Pre-IPO Sparks IPO Academy Products & Services SIX Swiss Exchange Education Pre-IPO Sparks IPO Academy Sparks IPO Academy Program Description The Sparks IPO Academy has been predominantly designed for executives of Switzerland’s high-potential, fast-growing SMEs. This fast-track program prepares and equips scale-ups for a potential IPO on the Swiss stock exchange’s Sparks segment. It has been jointly developed with the leading capital market specialists in Switzerland. Throughout the IPO Academy, full discretion will be exercised and the names of the participating companies will only be published with their consent. Previous and current participants span sectors from robotics, to medtech, biotech, industrials, and fintech, and include several former Winners and Runners-up of the Top 100 Swiss Startup Award. Useful Links: Contact Application Form 2022/2023 IPO Academy Leaflet Program Closing Event 2022 BenefitsThe number of participants is limited, which makes it possible to directly interact with renowned industry experts and expand your network in the Swiss capital market ecosystem. In addition, you will benefit from the following: Gain certainty on whether an IPO optimizes the value of your SME. Connect with key capital market specialists to assess whether an IPO is the right next step for your SME. Know your next steps. Whether an IPO is on your roadmap or whether you want to give your SME the ability to rapidly execute an IPO when the time is right, we have your individual needs covered. Understand how to optimize the success of your IPO. Learn the secrets of maximizing the impact of your IPO – our partners have decades of experience and have played key roles in IPOs during that time. The Swiss venture ecosystem has grown tremendously over the past decade and has enabled numerous business ideas to be tested and products/services ultimately to be commercialized. The result is that we are now gifted with more scale-ups than at any other period in time. The many household names participating in the Sparks Academy show that the growth advantages of public markets continue to be valuable for these twenty-first century scale-ups. Dr. iur. Alex Nikitine, Partner at Walder Wyss Some of the companies that benefit from this program: Afficher plus Structure 2021/2022The training program is structured in three phases and extends over a period of six months. The Academy is set up so that it is compatible with entrepreneurs’ busy schedules. Seminar TopicsEach module will be presented by renowned industry experts of the relevant subject. This maximizes your learning and optimally strengthens your network. You can find more details on what will be covered in each of module below. Phase 1 Introduction to IPOs: This introductory module is dedicated to questions about what an IPO entails and how the various phases of an IPO look like. We look at the issues of “why go public?” and the advantages of an IPO, examine the question of where and when to list, and discuss which partners are involved. IPO Success Factors: This module addresses the critical success factors of an IPO which must be taken into account during an IPO project, from the preparation phase to the first trading day and beyond. In this training sequence, the focus will be on insights into the most important focus areas from an investor's point of view, while maintaining a practical perspective. IPO Pitfalls: This module identifies the most common IPO pitfalls and explains how IPO candidates can handle those. We will address real cases and show how they managed (or why they failed) to solve the respective challenges. Equity Story & Communications: The "equity story & communications" module deals with how a company presents itself and its investment case to the capital market and the various stakeholders who have an interest in the company, and more generally, how it prepares its communications for the public stage. The module will reflect on corporate communication and investor relations in general. Then the module will analyze how a company's equity story can be seamlessly integrated into its relations practices and it will also highlight addressees and important ingredients for a successful equity story. Moreover, the workshop will discuss insights from a practitioner's point of view. IPO Readiness: An IPO readiness assessment consists of several modules designed to identify fields of improvement to guide a company through a successful pre-IPO transformation. Getting IPO readiness right means implementing change throughout the business, organization, corporate governance and legal structure, making a company ready for going and being public. The outcome of the IPO readiness defines action items to be addressed and readiness checkpoints to be achieved. Transaction Structures: This module explains in detail the various building blocks of a potential IPO transaction structure. This includes i) the offer size, ii) primary vs. secondary proceeds, iii) greenshoes, iv) lock-ups, v) RegS vs. 144A offerings, and vi) cornerstones and friends and family tranches etc. and their potential implications on the demand and price of an IPO. Phase 2 Rules Governing the IPO and Life as a Listed Company (online): This module familiarizes participants with the Sparks framework governing prospectuses, offerings and roadshows as well as the do’s and don'ts leading up to the IPO. In addition, essential regulations governing life as a listed company will be covered, such as ad hoc publicity, management transactions, share ownership disclosure, as well as say-on-pay. Buy-Side Investors (online): This module deals with the perspective of investors and what role they play in an IPO phase. Using examples of “good” IPOs in the past, the key factors for a successful IPO will be defined as well as what is needed for a successful presentation of the company and how this should be done with regard to investors. Corporate Governance (online): This module addresses the supervision and control around pre-listed and listed companies planning to operate within the Sparks segment. We will focus on the board of directors, its selection and retention, as well as how it stays compliant within a regulated environment. Testimonial (online): An IPO entails significant changes for most companies and the run-up to the first day of trading is a very intense time for the company's management team. A C-level representative of a listed company will share their experiences during this phase and participants will gain exclusive advice and insights based on a real case study. One Open Module: Participants of the seminar can contribute their own ideas on which additional topic they would like to have covered in the course of the education seminar. Phase 3 Draft your own Prospectus: In this module, participants will start to create their own Sparks listing/offering prospectus on the basis