKERIA at Technopark Winterthur (large, with a good startup community and many events)
  • MyWigWam in the Lokstadt district (neat, personal place, quiet)
  • WintiOffice in the historic center (if you need to be in the very downtown area)
  • MSM in the historic center (operated by a law firm – closest to legal advice)
  • UG2 in the historic center (with good food at the same spot)
  • COWORKING SPACES Winterthur in the Töss district (just opened up)

There are also a number of temporary or experimental coworking spaces, e.g. at the Museum Schaffen.

Third Stop: Tank Your Finances In Winterthur

Winterthur Startup City Guide StartUs Magazine

Switzerland is densely populated with incubator and accelerator programs, grants, competitions, business angels, venture capital investors and the like. Most, if not all, act on a national if not international level – a limitation or preference to a region or to a city is mostly not a good choice.

You find the best overviews for financial support in the following directories:

But of course, in Winterthur there are also a number of regional initiatives:


  • RUNWAY – early phase startup incubator


Grants & Subventions:

Crowd Investing Platforms:

Fourth Stop: Seek Further Advice & Opportunities In Winterthur

Winterthur Startup City Guide StartUs Magazine

These are the best addresses for personal advice from experienced locals:

A directory of the best support organizations and offerings is published online – including contact persons and direct email and phone numbers on Startup Guide Winterthur. This directory is maintained by the three organizations mentioned above.



The guides are like startup communities – they constantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!

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