Frequently Asked Questions about UCreate
To whom is the UCreate program for ?
UCreate is open to :
- All UNIL students (Bachelor & Master)
- UNIL doctoral students, researchers and professors
- UNIL alumni
- UNIL administrative and technical staff (PAT)
- Unisanté employees (researchers, clinicians, students and administrative and technical staff)
At least one member of the project team must meet the above membership criteria
What is the difference between phase 1 and phase 2 ?
Phase 1 will enable you to explore your idea, transform it into a value proposition and carry out an initial validation of its desirability on the market. This inclusive phase comprises 5 modules and coaching sessions. It culminates in a presentation of your project (pitch format) to a panel of judges. Projects that wish to do so and are selected by the jury will have the opportunity to move on to phase 2 of the programme.
Phase 2 enables you to turn your project into a reality with real entrepreneurial ambitions. This selective phase comprises 7 modules and a dedicated coach for your team, as well as financial support of up to CHF 10,000. It will enable you to create a prototype to test the viability and feasibility of your project and acquire the skills needed to set up your own business. The dates for phase 2 will be announced during phase 1.
This programme takes place twice a year. Phase 1 starts in October and March. You can therefore join the programme in either October or March of each year.
Can I apply directly for phase 2 ?
It is not possible to enter phase 2 directly. To enter phase 2, you must participate in phase 1 and pitch your project at the end of phase 1. A jury will select the projects eligible for phase 2.
How does phase 2 work ?
Phase 2 runs as follows :
What are the eligibility criteria for the UCreate program ?
To be eligible for phase 1 of the UCreate programme :
- At least one member of the team must be a member of the UNIL community (student, researcher, professor, employee or alumni) or of Unisanté.
- Projects in the creation phase, in the test phase, but not yet in the active marketing phase, are eligible. If a company or association has been registered, it must have been registered less than 6 months ago.
Are all the projects accepted in phase 1 ?
The HUB team will review the eligibility of all projects submitted between now and the end of the call for projects (see question on eligibility). We accept a maximum of 30 projects per semester. Beyond this number, the HUB will select the projects accepted. Projects with an impact (social and/or environmental) will be favoured.
Where and when is the program held ?
All modules will be held face-to-face at the Villanova on the UNIL campus (access here), from 6pm to 9pm, unless otherwise specified (see schedule above). Please note that the first onboarding module of phase 1 will take place on a Saturday.
Is there a charge for the program ?
The program is free.
Is there any financial support available?
In phase 1, projects receive no financial support.
In phase 2, the selected teams receive financial support of up to CHF 10,000 to develop their project. In particular, this support will enable them to test their product(s)/service(s) on the market, develop a prototype if required, or appoint an external expert in addition to the coaches or mentors available. Each request will be validated on a case-by-case basis by the program manager and the HUB management. This money cannot be used to pay salaries.
What are my commitments as a program participant?
Participants undertake to attend the program workshops and take part in the final pitches.
What language is the program in?
This program is bilingual French-English (adapted according to participants’ language skills). Participants can express themselves in their preferred language (French/English).
How many projects can this program accomodate ?
In phase 1, this program can accommodate up to 30 projects. If more projects apply, projects with an impact (social and/or environmental) will be favoured.
In phase 2, this programme can accept up to 10 projects. These projects will be selected by the jury following their participation in phase 1.
When can I use the Villanova workspace provided by the HUB ?
As a participant in the UCreate program, you will have resident status at Villanova, giving you 24/7 access to the Workshop area (Level 2) and the UCreate area (Level 3) during the programme and 6 months afterwards. You will be given full details at the start of the programme.
Do I have to be alone or in a team to take part in the program ?
Phase 1, you can be alone or in a team.
Phase 2, you must be at least 2 people.
I am a UNIL employee and I have a project related to my work. Can I participate in UCreate ?
The HUB Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers a program dedicated exclusively to UNIL employees who wish to implement innovative solutions to institutional challenges. This program is called Impulse. For more information please visit ucreate.ch/impulse/