Master project in your start-up

Since Spring 2018, you have the opportunity to perform your master thesis in your own company, even if it is not yet incorporated.

  • You will be hosted by the EPFL Innovation Park Foundation.
  • You will be supervised by a professor for academic purposes, as well as a professional business coach from EPFL Innovation Park for business purposes.


We recommend you to start the application process one year before your master project starts.

We proceed to the candidate selection six months before it actually starts.

Full application deadline (step 5) for master thesis taking place in Spring 2021: Sunday September 27th, 2020.

Full application deadline (step 5) for master thesis taking place in Autumn 2021: Sunday February 21st, 2021.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria of your section apply as for a master thesis in industry.

Beware: some section forbid students who have done an industry internship to do their master thesis in industry. This would also apply for a master thesis in your own start-up.

Application process

We highly recommend that you get in touch at [email protected] as soon as you are interested in this program, so that we can build your project together.

  1. Send a quick email at [email protected] just to mention that you would like to apply.
  2. Define a scientific question which answer would be useful to develop your start-up. It should be at least as challenging as a regular master project in a lab or in industry.
  3. Find a professor to supervise your project.
  4. Write a project description including academic objectives for the project together with the professor. The professor should sign them.
  5. Send a full application file to [email protected], including:
    1. A description of your company including
      1. the problem you are trying to solve,
      2. the solution you are bringing,
      3. the proof of market validation of your solution,
      4. what was achieved so far,
      5. the next objectives you are targeting.
    2. A cover letter detailing your motivation to join the program.
    3. A description of your master project, including academic objectives, signed by the professor who will supervise you.
    4. A list of business objectives, to help us find the suitable business coach to supervise you.
  6. Pitch your project in front of the selection committee.
    1. 15 minutes presentation.
    2. 15 minutes questions.