The Ultimate Liechtenstein Startup City Guide

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Liechtenstein, the world's 6th smallest state, is big when it comes to startups! Our Startup City Guide will walk you through Liechtenstein's startup community, funding opportunities & coworking spaces:

Since Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest state in the world, it’s often underrated even though this country has developed into a business location in a class of its own within the last 60 years. This current standard can be attributed to excellent framework conditions and appealing growth perspectives. It’s no coincidence that more than 4000 enterprises are operating from here – among them several niche players who assert themselves in the world market successfully. A few famous examples to be named are Hilti AG, Thyssen Krupp Presta AG, as well as Hilcona AG or OC Oerlikon Balzers. Companies in Liechtenstein develop, produce and sell leading products and services to the world – enabled through frameworks such as a good access to well-educated specialists in the interior of the country as well as to the adjoining area of the lake of Constance.

The geographically centered location is of particular importance because it facilitates a direct market access to all states of the European Union and the European economic area as well as to the economic zone of Switzerland. Due to the customs treaty with Switzerland, Liechtenstein is part of the Swiss customs territory. Moreover, Liechtenstein uses the Swiss Franc (CHF). The access to all these important markets is ensured thanks to several international agreements. Companies and startups benefit from the free movement of goods, human capital, services and financial capital within the EU/EWR internal market. Apart from this, the principality of Liechtenstein is a member of the European free trade association and benefits from one of the biggest networks regarding free trade associations worldwide.

Not least, the acknowledged stability and reliability of Liechtenstein as a Triple-A state contributes to the country’s status as a lucrative location for contemporary enterprises. An additional important part of the economy of Liechtenstein is the professional, stable and innovative finance center. Subsequent to the industry, financial services form the largest economic factor.

GPS Direction: Liechtenstein

Advantages Of Building A Startup In Liechtenstein:

  • Easy founding process – especially for FinTechs – supported by the government as well as by the Technopark (see below) who specializes in promoting FinTech ideas
  • Strong networks involving companies and universities to facilitate research and development, prototyping and collaborations
  • Support, mentoring and financing of startups, enabled by institutions such as the Technopark, credit institutions as well as private and industrial investors
  • Closeness to big and international cities but still away from the stress that comes with bigger cities
  • Creative open workspaces with a unique atmosphere
  • An ideal testing market since Liechtenstein has the ability to adapt to the needs of startups
  • A high level of political continuity and stability
  • One of the countries with the highest credit-worthiness in the world (Triple-A)
  • Swiss Franc as the legal currency – one of the strongest currencies in the world
  • Several state support opportunities for startups
  • A unique legal form for foundations with an innovative character – The Liechtenstein Venture Cooperative (LVC)
  • Financial strengths of the public sector
  • High frequency of investment capital in companies and banks as well as angel investors that merge within seed funds
  • Short founding periods (approximately one week), promoted by the manageable size of the country; this provides flexibility and short decision paths
  • Manageable founding costs
  • Closeness to leading business partners in the industrial sector
  • Technological know-how within the immediate environment
  • Two market accesses (EU/EFA) that enable to operate easily in Europe since it facilitates trade and provides shorts ways for the import and export of goods
  • A simple tax system (flat tax) and a moderate business taxation
  • Liberal economic policy and liberal company law
  • Stable legal-, economic- and social order
  • A sound fiscal policy of the public budget
  • The University of Liechtenstein offers a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship – an ideal place to find motivated and inspiring team members and young talents

Liechtenstein borders with Switzerland in the west and in the south while the borders in the east and in the north touch Austria. Even Germany is only less than one hour away. Already the geographical location contributes to Liechtenstein as a versatile and desirable place to live – considering economical as well as free-time aspects.

The principality of Liechtenstein itself offers several highlights and attractions. No matter if you are looking for culture, culinary offerings, adventure or recreation – you will find it here. The breathtaking landscape provides various possibilities for free time activities. From hiking to biking, climbing or skiing – there is always something to do. Malbun is a well known and popular destination for winter vacationers while in the summertime, this alpine idyll, and the adjoining mountains, offer a whole range of outdoor activities including refreshing lakes for swimming. If you are into watersports you’ll benefit from the closeness to the lake of Constance which is accessible from Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. You can go sailing, motor boating, wind- or kitesurfing or simply swimming and sunbathing.

What Founders Have To Consider:

  • The limited business areas that Liechtenstein specializes in, such as FinTech, communications and safety technology, packaging, environment, recycling, measurement and controlling technology or automation, meaning that if your startup idea does not correspond to these fields it might not be the place for you.
  • Regarding the connectivity and the accessibility, it has to be mentioned that Liechtenstein itself has no airport. We recommend Zurich as the airport with the biggest amount of flight connections. It’s 115 km away, which takes about 60 minutes by car. Airports that are much closer are Altenrhein (50 km) and Friedrichshafen (85 km) but they offer fewer destinations.
  • The costs of living and housing are equal to the ones in Switzerland, which means that Liechtenstein is quite expensive. However, you can benefit from the proximity to Austria and Germany. There you profit from affordable housing and living costs. Commuting between work and home is quite common in this region. Depending on where you live, it will take you 15 to 45 minutes to get to work by car.

