> Start-ups > Vanguard Accelerator


The Vanguard Accelerator is a free six-month programme, run by Biopôle SA and its partners, to help promising digital-health-oriented projects supercharge their innovation and take their business strategy to the next level.

This immersive programme is a unique opportunity for early-stage start-ups to work with diverse and experienced digital health experts, who can advise on business plans and strategies. They include clinicians, nurses and pharmacists, alongside regulators, investors and IT specialists, all ready to offer their expertise. Any start-ups selected for the accelerator programme will benefit from exclusive real-world insights for business hypothesis testing and networking support to bring their innovation in digital health to life. In addition to enjoying six months of desk space at Biopôle, companies profit from the support of a dedicated programme manager, who makes sure they have the resources they need to build momentum and achieve their goals.

dedicated to early-stage companies and projects

Biopôle launched the accelerator
to boost emerging projects
from clinicians, caregivers and pharmacists to regulators, investors and IT specialists
month programme
to build rock-solid business foundations
to accompany start-ups throughout the process

Supported companies & Alumni


Companies enrolled on the Vanguard Accelerator benefit from:

  • constructive feedback from the Vanguard experts
  • personalised follow-up from at least one Vanguard expert about a specific business strategy
  • regular meetings coordinated by the programme manager for broader access to the healthcare network and digital health stakeholders
  • six months of free access to the Digital Health Hub infrastructure, with up to two desks in an open workspace and use of the meeting rooms
  • discounted access to the DH2 infrastructure for the six months following the programme (subject to the approval of the Vanguard experts)
  • financial support to carry out projects in collaboration with H4, the hub for innovation in health and care in Vaud
  • dedicated support from partner organisations for financing, business modelling, coaching, etc. (if applicable).


The start-ups commit to:

  • being physically present at the Digital Health Hub on a regular basis for the full six months of the programme
  • following up with the experts they’ve been introduced to
  • mentioning the support they’ve received from the Vanguard Accelerator on their website throughout the time they are on the programme.

We massively grew our network. It helped us to shape our business and position ourselves in a more mature way. We wouldn’t be here without them!

Anna Luisa Schaffgotsch, Founder and CEO of Impli


We welcome applications from early-stage companies or projects that plan to deliver high-added-value work at Biopôle and in the canton of Vaud. The only prerequisites are that you’ve reached proof of concept (POC) and can show that the project has potentially impactful clinical relevance. So far, we have welcomed projects focusing on mobile health, electronic medical records, wearable devices, telemedicine and personalised medicine. However, any health project that integrates digital technologies is welcome to apply.

To apply for the Vanguard Accelerator, complete the application form online. Applications are accepted all-year round and undergo a review process. Suitable companies are then invited to present to the Vanguard experts. The experts select companies for the programme based on the quality of the application, the project’s potential impact, its clinical relevance and how well it fits with the committee’s expertise.

Next application deadlines

  • 7th February, 2024 (Vanguard experts’ review: 28th February)
  • 17th April, 2024 (Vanguard experts’ review: 8th May)
  • 28th August, 2024 (Vanguard experts’ review: 11th September)
  • 6th November, 2024 (Vanguard experts’ review: 27th November)

Application form

What happens once you’ve been accepted?

Successful applicants first attend an onboarding meeting to set critical objectives to achieve while on the programme. This is followed by six months of personalised support with a firm focus on helping the CEO and their team carry the business forwards. By providing access to experts across a range of disciplines and areas, the Biopôle Vanguard Accelerator seeks to challenge and consolidate business models and help companies embark on a new stage in their development.


The aim of the Vanguard Accelerator is to help consolidate the business plan of each start-up enrolled on the programme and help them to launch new pilot projects, finalise investment rounds or begin clinical studies. The Vanguard Accelerator aims to fast-track the design and adoption of digital health innovation. The experts are the people who will help you get there.

Cindy Blackburn
Director, Digital Health at CSL Behring
Anette Chauhan
Business leader in Medical Technologies, Becton Dickinson
Pierre Chauvineau
Chairman of the Board at Sequana Medical
Laurent Christe
Senior Engagement Manager chez La Poste Suisse
Rodolphe Eurin
CEO at Hôpital de La Tour
Ghada Farah
SVP, Terumo Interventional Systems, EMEA at Terumo Europe
Shayesteh  Fuerst-Ladani
CEO of SFL Group of Companies
Anna Gräbner

Peter Greaney
Co-Founder Populus Bio
Tom Gibbs
Director Debiopharm Innovation Fund at Debiopharm Group
Beat Haldemann
Responsable du système d'information de la Direction générale de la santé at Etat de Vaud
Diana Hardie
CEO Swiss Healthcare Startups
Sasha Hirzel
Digital Health & Digital Therapeutics
Thomas Hugle
Professor and Head of Rheumatology, University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV)
Jean-Luc Jaquier
Partner & Head of Healthcare at OWT, a Swisscom company
Tim Juergens
Co-Founder & General Manager en SeedLink SL
Nicolas Loeillot
Business Models and Innovation Development - Strategy and Corporate services at CSS insurance
Cristina Lovera-Haas
Head Business Excellence & Execution at Novartis
Remco Loos
Senior Director, Predictive Sciences at Bristol Myers Squibb
Christian Perrudet
Senior Brand Manager at iQone
Angelina Rau
Legal & Compliance Counsel at Novo Nordisk

Ramon Roig
Director Corporate Development, New Ventures & Strategic Alliances
Philippe Ryvlin
Head of Department of Clinical Neurosciences chez CHUV
Dominique Truchot-Cardot
Professeur Institut et Haute Ecole La Source. Lausanne
Alexandra Vallon-Eberhard
Senior Director Global Business Development at Roche
Thierry Weber
Partner, Vivactis Group
Nasri Nahas
CEO, Biopôle SA
Pierre-Jean Wipff
Innovation and Partnerships Director, Biopôle SA


The best way to learn about the Vanguard Accelerator is to have a chat with Pierre-Jean Wipff, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at Biopôle. Pierre-Jean is a seasoned innovation adviser with entrepreneurship experience. Alongside managing the Vanguard Accelerator, he runs the Corporate Partnerships Programme and sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biopôle Start-up Fund.

Take the first step towards joining our accelerator by sending Pierre-Jean a message.