What is START?

Fellowship / 6-minute read

“Great Community”
“Life changing”

These are all words our team members have used to describe their time here at START!

We know you’ve seen us before: from our banners all over the city in March, our conference in the Olma Halls, or simply from our pyramid shaped logo around campus and our famous Afterparty. Now, once again, you’ve come across our posts on your feed, so you ache to know: 

What is START? 
What do we do? 
Who are the people working here?
And most importantly, why should YOU care?

What is START Global?

START was founded back in 1996 by the then HSG students including Bettina Hein and Florian Schweitzer as a student club aiming to put entrepreneurship on the map for a new generation of entrepreneurs. Since then, we have come a long way building an international organisation with close to 100 active members here in St. Gallen, as well as more than 500 across our chapters in Europe. Today, there is no other student-run organisation with such global impact for aspiring entrepreneurs. We see ourselves as a seeding ground for young entrepreneurial talent as well as a community of individuals deeply embedded within Europe’s Startup ecosystem. Our mission is to unleash the innovative potential of the next generation.

What do we do?

Our Organisation has 3 main Projects: 

  • START Summit: Is our flagship project, which consists of an annual conference, designed to connect tomorrow’s founders with today’s leaders to create exciting opportunities where students, startups and investors meet to share ideas. Last year’s START Summit 2023 was a major success with a record breaking attendance of over 6000 people including high-level speakers such as Carlos Espinal (Seedcamp), Mario Götze, Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun Microsystems) and Esther Wojcicki (Godmother of Silicon Valley). 

Don’t believe us? These numbers speak for themselves:

  • START Hack: Is our entrepreneurial hackathon where more than 500 highly skilled tech and business students from all over the world spend 36 hours learning, collaborating and coding to uncover creative solutions for some of society’s most pressing issues. Here, the participants are given real life case studies to solve and compete for Europe’s biggest Hackathon prize money. Previous Hackers have gone on to develop fully-fledged programs based on the work they’ve started, with many now making a real-world impact every day through the companies they’ve founded.

  • START Fellowship: is a philanthropic incubator & accelerator program designed to empower student founders from LMIC. With this, we strive for equal opportunities by granting participants access to resources and know-how to be able to put their ideas into practice. Our programs are open for LatAm & African student founders, aiming to connect to the European startups ecosystem, and turn their idea into a first venture.


People behind the logo: 

“Starting off 3 years ago in the Swiss startup ecosystem, I gained a lot of insights into the function and mentality of entrepreneurs. After my Swiss military service, I founded my EdTech-startup with some friends and was able to use it as his own playing ground. START is the seeding ground for entrepreneurship; therefore, I wanted to connect with like-minded people, solve challenges together, and get STARTed. And obviously, I found it!”

-Max Bieri, Managing Director, START Fellowship

“Becoming a Supporter at START Summit offered me a chance to contribute to a remarkable conference. It reinforced my belief in the power of dedication and motivation to achieve the extraordinary. START exemplifies how the synergy of a vibrant team atmosphere and relentless effort drives its success. Every day, START fuels my passion to create something big and impactful.”

-Nina Redlich, Head of Content, START Summit

“START is like a lecture room without the borders of theory. Here, you have the opportunity to experiment, fail, and improve—not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level. Doing so alongside an 80+ person team of like-minded individuals is both inspiring and absolutely unique. It may be one of the best experiences you can have in your youth or even later years.”

-Bastiaan Feurer, Vice President, START Global

“After joining HSG two years ago, I quickly realized that I wanted to learn new things outside of university and not just study. I found a club where I discovered a new passion - video editing - and met inspiring people who pushed me to new limits. After a year in START Global, I gained the confidence I never knew I had and was ready to step into a leadership position. Looking back at last year and the work I am doing now as MD, I can definitely say that START not only helped me grow in terms of skills but also as a person in a huge way.”

Why we need YOU!

Joining START not only means being a member of the coolest student association at HSG, but it also means becoming a part of an exclusive international network that offers benefits for a lifetime. You’ll have the unique opportunity to face a steep learning curve as you take ownership of your tasks and gain practical knowledge. Our dynamic team and past-paced work environment provide a challenging, yet rewarding, experience where in addition to personal growth you actively contribute to greater missions. 

This fall 2023 (now until 27.09), we are once again, RECRUITING!!! … And NO, we are not just looking for Business students as we have a wide array of positions to choose from. 

“Entrepreneurship is a mindset” -Max Keller, President START Global

If you’re passionate, proactive, eager to learn or interested in the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem, START Global is your place to be. 

Explore the world of START Global

Get the latest insights from the world of business and tech and stay up to date with START Global news.