If the above-mentioned minor obstacles made you become doubtful, probably you should take one step back and consider the corporate path. If you stick to your startup plan, let’s continue our trip and see how you can become a part of the startup community of Liechtenstein and its surrounding area. Meet ambitious people & great minds who can become your co-founders, mentors, investors, and friends.

First Stop: Discover Liechtenstein’s Startup Community

The Ultimate Liechtenstein Startup City Guide

The fastest and easiest way to connect with people from the startup community is to involve yourself by visiting regional startup and business events. Let’s take a look at where you can find information about upcoming events.

Find Info About Upcoming Events, Meetups & Other Occasions:

  • Technopark – The Technopark informs you about all events in Liechtenstein that primarily deal with site-specific business issues, this is why those events are mostly about startups, technology, and innovation-driven topics.
  • Liechtenstein Business – Here you can find all types of business events – general ones and startup-specific ones, that take place in the principality of Liechtenstein.
  • Eventbrite – Here you can search for all kinds of events in your city and the surrounding area. The filter allows you to focus on different business categories.
  • University Liechtenstein – The University informs you about all kinds of workshops, conferences, and activities that take place on the campus. Entrepreneurs will regularly discover interesting events on their site.
  • Meetup – Most of the business events that take place in Liechtenstein are being promoted on Meetup. Just put a filter to focus on a certain category or city and make sure you won’t miss out anything.

Regular Events & Meetups:

  • Lean Startup Friday – This event is always dedicated to one startup-specific subject. Experts give a lecture and all participants can share their experiences.
  • Business Speed Dating – This event is a platform for linking people, enterprises and services. 2 minutes are given to each participant to present their business model to all other participants in one-on-one conversations. (The page is updated regularly with upcoming events.)

Yearly Or Major Events, Festivals, Conferences:

  • Business Plan Contest – This contest takes place once every year. Everyone who has a business idea that is linked with the principality of Liechtenstein, no matter if you are a native, or simply located here – if the country benefits from your idea you can submit your business plan and it will be reviewed by a committee of experts. The winner receives 10,000.00 CHF. But also the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed will be awarded and receive prize money.
  • The Investor Summit – A professional networking platform in Liechtenstein with a strong external impact. It’s an event where innovation meets assets. Startups that require capital will be connected with investors. This is why the Investor Summit has become a unique platform for business development in Liechtenstein.
  • Ideenkanal – The “idea channel” is a process of promoting ideas and serves individuals, located in Liechtenstein, who want to develop and scale meaningful projects. By the means of modern online tools and innovative events, the idea channel identifies and promotes outstanding ideas of motivated people and supplies a team of mentors that support them to finance their project via crowdfunding and raise international awareness. Special attention is paid to projects that are in an early stage of development and that contribute to the public interest in the fields of environment, mobility, technology, social issues, education, wealth as well as arts and culture. Appropriate initiatives may have a commercial background to be successful in the course of a social enterprise.
  • START Summit – Europe’s leading student-run conference for entrepreneurship and technology gathering more than 2000 participants with the aim of connecting relevant stakeholders. Its target is inspiring and educating early-stage founders and students in order to enable innovation. The focus lies on topics guided by today’s mega-trends, such as Blockchain, HealthTech, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
  • START Hack –  START Hack is an annually organized hackathon in St. Gallen, Switzerland. More than 400 hackers from all over the world get together to work on a challenge or their own project. The focus is on the megatrends Blockchain, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Venture Kick Zürich – A three-stage funding model, striving to raise the attractiveness of young companies to experts, investors, and industry partners. It was initiated to support Swiss startups with enough funding to kick-start their entrepreneurial business. Startups can qualify to receive up to 130,000 CHF in start capital. After each stage, promising entrepreneurs are also offered professional support and mentoring in developing their business by attending the 2-day Kicker’s camps. Furthermore, they are offered connections and a professional network. Selected members of a jury, involving more than 150 leading startup experts in Switzerland, evaluate 20 startup projects of different stages every month on three sessions.

Second Stop: Park At A Coworking Space In Liechtenstein

The Ultimate Liechtenstein Startup City Guide

The best way to get set up and join the right community is finding the appropriate workspace. Major coworking spaces ensure to host events and create an open atmosphere for startups. There, you may also find potential business partners or investors. Liechtenstein offers several different possibilities for startups and companies to rent working spaces adapting to your size, your budget, your business operations or simply your taste.

