Successful startups have


Boards of Directors


Day 1


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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..)


Executive Director

Swiss Expert Committee for Biosafety 

Isabel Hunger - Glaser

Board Member at several international startups such as WayRay SA

Philippe D. Monnier

Head of Startup Initiatives

Penny Schiffer

Board Member at Atlantik Gesundheit AG

Sergio Legrant

Executive Coach at Oyster Development

Paul Watkins

Course Leader

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.


Julian Foulger

Julian is CEO of Swiss Mergers and Acquisitions, a partner in Longbow (high-value asset recovery) and non-executive chairman of Swiss biometrics (face and voice) company Keylemon. He brings with him a wealth of experience of sitting on boards of directors in Europe, USA and the Far East, both as an executive and a non-executive director in start-up and established companies.

Prior to moving to Switzerland, Julian co-founded, via a buyout of a charity’s assets, with 5 others the Shaw Healthcare Group, filling the position of Business Development Director responsible for both financing and contract negotiations, which owns and operates 80 nursing homes and specialist private hospitals. Prior to Shaw Healthcare he was CFO of mobile 3G telecoms infrastructure company start-up Wireless Systems International, which he joined from global Japanese CAD / CAM software group Zuken-Redac where he was Group CFO. Julian’s first commercial role was as CFO of publishing (subscriptions and books) and training company Sewells International.

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

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​

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

Total fee for each participant is CHF 950.-, 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: Vanessa Burningham

September/October Session 2019, Lausanne


Day 1: 24th September, 2019

Day 2: 1st October, 2019

Day 3: 8th October, 2019

Day 4: 29th October 2019

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

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