What makes a successful EIR?
- Collaborative approach They coach and mentor, rather than instruct, in order to develop more self-sufficient ecosystems.
- Cultural awareness They take the time to understand the culture of the country they’re working in and check their biases and expectations.
- Growth mindset They embrace giving and seeking constructive feedback.
- Low ego They believe they will get as much out of the EIR experience as they will give.
How does an average day as an EIR look?
Every day is different and in many ways, this is up to you – be prepared to be open and flexible, as things happen often without a lot of planning. Just as the ecosystem builders and entrepreneurs are not hand-held by Swiss EP, neither are you. We want you to immerse yourself in the ecosystem as much as possible so that we get the best feedback on the gaps and opportunities. So, your days will likely be a combination of:
- 1:1 meetings with incubators, accelerators, universities, angel networks, etc. to speak about their journey, strategies, business development.
- Delivering talks and workshops on your area of expertise to groups of entrepreneurs that the ecosystem builders are supporting.
- 1:1 meetings with entrepreneurs to mentor, coach, provide feedback and guidance.
- Contributing to startup events.
- Documenting your meetings, reactions, learnings, next steps.
- Providing constructive feedback to the Swiss EP team.
- Connecting the people you’re meeting with people in your network, if you so choose.
What should I expect before arriving in-country?
- The Swiss EP team will ask you for a photo, bio, and key areas of expertise so they can inform local partner organizations and set up workshops, talks, and meetings with those organizations whose entrepreneurs need your area of expertise.
- By the time you arrive, you will likely already have a few workshops and meetings on the calendar.
- You will receive information on the local ecosystem, downloads from past EIRs, a general introduction to the Swiss Entrepreneurship Program and some general cultural and logistical guidance.
I’ve never started a company; can I still apply to be an EIR?
Yes. While we do love having the unique experience of founders, we know that the experience of people who have worked as an employee at a startup is as valuable, so is the experience of people with deep subject-matter expertise. We treasure people with experience managing incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces. Most important to us is an entrepreneurial mindset, openness and sharing personal experiences.
What is the minimum time commitment?
We prefer EIRs stay a minimum of 1 month and spend 20 hours a week in meetings, delivering workshops, and generally immersed in the ecosystem. If you cannot dedicate that amount of time, but are eager to get involved, reach out anyway and we can discuss alternatives!
Who arranges my flights and accommodations?
You do! We pre-determine a budget for your travel and lodging and you book your specific flights and living arrangements.
How am I reimbursed?
You submit your receipts to us and we send you reimbursement via bank transfer.