Coworking Spaces In Liechtenstein:

  • Kommod Büro und Geschäftshaus – A comfortable way of working. Kommod offers various offices as well as conference rooms, event lounges, and a hotel. Benefit from all their services and make use of the supplied infrastructure.
  • Technopark Liechtenstein – People who are looking for a startup atmosphere, other founders, frequent networking events and startup coaching as a service will find the perfect place to work at Technopark. This is the ideal workspace for startups that focus on the business areas FinTech, communications and safety technology, packaging, environment, recycling, measurement and controlling technology or automation. The Technopark specializes in accommodating and supporting startups with their know-how and their network.
  • Liechtensteiner Business Center – Offers working spaces for a dynamic teamwork and enables you to benefit from their infrastructure and several services.
  • Kokon Corporate Campus – Offers high-class offices including a bunch of additional services like a fitness center and a 24-hour daycare center.
  • Coworking Space Vaduz – Offers temporary coworking spaces in different inspiring places.

Third Stop: Thank Your Finances In Liechtenstein

The Ultimate Liechtenstein Startup City Guide

Having enough capital on your own to fund your business is on one hand definitely desirable but on the other hand, it’s quite unusual. Fortunately, you don’t have to manage everything alone nowadays. In Liechtenstein and its surrounding area of the lake of Constance as well as the eastern part of Switzerland with Zurich and St. Gallen, you can find several points of contact where you can receive the support you need. This refers not only to the capital since new businesses often require different missing assets like co-founders, mentors or networks. We help you to overcome these obstacles – so let’s go ahead and get started!


  • KMU-Zentrum – The Center of SMEs, which is part of the University of Liechtenstein, is dedicated to contributing to the continuation of this tradition and supports local small and medium-sized enterprises during their development – starting with the foundation stage, within their first years of existence, during their period of growth as well as within change processes.
  • Technopark Liechtenstein – The Technopark offers more than just coworking spaces. It’s a place for networking, ideating and inspiration. You will meet entrepreneurs from many different business areas for a unique exchange. Furthermore, the Technopark is a competent partner who can support you at each stage. Since it is a member of the Technopark-Allianz Switzerland, it has a huge network you can benefit from. Technopark has powerful industrial partners and is linked with several laboratories, which is helpful for prototyping. Last but not least, the Technopark has its own financing tools to support you regarding seed financing. When it comes to growth financing, the Technopark is able to give you access to investors.

Grants & Subventions:

  • Innovation- & Exportcheck – These two funding tools are periodically provided by the government and are addressed to small and medium-sized enterprises. The innovation check enables SME’s to draw research and innovation benefits from research institutions without bureaucratic burdens. In doing so, an easy incentive is offered to those enterprises to corporate with research centers regarding the planning and development of new or significantly enhanced products, services or manufacturing methods. In the year 2017, thirty cheques in total, valued 10,000.00 CHF each, have been authorized.
  • KTI – The Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI) supports applied research and development. Since 2016, companies from Switzerland and/or Liechtenstein are given the possibility to unlimitedly launch projects in cooperation with research facilities. The projects will be, subject to the condition that they are eligible, accompanied by a KTI-expert. The purpose of these projects is to „transform knowledge into money“. Projects will be, regardless of their scientific character, supported as long as they provide an economic benefit in the form of a job. Whether a feasibility study which costs a few thousand CHF or large scale projects – everything is possible here.
  • Rhy-Search – A public institution that is bankrolled by the Swiss canton of St. Gallen and the principality of Liechtenstein. The objective of RhySearch is to strengthen the innovativeness and the competitiveness of the regional high-tech workplace, as well as the particular applied research & development sustainably through a corporation in research. The areas of focus are applied research & development within the technology of coating, precision manufacturing as well as within packing technology.

Angel Investors:

  • Business Angels Club Liechtenstein – „Business Angels Club Liechtenstein“ (BACL) was successfully established in October 2017. The idea behind this association is the amalgamation of startups that require capital on one hand and growth companies that require potential investors, who could lend support by providing know-how, relations, and an asset on the other hand. Everyone who is interested in investing in startups and growth companies and who wants to dedicate themselves to promote this kind of enterprises is welcome to become a member of the BACL.

Fourth Stop: Seek Further Advice & Opportunities In Liechtenstein

The Ultimate Liechtenstein Startup City Guide

To sum up, Liechtenstein and its adjoining areas – the Rheintal and the lake of Constance – offer innumerable advantages for founders. Furthermore, it’s a unique, breathtaking place to live. Fast procedures, manageable setup costs, tax benefits and a variety of promotional subsidies are just a few out of many aspects to be mentioned. As the first point of contact, we recommend the Technopark Liechtenstein as an excellent advisor for founders. This institution, which was founded by startup experts will inform you about all important steps and things that have to be taken into account. They can guide you and provide you with all the support you require. So, if you can’t wait to go ahead and get started – Liechtenstein is welcoming you!



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