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Successful startups have


Boards of Directors


DAY 1 - Program

Back to the basics

  • What’s so special about startups?

  • Roles and duties

    • Company bodies (General Assembly, BOD, Auditors)

    • Swiss legal framework

    • Responsibilities of a BOD member

    • Being a BOD member in a start-up

  • Principles of good governance

    • Best practices for startups

    • Role of the BOD at key stages in the life of a startup (future rounds, merger, exit, key person resignation)

  • Start-up environment

    • Classical risks and pitfalls for BOD members in startup

    • What questions to ask before joining a BOD?

    • Improving relations between shareholders, BOD and management

    • Building a successful BOD

    • BOD remuneration, what model to apply in startups?

  • Compliance

    • BOD members liabilities

    • Conflict of interests

  • Insurances

DAY 2 - Program

Finance for BOD Members

  • Understanding the Business Model

    • How solid is it?

    • What are the key success factors?

    • Case studies of successful  and failed business models in startups

  • Financial checklist

    • Key reminders

    • How to monitor the finances of a startup ?

    • Financial tools

    • Case studies of startups financials in good and bad shape

  • Overindebtedness (art. 725 CO)

    • Duty of the BOD

    • Risks for the BOD

    • Case studies

  • Role & Responsibilities of BOD members in financial management

  • Relation with auditors

  • Startup financing and BOD involvement

DAY 3 - Program

Crisis Management

  • Crisis Management in a startup

    • What are the common causes of startup crises?

    • How to identify the early signs of a crisis?

    • Crisis response recommendations

    • What actions to take as a BOD member?

    • Communication in the crisis

    • Groups role play

  • Insolvency

    • Type of enforcement proceedings

    • Role and responsibility of the BOD

    • When to call the judge?

    • What actions to take ?

    • How to present the case to the judge ?

    • BOD liability in a bankruptcy procedure

    • Groups role play

DAY 4 - Program

BOD Members meet Startups

Real life exercise

  • 4 startups, which have already incorporated, are invited to present to participants, acting as potential BOD members

  • At the end of the presentation, each startup describes its ideal board (skills & personality)

  • 4 groups are created among the participants with the closest match with each of the startup  requirements

  • Each group, with the support of a trainer, conducts its due diligence as future BOD member, interacting with the startup management team

  • Each group gives the results of its due diligence to the startup with a list of recommendations

  • Startups give their feedbacks to the due diligence team (how they feel about this experience, lessons learned, communication process, etc..)


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The course was a great experience!

Not only did I learn a lot, especially from the shared experiences from the instructors, but we also had the opportunity to talk to other persons with similar interests yet with a completely different background.

Executive Director

Swiss Expert Committee for Biosafety 

Isabel Hunger - Glaser

Isabel Hunger - Glaser

Philippe D. Monnier.png

The Board Academy Training is particularly useful because course leaders are successful practitioners, the content is down-to-earth and participants provide excellent networking opportunities.

Highly recommended!

Board Member at several international startups such as WayRay SA

Philippe D. Monnier

Philippe D. Monnier


I was really impressed by the quality and experience of the speakers but also by the great knowledge and high level of discussions with the participants.

Head of Startup Initiatives

Penny Schiffer

Penny Schiffer

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I’ve decided to attend the BA to learn how to mitigate the legal and financial risks that go together with a board membership in Switzerland.

To perform well as a BOD there are a couple of things you need to know and experience. That’s exactly what this academy has provided me.

Board Member at Atlantik Gesundheit AG

Sergio Legrant

Sergio Legrant

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Acting on a Swiss board has some significant differences to other countries.


The SBMA sessions made those differences clear and gave a realistic and pragmatic experience of where a Swiss board member’s attention needs to be.

Executive Coach at Oyster Development

Paul Watkins

Paul Watkins


Virginie Verdon, Fast Track Board Academy, EPFL Innovation Park, entrepreneurship training, Board of Directors

Virginie Verdon

Virginie has a strong background in energy, clean-tech, telecommunication and IT sectors. Often called in during transition periods, she helps companies in their fast growing and restructuring phases. She brings her hands-on expertise in C-level management, finance, marketing & communication, and international business development.


Fascinated by organisations in transition, she took part in two IPOs, led a full privatisation process and restructured various SMEs as well as MNCs departments in multicultural environments.


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Brigitte Baumann

Brigitte Baumann is the Founder and ex-CEO of Go Beyond Early Stage Investing. In May 2015 EBAN (the European trade association for Business Angels and Seed Funds) named her European Investor of the Year. She is President Emeritus of EBAN and Chairs the Young Presidents Organization’s global Angel Investing group.

Brigitte has 20+ years experience in bringing new technologies to market in the US and Europe. She was the CEO and Director of iWORLD Group, a VC backed, global developer of mobile content. She was Senior Vice President and General Manager Internet at American Express (Amex) Corporate Services. Prior to that, Brigitte spent three years as President for US/Canada of Gemalto, a world leader in smart card technology. She also worked at McKinsey & Company as Senior Engagement Manager.

Brigitte has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University, Boston and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, Philadelphia.

Michel Jaccard, Fast Track Board Academy, EPFL Innovation Park, entrepreneurship training, Board of Directors

Michel Jaccard

Michel Jaccard is the founder of id est avocats. He has been involved in the last 20 years in more than a hundred corporate finance and M&A deals in Switzerland and abroad, acting for entrepreneurs and owners, venture capital and private equity firms, industrial buyers and financial sponsors. Along his corporate expertise, he sits on several advisory boards and regularly helps C-level execs and board members of SMEs and global brands navigate the world of advanced technologies, distributed computing, open source, data protection and cybersecurity, and more generally manage their online presence and digital transformation.


Michel holds a JD and PhD from the University of Lausanne and an LLM from Columbia Law School (Stone Scholar, Fulbright grantee). He is admitted to practice in Switzerland and New York, and has been highly recommended in Corporate/M&A, Technology, Media/Telecoms and Intellectual Property for the past 10 years by leading guides such as Chambers and Legal500.


He also maintains a blog on innovation and technology law and frequently acts as jury member or mentor in national and international startup competitions.

Jean de Wolff, Fast Track Board Academy, EPFL Innovation Park

Jean de Wolff​

Jean spent over 20 years in technology-oriented companies. His domains of expertise range from international sales to management of large telecom projects. While an executive in large multinational companies, he experienced many of the domestic and international development stages of a corporation. Jean is also an entrepreneur and started several ventures which have been successfully sold.

Jean is currently an Innosuisse Coach as well as a partner and board member of several small and medium-sized companies and startups. He also works as a consultant, advising entrepreneurs and SMEs.


Training starts from: 14:00-18:00

Location: EPFL Innovation Park

For full details of available dates, please click below

Total fee for each participant is CHF 1'490.-
Admission is subjected to a selection process. 
A special price applies to a limited number of new startup founders.

*Fast Track reserves the right to modify the program dates, location, and fee at any time.

For more information please contact directly: Björn Ignell

Fast Track Board Academy, EPFL Innovation Park, entrepreneurship training, Board of Directors
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