The documentary miniseries about the real life of six deep tech startups.

Start-up observes early stage entrepreneurs in their labs and shines a light on innovation and entrepreneurship in deep tech without hype. An immersion in the Swiss startup ecosystem; no voice-over, raw, instructive. Not an explainer video, but a conversation starter.

Episode 1

Startups prepare for pitches, work in their labs and produce new samples for potential customers. A TV journalist asks a founder tough questions. The new artificial intelligence chip does not yet perform as expected, while the drone suffers from a mysterious software bug.

> Watch on YouTube (30 minutes)

Episode 2

Founders juggle expectations of investors and employees. A startup travels abroad for a trade show. The drone finally works and is ready for its first job. A female entrepreneur talks about her experiences in a man’s world. Is entrepreneurship really a lonely business?

> Watch on YouTube (30 minutes)

Episode 3

Investors grill startups and talk shop about how the business really works. The AI startup expands into China. Meanwhile, the biggest startup event of the year takes place in Switzerland. How do the founders balance out the stress of entrepreneurship to keep their vision alive?

> Watch on YouTube (30 minutes)

Watch the miniseries now on YouTube (free for a limited time) or Amazon Prime.

Stay up to date about the miniseries, screenings and events.

Start-up: The Miniseries

Start-up is an independent observational documentary miniseries (3 x 30 minutes) about the real life of six deep tech startups that want to change the world. Film director Manuel Stagars followed their journey on the leading edge in artificial intelligence, drones, additive manufacturing, cleantech, and biotech.

This observational series offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the startup life, showing the hopes, dreams and challenges of the young entrepreneurs who want to make a big impact in the world out of Switzerland.


The daily work of scientists and entrepreneurs is often invisible to the public eye, unless they are famous. Start-up shines a light on the work of early stage entrepreneurs in deep tech and lets the audience observe them in their labs and workshops. This one-of-a-kind miniseries gives down-to-earth access to entrepreneurship, innovation and future technologies that often emerge out of startups in Switzerland, far from Silicon Valley.

To read more about the production of Start-up, feel free to read this article on LinkedIn.

Stills and Set Photos

Meet the Entrepreneurs

These interviews took place behind the scenes and introduce the entrepreneurs and their startups who appear in the miniseries.

The interviews with the startup entrepreneurs from the series are available as a podcast, too.

Spotify Anchor Apple Podcasts Castbox Overcast Breaker Google Play Pocket Casts RadioPublic Stitcher RSS

A Documentary Miniseries by Manuel Stagars

Manuel Stagars is an award-winning Swiss film director, who is creating films about creativity, science, innovation, technology, and their impact in society. His award-winning documentary films have reached hundreds of thousands of people and have screened at film festivals worldwide.

In 2005, Manuel began developing, directing and producing independent documentary films. His award-winning film The Blockchain and Us (2017) has more than 600,000 views online and translations into nine languages. Manuel’s films have screened around the world, including at the World Economic Forum in Davos/Switzerland or Science Week/SCINEMA in Australia.

Manuel studied economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and has led an Open Data research project as a senior researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). He has guest lectured at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Tohoku University in Sendai/Japan and the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ). He founded and co-founded several startups and published books on entrepreneurship, innovation, Open Data, and sustainable investing.



Financial Support


Start-up is as a project within the programme “Scientainment” by Gebert Rüf Stiftung.




Media Partners




Communication Partner


Special Thanks

Many people, startups and organizations make this ambitious project happen by contributing their time, ideas, advice, and access to their networks. Special thanks to all of you! (List in alphabetical order of last names)