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Venture asset management

Launched in November 2022 in partnership with the leading Swiss venture platform Swiss Ventures Group, the Venture Asset Management initiative (VAM) is pioneering, accelerating, and deepening the required understanding of venture asset management for investment professionals in Switzerland and Europe.

Our activities can be categorized into three distinct areas: research, education, and community outreach.

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An overwhelming inaugural year

During its first year, the initiative received attention from the media, we built numerous partnerships with corporations, governmental agencies, and educational institutions, and we launched an inaugural program that received an overwhelming number of applications.

 - IMD Business School

“With this new collaboration, IMD can demonstrate its unique expertise in the start-up area and offer interested parties the opportunity to broaden their knowledge around start-ups, understand their requirements, and anticipate their needs.”

Karl Schmedders, Program Director and Professor of Finance
 - IMD Business School

“This unique collaboration will accelerate the understanding, awareness, and expertise in venture asset management across Switzerland and Europe. With our unique professional network, we will support bridging the gap between the status quo and the dynamic potential of venture asset management.”

Mike Baur, Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Ventures Group, Switzerland
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Demystifying to enhance understanding

Our research focuses on three core dimensions to enhance institutional investors’ grasp of the venture assets class: venture capital funds, venture investors, and businesses seeking capital.

Through a podcast series titled Capital Conversations, launched in November 2023 on the I by IMD knowledge hub, we offer open-access insights into cutting-edge topics related to venture asset management and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, we published three I by IMD magazine articles in 2023: “Why venture capitalists aren’t afraid of losing money,” “Why investors should look again at private equity,” and “Should you consider venture assets as an alternative investment?”

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High demand for our new program

To bring the initiative’s thought leadership to life and address interest from the ecosystem, a two-day Venture Asset Management (VAM) program was developed in record time and launched in August 2023.

The curriculum was built around lectures by IMD faculty members and special guests who addressed a wide array of topics such as why include venture capital in the context of allocating a global portfolio, how opportunities for startups should be selected for pursuit, how a fund operates, and what a venture capitalist does, to name but a few.

Given the incredible attention the program attracted, the number of participants more than doubled to 41, and the program is currently set to run twice in 2024. The participants’ interdisciplinary backgrounds included representatives from four broad categories: institutional investors, individual investors and family offices, entrepreneurs, and service providers.

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“I very much enjoyed the program and the engaging combination of expert insights, peer exchange, and actionable frameworks.”

Guillaume Hingel, World Economic Forum

The VAM program is currently undergoing accreditation processes by the Association of Swiss Asset Managers, VSV–ASG, and conversations are ongoing for accreditation by the Swiss Training Center for Financial Professionals, AZEK. Once the VAM program is accredited, it could potentially be added to the official curriculum of each respective partner.

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Building a community with our partners

Community building around the topic of venture capital as an asset class took off with the establishment of 10 partnerships – in addition to or founding partners the Swiss Ventures Group – to support events and communication. Partners include government, higher education institutions, financial training organizations, and investor groups.

  • Innovaud
  • EPFL alumni
  • EPFL Vice Presidency for Innovation
  • VSV – ASG
  • AZEK
  • Business Angels Switzerland
  • Le Temps
  • SECA
  • Swiss Food Valley Network

During 2023, our partners represented the initiative as high-caliber speakers and attendees at events such as the Swiss Economic Forum and the SICTIC Investor Day.

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“The program changed my perspective. Understanding the various stakeholders’ objectives and interests is very helpful for interacting with venture capitalists.”

Jeanne Chatelle, Nestlé Purina