of a template. The document can subsequently be further developed for sharpening the company's presentation or used as a basis once the company intends to go public. Takeover Law: The presentation of the Swiss Takeover Board is intended to provide participants with an overview of the applicable Swiss public takeover law and to familiarize them with the most important basic rules to be observed (i.e. obligation to make an offer and its exceptions, opting-out/-in, minimum price and best price rule, notification obligation). Executive Compensation and Incentive Plans post-IPO: A compensation framework for listed companies is significantly different. On the one hand, it offers pay opportunities with shares having a market value and being traded. On the other hand, disclosure requirements, “say-on-pay” and the various stakeholders’ views on compensation matters require a comprehensive, consistent and well-explained compensation strategy. This module addresses critical aspects when establishing incentive plans and its related governance for the time post-IPO. Exit in Public Equity: This module addresses how founders and new investors in the Sparks segment can ultimately exit from its listed shares. There are various options, each coming with pros and cons. We will look into these exit strategies in light of the current framework. Investor Relations Practices: The way companies communicate with their stakeholders has become increasingly important in recent years. What is expected of IR officers and how can the various regulatory information obligations to investors and the public be successfully fulfilled? In this module, participants will gain exclusive insight into the daily work of an IR officer of a SIX-listed company. Fireside Chat: The founder and CEO of the online pharmacy Zur Rose, Walter Oberhänsli, will share insights into his experiences moving up to and during the IPO, and what has changed since then for the company but also for him personally. Costs and Time ExpenditureSnacks, meals and after-work drinks are of course offered. But the participants must themselves cover the costs for their accommodation during the two-day event in May as well as their travel and insurance costs. Application RequirementsThe program is aimed at C-level representatives1 of fast-growing SMEs which want to get ready for public capital markets with the ambition of financing further growth. where an IPO on Sparks is a likely scenario in the short-/mid-term. which were founded over two years ago. 1 C-level commitment is expected for the entire duration of the training program. Application Process 2022/2023In order to ensure the high level of exclusivity of this training program, the number of companies admitted is limited to twelve every year, while five companies are nominated each year by Venturelab out of its Top 100 Startup Ecosystem. The participants of the seminar are selected by the end of September of every given year. Admission is based among others on the above criteria and on the receipt of applications. The selection for the 2021/2022 program has already been completed. You are welcome to apply for the next edition in 2022/2023. Register for 2022/2023 How Going Public Helps Your SME By listing on the Swiss Stock Exchange, you ensure you go public in the most efficient way possible. Get your personalized advice from our experts. Grow your SME on SIX Swiss Exchange Program Partners 2021/2022 Afficher plus Impressions of the Kick-off Event "With the startup ecosystem maturing so fast in Switzerland, we are excited to see that public markets are now ready to offer fast-growing companies new ways to raise capital, strengthen credibility, and offer liquidity to shareholders. This is highlighting the fact that Switzerland is not only an incredibly efficient incubator to launch new innovative startups, but that it is also able to accompany them in their scaling-up as they conquer the world." -- Patrick Thévoz, CEO and Co-Founder of Flyability “Bringing SMEs to the public market requires a different skillset and investor base. But investor appetite for smaller scale-ups with growth ambitions and strong equity stories is there. So contrary to popular wisdom, smaller market capitalizations and free floats do not exclude companies from joining public markets. The IPO of Poenina is a case in point.” -- Dr. Andreas Neumann, Head Equity Capital Markets, Zürcher Kantonalbank “I have personally already gone through the IPO process in a previous life. And I can say with absolute conviction that it makes your company stronger, even if you don’t end up going public. The ‘Sparks Academy’ should therefore not only be seen through the lens of helping us in assessing whether going public is the right and feasible next step, but also as potentially bettering our businesses. Our first day in the program absolutely supports this view.” -- Michele Bomio, CFO of Securecell “The transformation process from a privately held to a publicly listed company is truly a metamorphosis — a series of planned, pervasive changes undertaken to achieve long-term objectives. Participating in the ‘Sparks IPO Academy’ is a first step in order to understand whether the growth benefits that public markets promise, such as ‘faster and more efficient capital raising’ or ‘access to more robust capital sources,’ are available for your company and to get ready for this exciting journey.” -- Tobias Meyer, Partner at EY “Public markets offer growth advantages that could be valuable for many scale-ups, from simplifying capital raising, to accessing robust financing channels that have recently allowed record levels of capital to be raised during the early months of the COVID crisis. Unfortunately, many of us are barred today from accessing these benefits because we are too small for the large investors that still dominate IPOs. We need a radical rethink in how shares are allocated in IPOs, similar to what has happened in foreign markets. The Sparks Academy makes me optimistic that established players are changing -- and if they don’t, I am convinced that a fintech will do to the IPO process what Swissquote did for trading twenty years ago.” -- Ben James, Group CEO of Tradeplus24 1/13 The content and opinions provided herein on this microsite are made available exclusively for information purposes. They may be change at any time without prior notice and SIX assumes no responsibility for their accuracy, completeness or timeliness. None of the information herein on this Microsite constitutes investment advice or advice on tax or legal matters, nor does it constitute an offer, a solicitation of an offer or a recommendation to buy or sale investment products/financial products or enter into transactions of any kind. The information cannot replace consultation with an independent professional advisor. 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