Grants for Entrepreneurial Projects in Quantum

Are you developing a promising technology in the quantum field? Do you intend to bring it to the market through a startup? Then the joint EPFL Startup Launchpad – QSE Center call for projects might be for you!

The EPFL Startup Launchpad and the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering (QSE Center) have joined forces to invest in the quantum technologies of tomorrow, and accelerate the journey from lab to market. The partnership is offering two funding opportunities for selected projects. The total allocated amount for this initiative is up to CHF 180K for a period of two years. It may increase on an as-needed basis.

Successful candidates can subsequently apply for an intern through the Venture Building Internships program to increase speed and complement the team with additional expertise.

These opportunities are open to internal and external applicants, as long as there is an EPFL lab hosting the work.

Ignition Grant: CHF 30k

Early stage market fit validation: discovering and validating your customers, building your startup story and developing a first working demonstration. The funding can be used in the form of salary and/or consumables and/or outsourcing needs. The grant is for a maximum of 6 months.

Innogrant: CHF 100k

The opportunity to spend a full year to develop your startup project and get ready for investment and market. The grant is in the form of a one year salary for the startup driver. The grant is for a maximum of 6 months.

Venture Building Internships

To help you achieve your goals and build your team, in addition to the above grants, you have the opportunity to hire a freshly graduated EPFL engineer having finished their master thesis in the last 6 months.

The funding under this initiative offers the opportunity to entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of their venture by funding the:

  • Advanced Proof of Concept, product design, prototype development and/or minimum viable product (MVP) design
  • Design and development of compelling digital solutions (user interfaces/software development)
  • Technology de-risking and benchmarking (for example: further testing of the technology, comparative analyses, etc.)
  • Market assessment, startup strategy, business model and plan (for example : customer feedback collection and analysis, competition analysis, market segmentation etc.)
  • Projects should be clearly identified as being in the following area: cutting edge quantum technologies and enabling technologies
  • Projects should have a clear start-up vision
  • Projects should be led by an EPFL startup project leader or, in case of applications from outside EPFL, by a startup project leader who has the ability to relocate to EPFL for the time of the grant and is accepted to be hosted by an EPFL laboratory
  • Entrepreneur will be employed by EPFL
  • Any new intellectual property generated during the project will be filed with EPFL’s Technology Transfer Office, with the intent to commercialize and enable the applicant to pursue his/her start-up project
  • Technological innovation / novelty 
  • Market impact (commercial potential and business model)
  • Entrepreneurial drive, engagement
  • Impact of the grant funding on achieving expected outcome(s) and accelerating the technology commercialization in a meaningful way

How to Apply:

Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee comprising experts from the the EPFL Startup Unit and the QSE Center. 

Deadline: August 31, 2022.
The shortlist will be communicated September 30. The final awardees will be announced October 15.

For further questions, contact: [email protected]