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Swiss Creativity Comes to Life at the wemakeit Festival

wemakeit Festival Zurich 2016

This past weekend, a festival in Zürich honored the most popular Swiss crowdfunding projects to date.

Hosted by wemakeit, the event at the Kaufleuten Club attracted more than 1000 visitors. Newly Swissed was there to take a peek at the most successful self-funded projects. And we were inspired by all this creativity coming from concerts, readings, performances and workshops.

wemakeit Festival Zurich 2016(Photograph copyright wemakeit/

wemakeit is a Swiss success story.

wemakeit is one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in Europe. It was founded in Switzerland in 2012 by communication consultant Rea Eggli, artist Johannes Gees and interaction designer Jürg Lehni. In the past few years, the young organization has grown rapidly and has raised funds for a total of 13.9m francs.

That's the equivalent of 1580 successfully backed projects.

If you have a creative idea falling within the categories of wemakeit but are missing the necessary funds, this organization knows it best. Categories include festivals, political campaigns, book publications, films, or pop-up restaurants.

All that success, both of the platform itself as well as of the entrepreneurs behind each crowdfunded project, was finally celebrated.

Here are my top three Swiss crowdfunding projects:

Cut the Fence: An artistic project postulating the symbolic destruction of the fence of the Bässlergut refugee camp and prison in Switzerland, which is located close to the German border.

The crowdfunding campaign offers items such as a beautiful scarves made of unique, African damask fabric. The 675 m of fabrics symbolize the length of the fence, and it was cut into pieces by the artistic duo Copa & Sordes.

Sold at 100 francs per meter, the funds will be re-invested to support the activities of bblackboxx.

wemakeit Festival Zurich 2016
Slow Food Youth Schweiz: Zürich needed a guide for Slow Food, and this young team lead by Laura Schaelchli gave this a lot of thought.

The team brought the Slow Food concept to Switzerland, standing at the crossroads of ecology, gastronomy, ethics and pleasure. Their crowdfunding project independently creates original events aimed at raising awareness about food issues and providing means to take action.

I purchased the innovative Calendarium Culinarium (25 francs) to hang in my kitchen. It not only teaches me how to eat the vegetables in season, but it also teaches me some German every day...

wemakeit Festival Zurich 2016 - Calendarium Culinarium(Photograph copyright youngswiss)
Helvetiq: the story of this company and of its founder are amazing and prove that with an original idea, combined with hard work and dedication, success is right behind the door.

HELVETIQ - Swiss Board Game

This is what I saw in Hadi, an inspiring, chatty, witty man who transformed the challenging experience of having to study for the Swiss citizenship into a fun game for his friends - and a successful business idea.

HELVETIQ - Swiss Board Game

Hadi launched his company in 2008 as a hobby. It all started with a board game called Helvetiq which tests your general knowledge of Switzerland: The things you need to know to have a conversation with a "real" Swiss. As the company grew, it spawned other products under the Helvetiq name.

These games are a great idea for any Newly Swissed willing to improve their German, and they are a great Valentine's gift (which I would love to receive!)

Let's hope that 2017 brings another edition of the wemakeit Festival with more crowdfunded projects!

wemakeit Festival Zurich 2016(This photograph along with the feature copyright wemakeit)


James Cole is a traveling banker, business man and hipster at heart. He never gets tired of traveling and meeting new people. When this Asian food addict is not roller skating, you might find him doing yoga.

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